Maybe there’s a band out in the world someplace that sounds like Italy’s Fleshgod Apocalypse — but if so, we haven’t heard it yet. Their 2009 debut album, Oracles, combined blowtorch death metal with (gulp!) classical music.
Guess we’d better define our terms here. By “blowtorch death metal,” we’re trying to convey the almost overpowering onslaught produced by rapid, atomizing, chainsaw guitar rhythms, blazingly fast drum noise (heavy on the blast beats), shred-tastic ax solos, and staccato, brutal-death-metal gutturals — all mixed together in a fuzz-heavy production. You know, like a blowtorch to the face. You could search high and low and not find more pulverizing sounds that could still be called music with a straight face.
If that’s all Fleshgod Apocalypse had given us in Oracles, it would have been enough –because the blowtorch metal was ass-kickingly over the top. But they didn’t stop there. They added to the mix some massive grooves and unexpected segments of majestic melody.
But they didn’t stop with that either. Sprinkled here and there (briefly) on Oracles were intros, outros, and interludes of classical or medieval music — pianos and strings, orchestral passages, monastic chants. Talk about a mind-bending concept — one moment the music is tearing along like the back end of a jet engine and in the next moment you’re hearing a Viennese waltz. We know that sounds kinda ridiculous, but believe us — it works. (read on after the jump . . . and listen to a new track . . .)
Now, as it happens, the band has a new album called Mafia set for a May 18 release on Willowtip Records. (The title explains the extremely cool tentacled album cover at the top of this post.) We can hardly wait! To tide us over until May, the band put up a new song from the forthcoming album on their MySpace page back in mid-February.
The new song is called “Thru Our Scars.” No classical music in this song (unless you count the nanosecond of violin in the first half-minute), though we assume that stylistic quirk hasn’t disappeared and will rear its baroque head elsewhere in the album. What the new song does include are some seriously headbangable grooves, some beautiful technical guitar solos, some snatches of clean singing — and more fucking blowtorch metal.
The damned thing is so infectious (for brutal music) that I make a regular weekly pilgrimage to the Fleshgod MySpace page to get a fix. It’s a head-clearing experience — it tends to purge any lingering sounds from any other band’s music, whether good or bad, and fully occupy your sonic headscape.
Since I’ve been hooked on “Thru Our Scars” for weeks now, it only seems fair to give Fleshgod Apocalypse a shout-out in gratitude, and spread the word a bit about the song, and about the album about to be born.
So, here’s that awesome new song, “Thru Our Scars” (and if you get addicted like me, you can pre-order the album at Willowtip):
P.S. Fleshgod Apocalypse is now about half-way through a European tour with Suffocation, Annotations of An Autopsy, Nervecell, and Burning the Masses (who we wrote about here). That is one brutal line-up. We’re still waiting on the teleporter technology . . . starting to get impatient with the tech geeks’ lack of progress.