Released: 2013, Nuclear Blast
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Italian’s ‘Fleshgod Apocalypse’ are back again with their latest release ‘Labyrinth’.
After forming in 2007 and with only 3 releases to date, the band have already established themselves and are well known in the underworld of death metal. It was in 2011 the band signed over to Nuclear Blast Records.
It was at this time Francesco Ferrini; ‘Keyboard, Piano, Orchestral Arrangements’ who has been part of the band since the beginning, joined as a permanent full-time member, which enabled them to focus more on the symphonic arrangements, taking the band further along its path…which I feel is the perfect direction.
The album starts with a slow and relaxing feel with crashing waves and heavy breathing and footsteps which get faster and faster with the faint sound of an orchestra approaching, before the guitar riffs and drumming just explode, which literally took my breath away! An incredible and atmospheric start to this album! The piano’s accompanied with heavy guitar riffs, cello’s and the most insane drumming with the sounds of the opera and orchestra in the background are a perfect complement and are simply astounding. The main shock with this album is the diversity of the vocals used. Not only are there classic deep death metal, you also have female based opera singing with some power metal shrieks, which was quite a surprising shock! The symphonic and orchestra elements are done superbly, with some beautiful piano solos. The album is also broken up with track 8 – Prologue, which is a pretty harp solo, which flows nicely with the heavier riffs in the intro to 9 – Epilogue, which is sung by female opera vocalist, which I think worked really well, before the death metal vocals kicked in and took over. The album also ends in the same format, with no metal just fading out to a piano/orchestra solo, ending the album on an eerie, yet diverse dramatic atmosphere.
The cover art/inlay art is done by Colin Marks, while the mixing and mastering is of Stefano "Saul" Morabito. The album sounds so clear and powerful, that with so much going on, you can hear every instrument clearly, giving the album the sound it needed! There is also no clean singing in the tracks, which is always a good thing when it comes to metal...in my opinion anyway. The guitar solos are amazing and how one person can drum this fast is beyond me.
With the bands unique blend of technical death metal with symphonic elements it is no wonder they have gained such a wide fan base and I can’t see fans being disappointed with this release. This is one impressive album and it did literally take my breath away. It’s head-crushing brutal, yet beautifully melodic all at the same time! These are tracks that need to be heard loud...very, very loud!
One of the best releases of 2013!
Review by Jo Blackened