Following on from 2019’s Undying Light, Fallujah once again return, with a new lineup and a new 52 minutes of material. Empyrean follows on more from 2016’s Dreamless than it does Undying Light, as well as incorporating a few elements from the band’s earlier work, including some minor deathcore dynamics.
Fallujah are once again crafting the progressive and atmospheric brand of death metal that they made their name with. The band’s sophisticated take on death metal is in fine shape, and it’s great to hear prime the Fallujah sound once more. This album is highly enjoyable, and I think this is probably the band’s best work since 2014’s The Flesh Prevails.
Empyrean offers a wealth of technical extremity and mood-based songwriting. Importantly though, Fallujah remember that the core of their sound is a death metal one, and as such Empyrean contains some of the band’s heaviest and most aggressive work. Fallujah once again excel in the crafting of rich atmospheric soundscapes, but don’t let this overshadow their heavier aspects.
This is a well-considered work that has clearly been thought about. The well-written songs boast a surprising amount of catchiness, and the album has many killer riffs. Also, some of the guitar and bass interactions are a joy to listen to. The new bassist, (ex-The Faceless), has well and truly made his mark on this record, and Empyrean offers a new side to Fallujah in this regard. There’s a new singer too, who is very proficient in not only growling and screaming, but also in the occasional use of clean vocals.
These new songs are some of Fallujah’s strongest, and Empyrean is an exceptional album. This is essential listening for fans of modern technicality, atmospheric depth, and progressive extremity.