Fleshgod Apocalypse

01. Temptation
02. The Hypocrisy
03. The Imposition
04. The Deceit
05. The Violation
06. The Egoism
07. The Betrayal
08. The Forsaking
09. The Oppression
10. Agony

Tommaso Riccardi - vocals, guitars
Paolo Rossi - bass, clean vocals
Cristiano Trionfera - guitars, vocals
Francesco Paoli - drums, guitars, vocals
Francesco Ferrini - piano

Oracles (2009)
Mafia EP (2010)


mix and mastering by Stefano “Saul” Morabtio at 16th Cellar Studios
Marco Hasmann - artwork
Video directed by Salvatore Perrone

Released 19/8-2011
Reviewed 3/9-2011

nuclear blast

The next big thing says the label Nuclear Blast about their recently signed band from Italy, reviewers and fans seem to love them as well. Their EP released prior to this one called Mafia was very well received and so it seems like this album has been as well, so maybe they are not wrong in assuming that this band will be the next big thing at least in the genre. They have been working hard these italians as they have managed to record two albums and go on multiple tours both as headlines or with big genre acts like Vader or Suffocation to name a few, in just a few years time, their debut album was released in 2009, the Mafia EP last year and now comes their second album and the first one on the big Nuclear Blast label.

As you might already have deduced from the names mentioned before this band and album is about extreme metal, pompous extreme metal to be precise. The band use grand orchestral arrangements, and a pompous sound built upon a foundation of brutal, primitive extreme metal. The music comes in many layers and the sound is clean and well produced, the mix of the vocal parts though is not too brilliant as the vocals drowns in the massive sound and becomes something of a background and a hardly noticeable thing in the grander scheme of things. This makes it impossible to make out any words sung by the singer, he might as well sing about canned beans and measuring rods as whatever he is singing about. We will have to take the song titles and guess the lyrics from those, the story is more of the same when looking at the clean vocals that are an addition to their music, they are also very difficult to make out words from. Maybe they are singing about something they don’t want us to know of, or maybe the singer is just making random noises most of the time.

I think the word ambivalence is the word that best describe what I feel about this album. On one hand it is perfectly arranged, pompous and grande, on the other hand the vocals could well be a pig they have recorded looking for truffles in the mud outside the studio. I find this very annoying as it is great when there are solos or other instrumental parts but then when the vocal parts come back they are there as an annoyance much like a hair in the eye or a cancerous growth in the nose.

I know many people claim to like this, grande, mighty and all of that and sure as hell I can understand that this music is appealing as the idea is appealing to me as well. I just don’t find that Fleshgod Apocalypse fulfil the potential they seem to have, they should really have given a little more room to the vocals and also turned down the drums slightly to make a soundscape that would fit the grandness of their music and songs.

I do think that they have a lot going for them though, there are just small things that needs to be corrected in order to make it immensely better. Agony is a good foundation but please band: why do you name all your songs something starting with The? I find this annoying and it looks dumb, sure it is not a big deal in the grander scheme of things but all the small details adds up into a complete picture and that picture needs some improvements if this band is to go from making albums that I can listen to but rather not, to albums that I like to listen to. As I previously stated, the foundation is there but a good premise is not converted into a desirable end result so I will throw agony in the bin and wait for their next album. Maybe next time.


Label: Nuclear Blast
Three similar bands: Morbid Angel/Hate Eternal/Decrepid Birth
Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
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