Fleshgod Apocalypse Album Review ‘King’

 

Fleshgod Apocalypse are working on their brand of orchestral technical death metal for almost ten years. The Italians certainly own this subgenre and have innovated constantly throughout their first three releases. Driven by perfection, the song writing for their fourth full-length album ‘King’ has taken intensive nine month.

‘King’ is another concept album focussing on an old kingdom which is in the process of falling apart. Similarities to the state of our modern society are deliberate and elevate the album onto a level of social criticism that is new for Fleshgod Apocalypse to that extent. Each song is dedicated to a different member of the king’s court. The overarching concept of the album certainly lends itself to the orchestral approach to death metal where each song is more than an individual track but rather a part of the whole issue.

The album starts with the marching ‘Marche Royale’ before the band breaks into their signature sound with ‘In Aeternum’, a song that features all the trademarks of Fleshgod Apocalypse’s sound. There are the fast riffs, the intense drumming with lots of blast beats but also keyboards, strings and brass. ‘In Aeternum’ is one of the faster songs on ‘King’ and showcases one side of Fleshgod Apocalypse. The fast, extreme variety of technical death metal is prevalent on the album. Tracks like ‘Mitra’, ‘Healing Through War’ and ‘And The Vulture Beholds’ are other examples of this approach. The other part of the band’s sound is a more grinding and slower version of death metal like in ‘Gravity’. The track gains its brutality and heaviness through the slow grinding guitar riffs and tribal drumming.

Fleshgod Apocalypse have again worked with soprano Veronica Bordacchini. Her appearance on ‘Cold As Perfection’ and ‘Syphilis’ brings out the best in ‘King’. These two tracks are the highlights of the album. They are the longest tracks allowing the band to explore their musical vision in depths within a track. Her operatic vocals are the perfect match for the overall sound of Fleshgod Apocalypse. This time she even gets her own feature song with ‘Paramour (Die Leidenschaft bringt Leiden)’, a vocal and piano duet with lyrics taken from a poem by Johann Wolfgang Goethe.

‘King’ is Fleshgod Apocalypse’s most mature, most complete and best album to date. The band has worked hard on perfecting their sound and their elaborate song structures. The album is a feast for fans of technical death metal because it surprises at every twist and turn. The band’s attention to detail results in a record that provides lots to discover. That should keep the album fresh for months and years to come. Fleshgod Apocalypse have confirmed their status as one of the most innovative death metal bands with ‘King’. The Italians have achieved their own identity and individual sound. And that is an immense compliment for a death metal band in 2016.

9/10