Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fleshgod Apocalypse-Agony

Italian supermusicians Fleshgod Apocalypse finally release their second full length album. And not only that, it’s been released under the legendary Nuclear Blast label that seems to recruit the best and keep the amazing; which is the kind of place where Fleshgod Apocalypse belongs. Having been listening to these guys ever since the release of their debut masterpiece, Oracles, I’ve had a lot of time to watch these guys’ progress. And finally, not only was I able to buy their CD several weeks before its release, I got to meet the entire band and watch them perform onstage at the 2011 Summer Slaughter Tour. Prior to that, I had already watched their brand new flawless music video of The Violation, which was obviously the song that they opened their set with.

There are two characteristics about Fleshgod’s music that most people instantly recognize. The first is that they play their instruments at inhuman speeds. The second characteristic, which is the single thing that makes them the most unique, is that they have the sounds of an orchestra weaved into the sheer brutality of their music. And the keyboardist plays piano parts as well and I swear he must be the reanimated corpse of Rachmaninoff because he plays like him and is also bald like the classical composer was. An example of this pianist’s abilities would be the intro to the song Embodied Deception from Oracles. But it’s weird that they would be able to combine melodic symphonies with technical death, but somehow they do it. And they do it even more in Agony.

There are some new things that have been added since Oracles. One of those things was added in the Mafia EP, which is where their bassist sings [fellatto] lines that really add some tension to the music, mainly since the guitars are somewhat melodic whenever he sings like that. But I only heard that in two songs off the EP. But in Agony, you hear his high-pitched voice more frequently; not necessarily in every song, but more than in the Mafia EP. At first I cringed to the sound of his voice and couldn’t bear it. But it eventually grew on me, and although I don’t love it, I do feel that the music wouldn’t give the listener the feel that it does if bassist didn’t sing.

The second thing is that the keyboard-generated symphony is heard throughout the album; in other words it’s not just used as the intro or the outro of the songs, it’s played throughout all of the songs. Which I think sounds amazing, because the other members haven’t turned down the brutality and speed level of their sound one bit, so it sounds really cool. I don’t really know how to describe it, because you can obviously hear the melodic symphonic parts, but you can also hear the pure brutality of everything else, so they clash but it sounds amazing at the same time!

One thing I noticed the first time I listened to the album was that it’s similar to Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd in the fact that most of the songs blend into each other. Which kind of makes it seem like the album is all one song because there’s never a pause in the music. This is interesting because I’ve never heard this done in death metal; I’ve only heard it in progressive rock and some techno albums.

So this album is basically flawless. This group of classical composers that have risen from the dead have had an astonishing comeback and have nowhere to go but up. I would recommend this to EVERYONE. This gets a perfect score.