FALLUJAH’S fourth studio album ‘Undying Light’, following fan favourite album ‘Dreamless’ is to be released. From just one look at comments on single ‘Ultraviolet’, focusing on the debut of new vocalist Antonio Palermo, fans weren’t impressed. Yet, that was one single alone. With the new album out Friday 15th, it’s up to them to redeem themselves to old and new fans.
Each track as singular entities are falling on the weak side. Fallujah are trying to drift from the criticisms of ‘Dreamless’ and as an album, it’s a good drawn out emotional push. As single entities, the tracks are not as memorable. ‘Distant and Cold’ is one of the few tracks that is, more so because of its clear stylistic change. More atmospheric, quieter vocals, a nicer feeling. It is different, in turn making it memorable. Common sense , but it does stand out, emotive and relaxing. Vocally the same occurs on ‘Dopamine’, a bit more on the dull side at first, but slowly builds up .
Following on from build-ups and interest, ‘Departure’, the albums closing track is down to be the best on the album. Punchy riffs, heavy structure and its ability to keep up its strength throughout the progression of the track. There is definitely the same level of instrumental talent in this album. Heavy riffs protrude through ‘Glass House’ while quick paced drum beats power through ‘Sanctuary’ (despite the rest of the track taking time to push into an interesting boundary.) Yet, this cannot be described as the same Fallujah sound as before. With member changes, you either try to stick with the same sound or change, the middle mix the outfit have created sounds more like they are trying to be influenced by the old Fallujah, instead of BEING them or changing. It’s a copy that doesn’t work, is repetitive and slightly disappointing.
Even so, one thing Fallujah did nail is lyricism. With Palermo taking the role of song writing, the lyricism is stronger than ever on ‘Undying Light’. Clearly coming from a personal point in the band, it explains how the atmospheric melodies of the album fit so well with the lyrical pinpoints of the album. Narcissistic societies and similar themes are a key part of the album. This background idea helps set the album in stone, the ideas they wish to show and why.
There are different ways to evaluate the album, even score it dependant on the aspects chosen to take into account. Lyrically, ‘Undying Light’ is their strongest release, musically, not quite. As a whole the album is good, tipping the scales into generic melodic hardcore but still good. Separately dissecting each track is when the flaws come in. Fallujah gave it their best and with line-up changes it is hard, now is the time to push, now is the time to build.