Over the years, I have heard people mention that the earliest forms of heavy metal came from what is now known as classical music. With that in mind, Fleshgod Apocalypse have once again put together an album with equal elements of death metal and symphonic elements. King (Nuclear Blast) builds off of previous releases from the Italian metal outfit and certainly went for it all on this album. From the instrumental ‘March Royale’ to the closing piano outro of the title track, Fleshgod Apocalypse will have you head banging and then picking your jaw up off the ground.
King was a hard album to try and narrow down on favorites. I liked the tracks that were overly death metal, but also loved the overly symphonic songs with epic choruses. ‘Healing Through War’ is a great mix of both. The syncopation of all of the elements throughout the song give you that death metal feel but keep you grounded with the piano and over the top symphony orchestration. For the fans who love the slow, heavy tracks, ‘Cold As Perfection’ absolutely slays. The chugging guitars (and accompanying orchestration) over the consistent double bass attack will certainly get your neck cranking. ‘And The Vulture Beholds’ may be the best track on the whole album as it blends in more death metal elements with over the top orchestration which culminates to some of the most epic passages I have heard in quite awhile. Around the three minute mark is where most fans will collectively shit themselves if this song makes the cut for a live set.
All in all, King is a solid album that could see its way onto my Top 20 come year end depending on how the rest of this year pans out (yes it is still early, but believe the hype!) The downside of the album was the track ‘Paramour (Die Leidenshaft Bringt Leiden)’ based on its placement in the middle of the album. Perhaps it would have been suited at the tail end of the album in place of ‘King’. The song itself is actually quite enjoyable, but it just brings the flow of the album to a screeching halt for almost four minutes and then picks back up. Regardless, Fleshgod fans will certainly enjoy this record even if only for the improvement of the mix/production from the last album.
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