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Band Name Fleshgod Apocalypse
Album Name Agony
Type Album
Released date 09 August 2011
Labels Nuclear Blast
Recorded at 16th Cellar Studios
Music StyleSymphonic Death
Members owning this album230


 The Hypocrisy
 The Imposition
 The Deceit
 The Violation
 The Egoism
 The Betrayal
 The Forsaking
 The Oppresion

 Heartwork (Carcass Cover) (Limited Edition)

Total playing time: 54:13

Buy this album

 $12.36  21,02 €  19,26 €  £18.95  $21.12  40,50 €  40,18 €
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Fleshgod Apocalypse

Review @ Crinn

19 December 2011

And the winner is....

[Originally posted August 4, 2011...unintentionally exactly a year after my review of their debut O.o]

Italian supermusicians Fleshgod Apocalypse finally release their second full length album. And not only that, it’s been released under the legendary Nuclear Blast label that seems to recruit the best and keep the amazing; which is the kind of place where Fleshgod Apocalypse belongs. Having been listening to these guys ever since the release of their debut masterpiece, Oracles, I’ve had a lot of time to watch these guys’ progress. And finally, not only was I able to buy their CD several weeks before its release, I got to meet the entire band and watch them perform onstage at the 2011 Summer Slaughter Tour. Prior to that, I had already watched their brand new flawless music video of The Violation, which was obviously the song that they opened their set with.

There are two characteristics about Fleshgod’s music that most people instantly recognize. The first is that they play their instruments at inhuman speeds. The second characteristic, which is the single thing that makes them the most unique, is that they have the sounds of an orchestra weaved into the sheer brutality of their music. And the keyboardist plays piano parts as well and I swear he must be the reanimated corpse of Rachmaninoff because he plays like him and is also bald like the classical composer was. An example of this pianist’s abilities would be the intro to the song Embodied Deception from Oracles. But it’s weird that they would be able to combine melodic symphonies with technical death, but somehow they do it. And they do it even more in Agony.

There are some new things that have been added since Oracles. One of those things was added in the Mafia EP, which is where their bassist sings falsetto lines that really add some tension to the music, mainly since the guitars are somewhat melodic whenever he sings like that. But I only heard that in two songs off the EP. But in Agony, you hear his high-pitched voice more frequently; not necessarily in every song, but more than in the Mafia EP. At first I cringed to the sound of his voice and couldn’t bear it. But it eventually grew on me, and although I don’t love it, I do feel that the music wouldn’t give the listener the feel that it does if bassist didn’t sing.

The second thing is that the keyboard-generated symphony is heard throughout the album; in other words it’s not just used as the intro or the outro of the songs, it’s played throughout all of the songs. Which I think sounds amazing, because the other members haven’t turned down the brutality and speed level of their sound one bit, so it sounds really cool. I don’t really know how to describe it, because you can obviously hear the melodic symphonic parts, but you can also hear the pure brutality of everything else, so they clash but it sounds amazing at the same time!

One thing I noticed the first time I listened to the album was that it’s similar to Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd in the fact that most of the songs blend into each other. Which kind of makes it seem like the album is all one song because there’s never a pause in the music. This is interesting because I’ve never heard this done in death metal; I’ve only heard it in progressive rock and some techno albums.

So this album is basically flawless. This group of classical composers that have risen from the dead have had an astonishing comeback and have nowhere to go but up. I would recommend this to EVERYONE. This gets a perfect score.

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Review @ BDemon

21 August 2012

An Innovation for Death Metal, brutal.

Fleshgod Apocalypse have always been Brutal. One of the most brutal in the Technical Death Metal scene. Somehow, the orchestrations add to the amount of extremeness. Having the Gothic sounds of the dark string sections, on top of the extreme heaviness, is an amazing combination.

One of the first things you'll notice on the album is the drumming, Fleshgod have got their hands on an amazing drummer. Francesco Paoli, is so intricate, but so fast, in fact all of the musicians in Fleshgod are amazing at what they do. Fast, and technical, all the different parts of the heavy, intricate metal, and the dark orchestrations melding together to make one hell of an album.

