Thursday, 22 August 2013

Fleshgod Apocalypse - Labyrinth (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 16/08/2013
Label : Nuclear Blast

Labyrinth, album track listing :
1. Kingborn 6:06
2. Minotaur (The Wrath Of Poseidon) 5:10
3. Elegy 4:18
4. Towards The Sun 5:42
5. Warpledge 4:32
6. Pathfinder 5:11
7. The Fall Of Asterion 4:39
8. Prologue 1:07
9. Epilogue 5:44
10. Under Black Sails 7:26
11. Labyrinth 4:25

Bio :
Italy’s brutal/symphonic horde, FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE, have returned with their definitive epic masterpiece Labyrinth. With only three releases under their belts, “Agony” (2011), “Oracles” (2009) and the “Mafia” EP (2010), FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE have already become one of the most talked about bands in the underground. Their unique blend of technical death metal with symphonic elements have quickly made them a favorite with fans and critics alike. Now, after a slew of successful tours in Europe and the U.S., the band has unleashed their defining moment in the form of “Labyrinth”!

FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE was born in April of 2007 when they released a two track demo entitled Promo 07, which was later released as part of the 4-way split called Da Vinci Death Code. In early 2008 the band started to perform live in the Italian and European underground scene supporting bands like BEHEMOTH, ORIGIN, DYING FETUS, HATE ETERNAL, SUFFOCATION, NAPALM DEATH and many more.

In May of 2011 the band signed a worldwide deal with Nuclear Blast Records and began wrapping up work on their second full length album. During this time Francesco Ferrini, the pianist and orchestrator who has worked with the band from the beginning, joined FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE as full-time member. This enabled them to have even more grand symphonic arrangements on Agony and the band’s latest release Labyrinth, taking the bands signature sound to new euphoric heights.

“Labyrinth” hones in on the bands unique traits giving fans everything they could hope for and more. Colin Marks nailed it once again making an incredible cover art work, as well as several neoclassical pieces of art for a massive inlay.

The mixing and mastering work of Stefano "Saul" Morabito is absolutely amazing. "Labyrinth" sounds clear and powerful and of course it has to be considered one of his best jobs ever, so expect his name will be even stronger in the near future!
Make no mistake, FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE are soon to be one of the leading forces in the extreme metal scene!

Band :  
Tommaso Riccardi – Vocals, Guitar
Cristiano Trionfera – Guitar, Vocals
Paolo Rossi – Bass, clean Vocals
Francesco Paoli – Drums, Guitar, Vocals
Francesco Ferrini – Keyboard, Piano, Orchestral Arrangements

Review :
Technical death metal and symphonic metal are two of the many sub genres of metal that really shouldn’t mix together. Were they different drinks being mixed in a cocktail, they would probably curdle. The question is, can Fleshgod Apocalypse mesh these styles together successfully. Having already released two well received albums, the band is looking to continue their successful streak with their third full album.

Labyrinth, straight off the bat, is a crushing album. It is furiously loud, and stacked with blistering blast beats, dense guitars, and many symphonic and choral elements.

The opening part of Labyrinth has a character clambering and entering somewhere. As the character processes, the strains of a piano and a choir are bludgeoned by the music. This sets the tone for the whole album. The music is completely obliterating.

Drummer Francesco Paoli demonstrates his skill throughout the album with an array of different styles and tempo changes that keep the album exciting. Paoli’s rhythms underpin the album and help the pace creates many different moods. Christiano Trionfera’s guitars switch from a chugging, driving attack to great melodies and back again throughout. Litter this with some excellent soloing and some djent like licks, and you can see that the bands vision here is epic.

‘Elegy’ finds the band in extremely punishing mood. The orchestration leads the track along with frenetic drumming, and the vocals vary from manic shrieking to harsh growls. ‘Towards The Sun’ see’s the vocals sound a little cleaner, but no less sinister.

As the album progresses, ‘Pathfinder’ is a particular highlight. Its relentless nature of the aforementioned ingredients is finished off with some excellent orchestration that would be worthy of many a horror/sci-fi flick. The marching opening of ‘Under Black Sails’ is again another soundtrack worthy piece of music, before a slower guitar tempo is backed with some fantastic sounding brass, and more excellent drum work.

One of the most enjoyable things about this album is the production. The album segue’s seamlessly though out with little chance for respite. Orchestral interludes help the audible assault on the ears but only minimally. The production also allows the band to multi layer their studio sound to create something that is epic and grand.

Overall, the album is a well measured blend of guitars and orchestration. Dark images and bleak landscapes can be conjured from many of the tracks here. The unremitting nature of the album could seem monotonous to some, which is a fair point. However, if you like your metal furious and uncompromising with an added symphonic edge, then you will enjoy ‘Labyrinth.’

Words by : Dominic Walsh

As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links.  You can buy the record here. This record is available now. Thanks to Nuclear Blast