FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE – Veleno
May 25, 2019, a month ago
Remember when Fleshgod Apocalypse were straight technical death metallers? Yes, there were classical and symphonic bits on their 2009 debut album (Oracles), but the focus was on the metal. 2011’s Agony was attention due to the full-on genre crossover of mixing death metal with classical music and combining the brutal vocals with operatic singing. Very interesting and some would say a novelty, but definitely an attention grabber. Now five albums into their career, Veleno, Italian for “venom”, is a potent poison and a much more focused effort than their previous album, King.
Drummer Francesco Paoli takes over lead vocal duties and bursts out vicious death metal bites and the music blisters at a boiling pace and it’s started by the aptly titled “Fury” before heading into the Eluveitie-like beginning of “Carnivorous Lamb”. Manic choir chants illuminate much of the record and the highlighted instrument is how the piano meshes with the death metal rhythms. The piano talent is evident on the instrumental closer that serves as somber outro, the melancholic “The Day We’ll Be Gone”, the intro to the crazy rhythmed “Pissing On The Score” and on the short instrumental of “The Praying Mantis’ Strategy” “Monnalisa” blossoms from that short instrumental and it’s choir-filled and serves as the album’s most accessible track, and a cut I could see Epica or Delain writing. The same goes for the clean vocal laced "Absinthe". Ironically this platter’s most forgettable track is the straightforward “Worship And Forget” and the aforementioned “The Day We’ll Be Gone” is a classically styled ballad, but utterly forgettable, while “Embrace The Oblivion” goes for an epic feel, but doesn’t quite reach that status. Sitting at 51 minutes, a trim here or there would have worked wonders, but as it stands Veleno will sure to please longtime fans and stands as a solid entry into their discography.