Fleshgod Apocalypse – “Labyrinth”

Fleshgod Apocalypse – “Labyrinth” (Nuclear Blast Records)

Well, I’ve never been one for Italian opera but Fleshgod Apocalypse are something else – a glorious mix of death metal, classical orchestras and wailing female sopranos that are as flamboyantly decadent as ancient Rome itself! Add in the thunderous procession drumming, trumpets and even piano and you’ve got complexity upon complexity that if handled incorrectly could be a disaster but with the right skill and bravado races like a Ferrari. Well, Fleshgod Apocalypse have it in bunches and run like a Formula 1 team – for a start there’s three vocal variations from clean to gruff to the aforementioned femme before combining the other elements that have been arranged masterfully to achieve maximum effect on stupendous concertos like ‘Warpledge’, ‘The Fall Of Asterion’ and ‘Pathfinder’. Inspired by the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, “Labyrinth” uses this as a metaphor in exploring the search for one’s self and identity through the maze of life in the ultimate quest of freedom and individuality. This really is a superb release vibrant with energy and an amazing mix few could pull off to such a degree of pedigree that goes well beyond the realms of death metal alone – bravo – truly a gift from the gods themselves!

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