Although the album is amazing, it can get a bit, seemingly repetitive, with blast beats going on seemingly all the way through it, with the exception of The ForsaKing, and the guitar being more in the background, and bass is barely even audible. If I was to make changes, I would of turned the volume of the drums down, and turned everything else up, because it's hard to really focus on much else while the drums are as loud of they are.

The vocals are impressive, brutal, and deep, yet still comprehensible, and understandable, and the lyrics are interesting, unlike anything I've really heard before. I would say the of the highlights of the album is "The Hypocrisy" and "The Deceit". I think the latter of the two is the only time you'll there a full orchestra doing a very heavy death metal break down, which lasts for about two minutes, includes two time signature changes, and has one of the best guitar solo's in Fleshgod's history.

Fleshgod have really gone for it on this record, it's a record that makes them stand out from the crowd, from all the extreme heaviness, to the some of the slower, orchestrations, to the intricate guitar work and technical riffage, it's an extreme, metal fuelled symphony of an album.

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Crinn - 21 August 2012: I agree that Fleshgod is definitely among the most brutal technical death bands along with Hour of Penance, Embryonic Devourment, Rings of Saturn, and Decapitated.
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Review @ SeasonsMist

15 February 2013

The New Mad Conductors of a Musical Renaissance

Let me start by saying that this album is a new step for Fleshgod Apocalypse, as they, and Nuclear Blast have sort of marketed themselves as new-age mad renaissance composers in angst against religion. Where previous Fleshgod Apocalypse releases have experimented with orchestral and symphonic elements; this album RELIES on them. This concept fits well, and we start off the album with a very loud, booming orchestral track that bleeds flawlessly into "The Hypocrisy", which I have to say all around is the best song on the album. As it moves around a lot, the symphonic isn't too overdone or repetitive. It has two searing guitar solos pleasing to the ears. The tracks following all have a great degree of technical craftsmanship on part of all instrumentalists, but they can be hard to pick out from one another. The only real standouts are "The Hypocrisy", "The Violation", and possibly "The Oppression" for the awesome riffage. The instrumental track is just filler material, maybe a nice interlude that fits the album's theme, but come on, nobody bought this album to hear just a piano. The slow speed and depressing feel of "The ForsaKing" is definitely enough of an interlude.

Let's comment on the vocals, they are typical Fleshgod Apocalypse, fast and chanty, with deep guttural growls and high pitched yells. An element of note is the Operatic clean singing, experimented with in "Mafia". For tracks like "The Hypocrisy" and "The Violation", the Operatic singing combines in epic effect with the keyboard, harkening back to the renaissance image. In "The Deceit" and "The Egoism" however, they are too drawn out and almost whiny sounding. The growls and screams sound a lot like Hour of Penance. The lyrics themselves must've taken a while to craft, as each song is intelligently written and covers anti-religious themes from all angles, from the hypocrisy of the church to mistreatment of women. Overall the vocals were very good.

The guitar work is some typical well-crafted technical death, varying from extremely fast riffing to more technical, almost Djent sounding riffs in some places (The Betrayal). The guitar work is very good, a little above average in my opinion, but had one major flaw. Between the powerful keyboard, drums, and the downtuning. The guitars and bass are very hard to pick out or distinguish in many places. This album would've benefited greatly if they had tuned the guitars up and gave the symphonic elements less of the mix.

The drums are a double edged sword here. Francesco Paoli is one of my favorite drummers, and his blasts and work here is amazing. But I almost want to say "I get it, you're technical". It would be nice to see a little variation on the drumming, despite Paoli's talent. The drum tuning is also very overpowering in the mix, the drums sound overly electronic compared to previous releases. The drums, and powerful keyboard sometimes make the song structure hard to distinguish in some parts, and on the tracks paid less attention to ("The Imposition", "The Deceit") the blast beats and repeating keyboard becomes drab.

