Music is art. Yes, yes, I know, this is the understatement of my lifetime, but it is something not everyone thinks. Sometimes one piece of art influences another piece of art. Sometimes one piece of art will make you curious about or convince you to consider another piece of art. Think of how many times back in the day you bought an album strictly because of the cover art. For me that was about anything from KISS in the 70s, Queensryche – “Warning”, anything from Iron Maiden in the 80s, Dio –”Holy Diver”, and the list goes on.
Now, in the age of the internet, very seldom do people even buy a physical copy of music let alone worry about what the album cover looks like. When I saw a picture of the new Fallujah album, “The Flesh Prevails,” released July 22, 2014, those old feelings of curiosity came back.
Even though Fallujah has been around since 2007, they have only been on my radar for the last couple of years. Their 2011 debut LP, “The Harvest Wombs,” and their “Nomadic” EP that was released last year have been staples on my Zune since their release. As many of you probably know, “The Harvest Wombs” is a great piece of technical death metal. “Nomadic” saw Fallujah start to introduce some atmospheric elements into their ferocious mix. “The Flesh Prevails” expands on that concept in ways I could not have imagined.
The album opener ‘Starlit Path’ welcomes you with tones like waves washing up a beach. Slowly double kick drums creep in, bringing bass, guitar riffs, and guttural growls with it. The underlying melody of the intro persists as the song progresses, giving the song the feeling of Fallujah playing over a Vestascension track. ‘Carved from Stone’ is another wall of bruising technical death metal with a layer of graceful swirling melody around it. Each track continues down this mysterious path, merging beauty and brutality. The album could be a soundtrack to a skydiving accident; your mind racing 1000 miles an hour as you fall to your death, marveling at the majestic landscape on the way down.
The album cover of “The Flesh Prevails” depicts what looks like an angel raising itself to the heavens, separating itself from a gray and decaying existence. This is the connection between album cover art and the music inside I was talking about. This is the physical representation of the collection of songs on this record. “The Flesh Prevails” is an album that must be experienced, not just listened to. If you can’t feel it, you must already be dead.