(On March 27th our Atlanta-based contributor Tør made his way to The Masquerade venue to take in performances by Aenimus, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Hypocrisy as part of their ongoing national tour. He sent us this report, along with a large batch of his own excellent photos from the show. For a full list of remaining dates on the tour, go here.)
I walk in late and it’s already happening. Openers Aenimus have just taken the stage and are blazing through their set. The crowd is into it: with every riff, the front-row crowd inches closer to the stage monitors. I stand on the side and enjoy the gig -— I like what I’m hearing. The metalcore-tinged proggy riffs take me to a place I’ve been to before but can’t quite recall. I’ve liked what I’ve heard of the new album, Dreamcatcher (Nuclear Blast) so far, and the band doesn’t disappoint live. Despite the solid start to the night, nothing prepares me for what is to come soon.
I make my way to the middle of the pit with my camera strapped to my side, dreading the lack of a dedicated photo pit on the night. Little do I know that nothing will matter in a few minutes when Fleshgod Apocalypse hit the stage.
I am recovering from a nasty bout of flu-turned-into-cold and have little patience for bullshit on the night. I push a drunk dude’s arm away as he is about to pour his half-can of beer on my head. Look up to the stage and right then, I am transported to 12th-century Perugia. I walk through the soundscape into a world of persecution and Romanticism, opposing forces at once tug at me as my mind races around the cathedrals looking for a way out of the maze of sound that Fleshgod Apocalypse are producing.
I happily surrender and ride the wave as I weave my way in and out of the excited crowd. The band navigates the setlist with mastery, engaging the crowd at every opportunity. The pieces fit perfectly: the concept, stage costumes, and sound engineering are all magnificent.
I make my way up to the balcony and watch the band from high above as they play “Sugar” from the upcoming album Veleno (out on May 24th via Nuclear Blast). By the end of the performance, my ears are bleeding tears of joy. I’m congested and shivering but the fantasy ride has given me a high I don’t want to come off of.
(A lot more Fleshgod Apocalypse photos at the end of this post.)
Before I have time to cool off, a giant light appears over my head. A feeling of lightness takes a hold of me as I see my life flash in front of my eyes. Suddenly I realize: I’ve been abducted by aliens! I open my eyes. Hypocrisy are on stage and pumping out the anthemic “Fractured Millennium”. It’s pitch black and I can’t stop thinking about UFOs.
“Valley of the Damned” and “End of Disclosure” come next, mesmerizing the crowd into submission. The stage lighting makes the experience as real as it gets: I feel like I am on the cover of my favorite Hypocrisy album, The Arrival. The night ends with the iconic “Roswell 47”. With rumors of a new album coming soon, Hypocrisy seem to be back at their best.
I leave the venue thinking if alien abductions are real and whether the moon landing was indeed faked (of course it was). I am in dire need of Tylenol to get my symptoms under control, and a good night’s sleep to recover from the incredible experience that was this night.