Fallujah - Leper Colony

The San Francisco Bay Area, USA band, Fallujah, carries on the American tradition of blurring the lines between hardcore and metal. I think we might tag this genre as, “metalcore.” Every time I hear a band that does this well, I think about the one album/one ep band of the East Coast, Prayer for Cleansing and the revolution they caused in the American metal scene by creating that genre. I credit them with the creation of that genre anyway. But, what’s a genre? Anyway, these guys are a little more on the metal side in that their sound is crunchier and louder. But they are not as smooth-heavy as the Swedish metalcore project, The Haunted (somewhere amidst that spectrum). Fallujah has, with LEPER COLONY, formed something else.

I enjoy waiting to hear how metal CDs open themselves. As in, what kind of intro sounds will they use? I think part of it is curiosity about each new innovation possible. But I also think it has become a beautiful simple tradition with metal to properly introduce a CD with some evil warm-up. LEPER COLONY opens with a great track name, “Impending Incarnation,” on a light dark whispery sound followed by crunchy black metal. The band uses this crunchy sound through out the album but it is mixed with a deliberate sense of off-rhythm and rhythm change attitude. For instance, in the third track, “Le Serpent Rouge,” the guitars open the track then the drums dash in after a few measures. Just a few measures later, the drums slow down and the guitars go silent for about a full beat. They go back and forth between these motifs for much of this track. This track also features a few single string whines as well.

I do like that the rhythm changes feel deliberate. And I like that the title track, “Leper Colony,” turns the style into something less chunky and more synth-added black metal power. I do wish the band was a little more traditional in its black metal though. I like the metalcore elements for sure. That’s new. But the deliberate tech-metal sound in their particular version of black metal leaves me thinking they should put their sound through the fire a little longer and make it harder. The hate is not distilled enough yet. Overall, the album is not bad though. It starts out well with a good short track, then spends too much time riffing crunchy black metal, hits a high point with the title track, then swings back into chunk-metal land. Fallujah’s LEPER COLONY spends too much time there for my tastes.

1. Impending Incarnation
2. Slave Race
3. Le Serpent Rouge
4. Leper Colony
5. Ancient Dialectic
6. Infernal Majesty

Grindhouse Music
Reviewer: Jesse
Mar 25, 2010

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