February 24, 2016 Fleshgod Apocalypse – King (Album Review)
Back in 2007, Italy gave birth to a Metal band with no bounds or genre restrictions. That band introduced listeners to a world they did not know existed, and they go by the name of Fleshgod Apocalypse. Combining Symphonic, Classical, Death Metal, and cinematic elements, the band imprints imagery upon listeners’ minds. Releasing their debut album, Oracles, in 2009, it was in 2011 when they put out Agony and thereafter made a big impression on North American fans when they were part of the Summer Slaughter Tour alongside The Black Dahlia Murder as well as Whitechapel. Following up with the powerful Labyrinth in 2013, Fleshgod Apocalypse created an impressive concept album that drew themselves even more attention. Now in 2016, Cristiano Trionfera (lead guitar), Paolo Rossi (Lead Vocals), Francesco Paoli (Drums), Tommaso Riccardi (Lead Vocals), and Francesco Ferrini (Piano, Orchestral Effects) look to take matters to the next level with their fourth album, King. Produced by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Katatonia), King was released as of February 5th and is a record that may end up being a game changer for Fleshgod Apocalypse as they push the boundaries even further into the unexpected.
Diving in deep, “Marche Royale” is an intro that makes the listener think they are about to watch a cinema masterpiece. Drums carry out a roaring march anthem that is lightened with the grace of orchestra music, while the lead guitar slowly creeps in to perfection. Then, “In Aeternum” is a solid smash into Metal with Riccardi’s vocals that are deep and synced to the brightness of a chant that will leave chills. With “Bless my soul!” bellowed within the chorus, it reaches new emotional levels that are carried out in the best way possible. Next is “Healing Through War,” which is a blast of energy that is amazingly brilliant. The intelligent sound of the drums mixed pitch for pitch with the orchestra is something that will absolute astonish musicians everywhere.
Moving along this intense soundscape, “The Fool” commences with a carnival-like melody before switching into a storm of Metal that becomes thrown into a fast pace of glory. Here, Riccardi’s vocals collaborate perfectly to the solo by Trionfera, making the song a very bright highlight of King. The track “Cold as Perfection” has a title that fits the vibe as it triumphs with high quality. The mellow vocals that begin the song deem powerful in every sense. With this, the overall music is darkness, with lyrical content that is essential to the atmosphere featuring the truth words “In this vast world, there is no time for regret.” Up next is “Mitra,” which begins with a heavy and thick guitar riff that bleeds into the vocals that growl with intensity. Adding to the overall feel, the fast double bass drum beat from Paoli is what gives this track its texture of greatness.
Just when the audience may think they heard it all with King, they are wrong. That is because next is a composition that ignites fury like no other, the complicated “Gravity.” Here, Fleshgod Apocalypse continue to wow with pounding orchestra rhythm that captivates the mood on the track and sets the scene for the remainder of the album. This is before “A Million Deaths,” which is just as brutal as the title implies. It is like a fast race to the finish line, and every step of the way is pure Metal bliss. One of the heavier of the tracks of King, it dives into political issues that many listeners can relate. An Opera feeling resonates in the core and the piano solo from Ferrini is immaculate. Then comes the odd tale of music on “Syphilis.” The eerie effects and slow rhythm separate this track from the rest of the record as majestic guest soprano vocals from Veronica Bordacchini overtake the chorus. The final track is the title track, “King,” which is dressed with a embracive piano solo that concludes the overall symphonic masterpiece.
King is an album that should not be taken lightly and it is a true showing of how Metal can be distributed in many different directions. With that said, the beauty of Fleshgod Apocalypse is the appeal to the many various subgenres of Rock, and music in general. In addition, what makes Fleshgod Apocalypse so admirably unique is the cinematic, breathtaking experience the listener endures while listening. As the band grows larger, the music becomes devilishly incomparable to others in the genre. CrypticRock gives King 4.5 out of 5 stars.