Fallujah is an American progressive death metal band. Characterized by their highly eclectic yet totally cohesive sound that combines elements from countless different forms of music that appeal to its members, they have become a fast-rising force in modern death metal and are poised to become big-names.
Formed in San Francisco, California in 2007 by Alex Hofmann (studio guitars, vocals), Scott Carstairs (lead guitar), Suliman Arghandiwal (vocals), Dan Wissinger (bass), and Tommy Logan (drums), most of the initial lineup swiftly folded, leaving only Hofmann and Carstairs. Brandon Hoberg and Rob Maramonte quickly joined on bass and rhythm guitar, respectively, while Andrew Baird replaced Logan. Come 2009, they released a demo to moderate fanfare along with the Leper Colony
EP, while Maramonte and Hoberg both left and were replaced by Anthony Borges and Rob Morey on their respective instruments, though Borges left the following year and was replaced by a returning Maramonte. Another demo was released, and a deal with Unique Leader Records was inked sometime around then as well. Come late 2011, The Harvest Wombs
was released to much fanfare and critical acclaim, and the band slowly but surely began finding their way onto various high-profile tours, culminating in a spot on the Summer Slaughter Tour opening act ballot that turned into an appearance on the Slaughter Survivors Tour. There were still some difficulties, however, as Baird was busy battling cancer and thus was too sick to make a good deal of the shows; while he was still an official member of the band, Chason Westmoreland filled in for him until he was healthy enough to man the kit once again.
2013, however, was the breakthrough year. Kicking things off with a three-song digital EP that made a sizable impact, they quickly followed it up with their first European tour in support of Suffocation
. While Maramonte did leave the band to focus on The Zenith Process and All Shall Perish (where he replaced a departing Ben Orum on a temporary live basis), it didn't prove to be much of an issue. 2014 brought even bigger things, namely the induction of Brian James on rhythm guitar, a slot on the Summer Slaughter Tour, and the release of The Flesh Prevails
, their sophomore full-length, which has gained rave reviews and near-unanimous praise.
- Demo 2009
- Leper Colony (2009) - EP
- Demo 2010
- The Harvest Wombs (2011)
- Nomadic (2013) - EP
- The Flesh Prevails (2014)
The band contains examples of the following tropes:
- Deathcore: Their demos are cut from a Born of Osiris-esque prog-core mold, while Leper Colony was more of a blackened core album. They dropped this sound with The Harvest Wombs.
- Epic Rocking: "The Harvest Wombs", "The Dead Sea", and "Venom Upon the Blade" are all over six minutes.
- Instrumentals: "The Flame Surreal" and "The Harvest Wombs".
- Lead Bassist: Rob Morey is a Type A.
- Lighter and Softer: The Flesh Prevails, which has a far more dreamy, ethereal feel and generally doesn't really focus on being heavy.
- Loudness War: A big problem on all of their releases, which is fairly jarring when you consider their influences.
- Metal Scream: Hofmann busts these out every now and then.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Solid 10 on Leper Colony, soft 10 on The Harvest Wombs and Nomadic (minus "Silent" on the latter, which was a 1), and everywhere from a soft 9 to a 1 on The Flesh Prevails.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Mixes elements of technical death metal, melodic black metal, progressive metal, jazz fusion, darkwave, ambient, dream pop, and trip-hop.
- New Sound Album: Multiple:
- Leper Colony dialed down the prog influences and dialed up both the black metal and core influences. It didn't stick and the band swept it under the rug.
- The Harvest Wombs dropped the core, expanded on the prog, and picked up some Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly tendencies.
- Nomadic bumped up the Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly even further and introduced female vocals, as well as changing the lyrical approach to more personal, meaningful subject matter.
- The Flesh Prevails downplayed the tech in favor of a far more prominent focus on atmosphere, playing up the shoegaze, trip hop, post-rock, and dream pop elements and introducing clean vocals.
- Older than They Look: Brian James is approaching 22, but between his short stature and overall young-looking appearance, he doesn't look any older than thirteen or fourteen.
- Old Shame: They don't seem to be overly fond of Leper Colony; while they have brought back the design for a shirt, they have not played any material from that album for years and they have not reissued it or expressed any intent to do so.
- One-Woman Wail: Byanca Munoz's spots on "The Dead Sea" and "Venom Upon the Blade".
- Out-of-Genre Experience: Nomadic had the ambient track "Silent", while The Flesh Prevails has the trip hop track "Alone with You".
- Progressive Metal: Had elements of this on The Harvest Wombs, but really started to push this with Nomadic.
- Purple Prose: Pretty rampant in their older material thanks to the lyrical approach boiling down to lots of pseudo-metaphysical and philosophical rambling. Hofmann switched to more personal lyrics on Nomadic because he felt that he wasn't actually saying anything of value and wanted to write lyrics that actually meant something to him.
- Revolving Door Band: Had a ton of lineup shifts early on but gradually settled down.
- Signature Style: Lots of fleet-fingered riffs, the occasional melo-black flourish, lots of subdued, atmospheric sections, and plenty of fusion-esque flourishes and soloing.
- Special Guest: Francesco Artusato (All Shall Perish) contributed a guest solo on "Become One", while Byanca Munoz of the dream pop act Whirr contributed guest vocals to "The Dead Sea" and "Venom Upon the Blade". Meanwhile, The Flesh Prevails features Scott's guitar teacher Christian Muenzner on "Allure" and the dream pop artist Roniit Alkayam on multiple tracks.
- Technical Death Metal: To some degree, particularly on The Harvest Wombs.
- X Meets Y: Obscura meets Deftones meets Sigur Rós meets Massive Attack.