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This is Fleshgod Apocalypse’s first LP after a demo and a split out, and by the time I was chuckling at their name, I had already been intrigued by the talks going on the internet about the Italian band gathering together the brutality of death metal and the artistic splendor of classical symphonies, but little had I imagined that it would be something entirely different from sounding like another Lykathea Aflame (which I haven’t been able to dig into easily in months).
The first 30 seconds or so had slightly treated me a wtf! – a pile of guitars had provided me the metalcore/groove metal sensation, and I was starting thinking of some Beneath the Massacre technical DM already, and the altered state gave me some grindcorish impression (fuck me for this one – I was really thinking of Misery Index when the second riff was introduced). And suddenly, what I was offered was something totally different I could envisage from the band’s freaky name and the gay 30 seconds – the skull-crushing death metal, technical in a mean that it was straight-forward in the speed of X-43. Vicious riffs, splendid skin slamming and all sorts of spices thrown in, every vile ingredient to make one splendid DM album, and the technical aspect is just brilliantly managed to keep it simplistic and adorable. For being a technical death metal, they are more into the Hate Eternal / Nile wall than Necrophagist or Decrepit Birth’s.
There’s no reinventing of wheel in the bars of death metal, but it sure is quite different and genuinely original. The songwriting is of top-notch excellence (but which of course varies in at couple of times), where the guitars are brutal and moderately melodic at the same time. The mixture of some catchy and some complex segments and a whole lot of epic feel lurking around – well, they are the Roman Behemoth for that matter ;-)
Now the keyboards. The instrument on the whole hasn’t made it any cheesy, it’s just there to form a separate part in itself, and I cannot applause less on how well these parts have fit in amid the viciousness of the infernal death metal, while the nay-sayers of keys in brutal DM could also be convinced here, because this thing is only plaguing once in a while. “As Tyrants Fall” ends with a very sweet classical piece. The ending self-titled is another fine one.
All in all, this is a very bold display the Italian band has put front. It’s brutal, at the same time epic, it’s technical, it’s got the ferocity, and it may make you think for a while that Necrofaggot are really pussies if you’re counting a technical extreme music with brutality and which isn’t an inch farther from the point it’s not headbang worthy. A must have for all metalheads, whether or not you’re into death metal. Period.