Fleshgod Apocalypse set out to defy expectations with a new masterpiece album
I should probably preface this with the confession that Fleshgod Apocalypse are one of my favourite death metal bands. The Italian maestros perfectly mix orchestral symphonics into an unrelenting blasting sound that gives your ears and sanity a run for their money. One of the most impressive feats that Fleshgod achieve is how they manage to squeeze powerful emotion from slow, deliberate guitar solos, smart utilization of synths and frantic clean vocals from their accomplished bassist Paolo Rossi.
Agony was one of my favourite albums of 2011, so a new album announcement from them was what I’ve been waiting for. The new album is entitled Labyrinth and the frankly sublime artwork is included at the top of this article. It’s such a simple concept, but it’s executed so well and filled with detail and texture that ironically; it’s an album cover that you can really get lost in (groan!).
Labyrinth‘s tracklist is as follows:
02 MINOTAUR (THE WRATH OF POSEIDON)
04 TOWARDS THE SUN
07 THE FALL OF ASTERION
10 UNDER BLACK SAILS
It’s interesting to have both “Prologue” and “Epilogue” play together as track 8 and 9 respectively on the album. Due to their short titles it seems like they would be mere instrumental interludes, or even book-ends (as Fleshgod are prone to do), but their grouping together is most certainly puzzling. Then again, this is just based off song titles and for all we know they could be sprawling orchestral epics. Overall the album seems to borrow heavily from Greek mythology, which is a subject I am not only very familiar with, but have a strong love for, so that’s yet another reason for me to look forward to this.
Drummer and general inhuman blastbeat machine Francesco Paoli had this to say about Labyrinth:
“Labyrinth is going to be THE album for FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE. It’s the perfect combination of all our strong points with the best production we’ve ever had. It’s definitely the most FLESHGOD thing we’ve ever thought with the most FLESHGOD riffs, lyrics, melodies, drum parts, solos, etc…We went deep inside the core of this music, we broke it, and we finally unleashed these eleven songs. I want to be honest, it needed so much work and time to come up with this but now I’m like, ‘ok next time will be tough to reach this point!’ Honesty and quality pay, always, and all of you guys supporting the band DESERVE THE BEST. You might think that I’m overrating it just because it’s our ‘child’ but, trust me, this album is fuckin’ dangerous. Just take your time, listen to it and get lost into the Labyrinth.”
Vocalist and guitarist Tommaso Riccardi also added:
“The concept of this album is based on the myth of the Labyrinth of Knossos and every character related to it. We focused on the philological aspect in order to represent all the elements of the classic world and, through a manic and meticulous research, we managed to create a metaphor with our times, as the maze can be associated with the endless search for what we really are. We’re sure you will be stunned by this as much as we are.”
All in all it seems like Labyrinth will satisfy fans of their past material. While it’s most certainly customary for a band to talk up their next release as “their best yet”, there’s no denying that if Labyrinth truly lives up to those words then it will be a joy to behold.
Labyrinth will be released August 16th in Europe and August 20th in North America via Nuclear Blast. Fleshgod Apocalypse are currently on tour in North America with Wintersun and later this year they’ll be touring the UK with blackened grind legends Anaal Nathrakh.
For more updates on Fleshgod Apocalypse and Labyrinth, be sure to stay tuned to The Monolith!