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Fallujah – ‘Empyrean’

Nuclear Blast
Obscura, The Faceless , Rivers of Nihil, Kardashev
Release Date
September 9, 2022
Nuclear Blast
Technical Death Metal

With ‘Empyrean’ reviews, the question should not be whether the album is good or not. It is extraordinary. The question is, “Is this the best Fallujah record to date?”

Scott and Andrew return with a new singer (Kyle Schaefer) and a new bassist (Evan Brewer). With Scott being the only original member a lot of bands would have a completely different sound. However, on ‘Empyrean’ they accomplish the seemingly impossible. They have made an album that sounds like the heralded first two albums while simultaneously utilizing the talents of the new members to add new tools to the repertoire. ‘Empyrean’ is chock full of those soaring, atmospheric, and progressive leads from the band’s early days, but the riffs are more aggressive, the rhythm section groovier, and the vocals diverse.

This album is a shining example of the apex or perhaps ‘Empyrean’ (pardon the pun) of what technical death metal can be. The genre of “tech-death” is known for blistering speed and impossible technicality under brutal syncopated vocals. Unfortunately, this can often lead to music that sounds robotic and alien. To record such distorted and hurried guitars producers will often line up the notes on a grid which leads to perfection, but also removes the human sound. Fallujah does not sound robotic. This music while fast, technical, and heavy is also aerial and emotional.

There’s so much praise to heap on this album, so rather than write a term paper extolling its virtues I’d like to point you to an interview I conducted with Scott linked in this article, and encourage you to buy this album. Buy their merch. Buy their concert tickets. Keep this band going. Metal is better for having them around.

"This album is a shining example of the apex"

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