Although I believe the blues has had the most influence on heavy music, classical has certainly been a close second for inspiration for the heavier genres of metal this day and age. Fleshgod Apocalypse have taken the marriage of death metal, classical and opera to new heights on their new release, King.
Fleshgod Apocalypse‘s sound has been growing since their 2009 Oracles, but it has taken a more dramatic and dynamic turn on King. It’s a whirlwind of straight-to-the-jugular technical death metal, Wagner-esque classical, and a shot of opera thrown in for good measure. I can’t imagine the task of recording, mixing and mastering such an eclectic blend of instruments and vocals, but it is absolutely the best sounding release the band has ever done. The blend of guttural, straight-from-hell vocals with clean and female operatic vocals is a impressive on its own, but mixed with crushing riffs and blast beats, you have the makings of a masterpiece!
The intro, “March Royale,” kicks the album off in a death march, then “In Aeturnum” takes over. It is an absolute monster of a song. “Healing Through War” slows things down a bit, and the string sections really highlight the brutal riffs and vocals. The bridge and chorus are a new lesson in epic heaviness! “The Fool” takes on a different aura, and although it’s brutally fast and heavy as fuck, it integrates more of an operatic texture. A piano laces in and out of the verses, and it really sounds killer, not to mention the epic chorus is epic and guitar solos. “Cold As Perfection” is more ambient, darker and, if at all possible, heavier than it’s predecessors. It’s very dynamic in both feeling and expression. “Mitra” is an all out blast fest, and the screaming guitars are mind numbing. “Paramour (Die Leidenschaft Bringt Leiden)” breaks the album in two, offering three-plus minutes of a beautiful, opera interlude. “And The Vulture Beholds” brings back a fast and furious approach, building to a magnificent crescendo at the chorus. “Gravity” is a slower, grinding song that marries harmony with pure death metal. “A Million Deaths” and “Syphilis” weave in and out of consciousness, integrating more clean vocals than the previous songs. The title track takes you out of the album in traditional Fleshgod Apocalypse fashion with a beautiful piano.
Fleshgod Apocalypse have carved their own genre in modern metal. They create a movement of both heavy and epic that no one else touches, and although they expand on these principles with each release, King is definitely the next logical step for their musical direction.
King is out February 5 on Nuclear Blast Records. Pre-order it here!
SkullsNBones Rating (Out Of 5):