Overall, this album was very good, and very surprising. Maybe I'm just biased towards symphonic/gothic style music, but I feel it is rare to have this symphonic style in technical death, with most bands subscribing to the astral or alien style. I am glad Fleshgod signed with Nuclear Blast and found this image. As it really sets them apart and their popularity has exploded with this release. I give this 17/20, only because the mixing and mastering was relatively poor and some tracks were boring and lacked structure ("The Imposition").

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Review @ heavymetaltribune

06 October 2011

superb arrangements on the album

Fleshgod Apocalypse returns this year with their sophomore album, Agony, complete with a brand new logo, opting to go for a simplistic font-type style, replacing their previous typical death metal-styled logo. Do not, however, be fooled into thinKing that this would mark a simplification of the songwriting of Fleshgod Apocalypse as Agony displays the band's foray into more symphonic grounds.

Agony opens with the introductory track Temptation, putting the listener immediately into what seems like the middle of a horror/thriller, with the ominous orchestration in the background, slowly building up the tension and the climax in the music before seamlessly going into the first proper track, The Hypocrisy without any awkwardness at all, where the drums of Francesco (Paoli) greets the listener, a prelude of the chaos that is to befall the listener in a short while. With a deep guttural growl, all hell breaks loose as the guitars, bass, drums and most importantly, the orchestration begins the blasting in unison.

This is also perhaps when old fans of Fleshgod Apocalypse would notice the significant shift of style, with the band going towards a more bombastic, orchestral sound in the music compared to the pretty raw and almost strictly technical style on 2009's Oracles. The emphasis on the orchestration on the album has been a point of conflict between old fans of the band and new, which is certainly not an invalid point. However, it can't be denied that the inclusion of the heavy symphonic elements has definitely added a new edge in the band's music, aiding the band in displaying the emotions on the various tracks. Besides, the strong symphonic elements at times remind the listener of legendary Japanese band X Japan, such as the last few moments of The Imposition and this certainly bodes well for fans of the aforementioned band.

In addition, the band has also decided to include elements such as clean vocals and at times the background shouting by bassist Paolo, which constantly makes appearances throughout the album. Paolo consistently proves that he is a capable vocalist in his own rights through the high-pitched and powerful high notes on songs like The Hypocrisy, The Deceit and The Violation.

One thing that may also put old fans of listeners off might be how the orchestra drowns out the guitars on the album. The loudness of the album is also evident in how the drums and vocals tend to drown out all other instruments along with the orchestral arrangements on the album. That being said, lead guitars are often not buried and often soar above the rest of the instruments and display the neo-classical and melodic tendencies of guitarists Cristiano and Tommasco. The loud production certainly sat well with me personally as it enables the drumming of Francesco Paoli to shine through with his insanely fast and constant footwork, much as some would criticise him as just blasting brainlessly.

Another aspect that managed to make Agony such a fun listen is how the band has managed to make the individual songs flow seamlessly between each other, almost without any break at all from start to end, ensuring that the listener does not come back to listening to the album just for individual tracks, but maKing the album an entire experience by itself. This album, as per the previous album, ends with a piano-driven, classical track Agony, a beautiful and fitting end to this masterpiece.

Few bands manage to pull off the feat of including heavy symphonic elements into extreme metal well, and Fleshgod Apocalypse has proven their songwriting ability and level of musicianship through the release of Agony. Besides, what's there to complain about with the superb arrangements on the album?


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emofreak33 - 07 October 2011: I've always why everyone says that the keyboards drown out the guitars and I don't hear that?
heavymetaltribune - 07 October 2011: i guess its just the impression of the sound cos throughout the album it felt that way. i did an interview with the band, and they mentioned that the focus on this album are the symphonic elements, which explains why the guitars (though still prominent), take a back seat and a more rhythmic role rather than lead role on the album.
emofreak33 - 02 November 2011: yeah thats what they said to me too haha
SeasonsMist - 15 February 2013: Anybody notice how the album cover of Agony looks very similar to Decimate the Weak by Winds of Plague, almost comically cuz the guy on Agony looks like the victim of the Samurai on Decimate the Weak
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