Album Review: Fleshgod Apocalypse – King (Nuclear Blast)

King

Band: Fleshgod Apocalypse
Album: King
Year: 2016
Record Label: Nuclear Blast

  • Cristiano Trionfera – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Paolo Rossi – bass guitar, clean vocals
  • Francesco Paoli – drums, backing vocals
  • Tommaso Riccardi – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Francesco Ferrini – piano, string arrangements, orchestral effects

Fleshgod Apocalypse

When I first came across Italy’s Fleshgod Apocalypse around six years ago, I instantly knew there was something special going on with this band. The funny thing about it is I had Oracles downloaded for a few weeks and then one of my friends at the local record shop told me to check em out. This was at a point in time where I would just download anything and everything that seemed like it would be right up my alley, so some albums just kinda got lost. I instantly went home, found the album, and blasted it from my stereo only to quickly fall in love with the group! It only took 30 seconds into ‘In Honour of Reason’ and I was hooked, telling everyone I knew about this band. I believe it was around 2010 that Damnation Steve and I took a road trip up to Milwaukee to see them open up for Through The Eyes of the Dead, The Faceless, Decrepit Birth, and Suffocation. . what a great fucking show!! They totally destroyed the stage and easily my favorite on the lineup, ok they all kicked major ass, but to finally see this band from Italy was a real treat! Release upon release and they have only gotten better, they are only on their fourth full length album but they are kicking ass and taking names on my favorite band list; inching their way to the top one album at a time.

I knew it was about time for them to put out a new album, as it seems like they usually do an album every other year or so. When King was announced, I was instantly ecstatic! Only a few short weeks after the announcement of the new album did they release the first single ‘The Fool,’ can you say insta-eargasm? King introduces a few new things to the table, well one really new thing and one semi-new. The really new thing is that they have a song dedicated to their Opera singer and it is beautiful, on top of that they finally released a symphony only version of the album with the digipak. I’m not here to talk about that version though, so on to the album.

The intro track ‘March Royale’ does exactly what it needs to in order to get you pumped for the album, the instrumental track is very powerful and a warm welcome for what is to come with the rest of the album. As every album of theirs has incorporated the clean vocal skills of bassist Paolo Rossi and this album is no exception. ‘In Aeternum’ features some of my favorite vocals from him, the chorus “God bless my soul, guide my fury through this cold war. Now, free my hands from the spires of (the) serpent.” There is a part in the song where he is practically whispering the lyrics and leads back in to the full band which sends shivers down your spine upon listening. By now we have all heard ‘The Fool’ to know of its excellence and while this song is most excellent it is not my favorite off the album, even if it does feature some of my favorite guitar work from the guys. The song that stand’s out most is the track I spoke about earlier with the Opera singer, ‘Paramour (Die Leidenschaft Bringt Leiden)’ an orchestral song with the opera singing of the beautiful Veronica Bordacchini. While a mellower song, the entire song is sung in German and it adds a certain dynamic to the song that I feel would be missing if it was just taken out of the mix. Shortly after the song finishes the album erupts into ‘And the Vulture Beholds’ with choir, blast beats and heavy riffing a song to surely get the pits going wherever they play! This song also features a mid-song breakdown with a solo that takes you throughout the end of the track, you won’t want to skip over this one. Who am I kidding, there are no tracks that you should skip over on any of their albums, let alone this one.

King is a very powerful beast of an album and it needs to be listened to loudly, as the band put their blood, sweat and tears into this one. From the moment The album starts to the closing title track instrumental piano track, you feel this sort of empowerment as though nothing could stop them for they are the Kings of Metal!

Rating: 5/5

RIYL: Dimmu Borgir, Gorod, Hour of Penance, Obscurcis Romancia

Track Listing for King:

01. “Marche Royale”
02. “In Aeternum”
03. “Healing Through War”
04. “The Fool”
05. “Cold as Perfection”
06. “Mitra”
07. “Paramour (Die Leidenschaft bringt Leiden)”
08. “And the Vulture Beholds”
09. “Gravity”
10. “A Million Deaths”
11. “Syphilis”
12. “King”

King will be released via Nuclear Blast Records on February 5th, 2016. Hit up your local music shop or if you can’t wait for that, pre-order it here.

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