(DGR reviews the new album by Italy’s Fleshgod Apocalypse.)
It starts with classical music. It always does.
Any time someone tries to trace the roots of heavy metal, we inevitably wind up at the same branching paths. We hit the ’70s and the Black Sabbath era, and that leads us to the blues and from there things get far more nebulous, but through some sort of inherited wisdom over the years we always come back to classical music. Composers like Bach and Wagner are name-dropped left and right, and we always point to the huge, bombastic symphonies and the low, bass-heavy instruments, because these are the deepest roots of our heavy metal lineage.
The tendency to make things ‘heavier’ isn’t a new one, its just the one that musicians have often seen fit to push beyond the most extreme boundaries imaginable. So, the idea of Symphonics being a part of heavy metal was an almost foregone conclusion. It’s slowly worked its way even into death metal – itself a container of the hidden flair for the dramatic – and the two have produced multiple pairings and fantastic bands.
Fleshgod Apocalypse are the natural evolution of that tendency, a group who over the course of four main releases (counting our current subject as well) and an EP have become completely intertwined with symphonic music, writing a pyrotechnic and operatic style of death metal that can’t really be matched. Continue reading »