Perugia, Italy… home of the extraordinary symphonic death metal band FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE, who I had the honor to see back in 2012 for the first time. As time passed, I started to love every single second of every single track from their discography.Last year the world received the exciting news that Cristiano Trionfera, Paolo Rossi, Francesco Paoli, Tommaso Riccardi and Francesco Ferrini worked their backs off to bring us King (Nuclear Blast Records, February 5). As soon as 2016 started, my ears aimed to hear and enjoy this musical excellency from start to finish… many times.
KING is such a strong word, it reflects power, authority, the determination to do a man’s will, whether his people love it or not. When such word is pronounced there’s the feeling that no one can even think of messing around with royalty. The conceptual album, King, shows a world coming to an end. Traitors, crime, sickness, adultery, plagues and disaster have been occurring in this time, and it is coming to an end with almost one hour of history being told. FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE are kings in their genre. Even though there might be many more bands that play the same style, the Italian death metallers can make me sit down to the right side of the monarch and see how his kingdom falls and burns with its weak surrounding villages. The album’s artwork is very simple. History told centuries ago summarized in one image, with the perfect cup of tea, let’s see what King has for us in the metal world.
“Marche Royale” is a perfect introduction to go into this medieval mood that you will get once you press play on any FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE song. “In Aeternum” (which means forever, eternally in Latin) is has all these joyful changes on tempo, rhythm, harmony, the chorus goes excellent with the opera elements that the band provides. “Healing Through War” is a hard song to headbang, very sweet to listen to, easy to relate to the decadence of the surrounding villages under the King’s power. “The Fool”, released as the album’s first single, features an excellent intro and it can get you to like the album and the band in zero time.
“Cold As Perfection” is another newly released single, which includes an excellent theme-related video (NSFW) that portrays the medieval age as real as it can be, but with an extra taste of gore. “Mitra” holds more brutality, really fast-paced drums and nonstop riffs blasting here and there for such a short duration. “Paramour (Die Leidenschaft Bringt Leiden)” is an example of a particular type of song I love from the band: pure opera, with the voice of a most-likely beautiful woman conquering my heart while a kingdom is carving his own tomb. “And the Vulture Beholds” brings us back to the high symphonic notes, the drama, the wars, the action, excellent transition from one song to another.
“Gravity” feels like a very heavy song, very hard headbanging, deep notes with longer duration. It was released as the second single, and it should be on your list of favorite songs by this time. “A Million Deaths” continues with the concept of this kingdom going through misery, through oblivion, after being rotten for several decades until it consumed its being. “Syphilis” sounds like a perfect ending to the record, which I dare to qualify as a masterpiece; seven minutes of pure joy to almost conclude a well-elaborated album. “King” is the traditional musical song that FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE always offers by the end of each of their releases. The King is dead. May the devil receive the king and make him suffer throughout eternity. Die, die, King.
I will never forget the first time I got introduced to “The Violation”, it was (and still has been) one of the most pleasant experiences that I’ve had when I hear a song. All the band members have clearly put an excellent effort into each note, and they all deserve recognition for the incredible conceptual album that they put together. I can’t wait to see FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE headline bigger festivals in the near future. I can’t wait to see them melt everybody’s faces with their deadly opera sound, and I’m dying to see more people buying a concert ticket just to see FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE tear the place apart. Very well done, amici, and best of luck finding a good psychiatrist.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM