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Well, frankly, I haven't been bumping into a lot of excellent brutal death metal albums this year, I don't know whether it is because 2009 hasn't really come up with much excellent brutal death metal or it was me who didn't search well; nothing was -or almost- flawless... Stuff like Putrefy's ‘One Nation Under’ Gore and Devourment's ‘Unleash The Carnivore’ wasn't really that good and was rather far from my conception of good brutal death metal. But once I came across Fleshgod Apocalypse's Oracles I had to stop for a while, a really long while. Since I'm a die hard Hour Of Penance fan, Fleshgod Apocalypse was easily and quickly labeled "My cup of tea" being principally too close to HOP and as well featuring two HOP members: the great Francesco Paoli on Vocals, Drums and Guitars and Mauro Mercurio as a session drummer.
The band does employ a lot of mindblowing brutal death metal elements; riffs are fast, drumming is insane, rhythm and lead guitars are inhumanly consistent, bass is nicely audible, the harmony as a whole is definitely extraterrestrial; you can barely criticize a single moment on the album or think about how partially better could it be.
Starting from the beginning, the first track of the album: "In Honour Of Reason" appeared too gay to me until the second 30; the first thirty seconds of the track reminded me hardly of gay metalcore music that I was seriously thinking of leaving this crap and playing some other real music since I'm allergic to metalcore and all alike stuff. But after the second 30, when the second riff in the track came along with the chaotic blasting and later the aggressive death metal vocals it really got into me and I thought: "Oh yeah, I love this band!" and I begun to realize the apparent similarity between Fleshgod Apocalypse and Hour Of Penance.
The all along infernal blasting backing the fast catchy riffs which their transition does not (not much at least) affect the run of the blasting is one of the things which define fine brutal death metal and which as well is applied professionally by Hour Of Penance and now Fleshgod Apocalypse have come to follow along with the basic and fundamental conditions that help produce a good brutal death metal album. In addition, Fleshgod Apocalypse did persist on astonishing me by marvelously enhancing their record with some magnificent Orchestral/Symphonic/Classical soundbites along with beautiful choruses and piano solos which have softly and moderately added an ancient Roman atmosphere into the core of the blasphemous violent evil sound to end up with an ineffable superb harmony adding a new dimension to the art of brutal death metal. This was distinctly manifested in the last third of the first track in the album "In Honour of Reason" when the female chorus came to craftily flourish the extreme brutal sound to end up the track epically. Also the Orchestral soundbite that calmly finished the third track "As Tyrants Fall" sounded mostly like a requiem being played after almost three minutes of total war. The piano solo that started up the seventh track of the album "Embodied Deception" was as well TOO brilliant to be described; it was almost the best opening of a track in the whole album. The eighth track "Infection Of The White Throne" as well ended brilliantly by a dismal Orchestral chorus following the bestial chaotic violence which was the whole track. And after all moments of glory comes the outro and the main track of the album "Oracles" which is nothing more than an elegant, classic, touching and well composed piano solo which longs for about three minutes putting an honorable end to one of the greatest brutal death metal releases to ever exist.
The lyrics are really worth reading carefully; your time won't be wasted while reading those powerful epic lyrics. The album cover is really good, attractive, artistic and consistent. Overall, this is a great valuable record that I highly recommend for hardened death metallers and which I can totally guarantee them; "This will definitely satisfy your needs." I think this record will be remembered afterwards as one the greatest brutal death metal albums ever and as one of the best 2009 releases. And personally, this is really what can easily draw smile on my face... This is true good music. All hail Fleshgod Apocalypse!