Death metal and all of its subgenres have quickly become one of my favorite areas of metal music to listen to. The diversity in the bands and their sounds make it one of the most exciting genres to explore and find new music. One of my favorite bands that I’ve found is Italian symphonic death metal group Fleshgod Apocalypse.
There are other symphonic and melodic death metal bands out there, but none that do it quite like Fleshgod Apocalypse do. With a sound heavily inspired by classical music, the blend of pounding drums, growled vocals coupled with an orchestral backing and opera vocals make it one of the most unique experiences in metal, perhaps in all of music.
King is the fourth full-length album from the Italian band, and arguably their best, well-composed release to date. Their last album, Labyrinth, was criticized for its problems with the editing and mixing, with many of the sounds blending together and nothing standing out.
King was masterfully produced and edited, and the sound perfectly captures everything that is Fleshgod Apocalypse. The orchestral backing is still prominent but not overwhelming like on their last release. Instead, it meshes beautifully with the great guitar riffs and the masterful drumming of Francesco Paoli. The opera vocals are intertwined perfectly, with the seventh track “Paramour (Die Leidenschaft Bringt Leiden)” offering solely opera, and serving as a nice break in an otherwise aggressive album.
No longer are the guitars lost in the shuffle of the orchestra, and no one element of the music takes precedence over any of parts of the song. Finally, Fleshgod Apocalypse has found the formula for their sound that took four albums to develop.
It’s extremely hard to choose one song from this album, because King is best defined as an experience. Every song flows perfectly into the next one and the album should be listened to as a whole. But in choosing one song, I went with the first track (excluding instrumentals) “In Aeternum.”
“In Aeternum,” which means “forever” in Latin, kicks off the album with a bang. The first thing you hear is the orchestra background right before the guitar and drums kick in. As stated earlier, it all combines beautifully, creating one of the most unique sounds that I’ve ever heard in metal. I also like the cleaner vocals in the chorus of the song, creating an epic feel to the song itself.
In a film or television show, a good score can elevate the emotions and drama felt in a particular scene. Fleshgod Apocalypse has the ability to create those sensations and evoke a feeling of an epic drama or movie through the song alone. King is an album that deserves a listen, and may be one of the best albums of 2016.
What’s your favorite Fleshgod Apocalypse song? Are you a fan of this style of music? Leave thoughts and comments below.