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One-of-a-King - 81%

TommyLR, January 10th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2016, 2CD, Chaos Reigns (Japan, Limited edition)

Fleshgod Apocalypse needs no introduction: everyone who has followed the death metal scene for the past few years has definitely listened to a FA song, at least once. Their early releases were composed of pure, yet elaborate death metal sounds. They've clearly routed towards more symphonic sound in the latest releases - and that's the keyword, the real point of this album: Symphony. It doesn't require only strings and chorus every now and then in order to produce a proper symphonic metal album, it requires deep education on subjects like composition, harmony, and the history of classical music. If an artist lacks of these requirements, he'll likely end up with a boring, pointless stack of string parts, that could eventually ruin a good song.

King doesn't lack these skills. It shows a perfect mix of skilled song writing, background strings, piano sound, lyric voice, growling voice, blasting drums, and distorted guitars. That's not an easy task, that's impressive indeed. Could have it sounded better? Perhaps: sound mastering and production could have been way better than it is, but that's not the point. Get yourself a high end, hi-fi device and you'll be enjoying this record way more than a lazy listen. Songs vary. This album starts with an imponent instrumental intro, a 'march', that sets your mood for the whole theme behind this concept album: pride, anger, power. It then reminds you of the standard FA songs with "The Fool", its double pedal thrashing and stuck-in-your-head melody of the refrain. A short break is given by "Paramour", a fabulous, impressive composition of piano and lyrical genius. It then ends with more blasting death metal till the end, varying from fast to slow'n'heavy rhythms.

It's a controversial album: Either you love or hate it - but here's a thing: a lot of work has been put in this record, and you can easily tell, and I doubt that any other band could have done what FA has done here, in the way it's done. That's why it is indeed a One-of-a-King.