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Review: Fleshgod Apocalypse - King
Fleshgod Apocalypse

Label: Nuclear Blast
Year released: 2016
Duration: 57:25
Tracks: 12
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: December 29, 2016
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
Readers Rating

Rated 2.5/5 (50%) (4 Votes)

By now, everyone with half an interest in Death Metal probably knows who Fleshgod Apocalypse is, with the band achieving massive exposure via Nuclear Blast and all that. The problem is that, more often than not, when a band dives head first in the mainstream it results in a change of sound, basically a more polished and accessible one – which is ok, when it's good (I won't be a hypocrite and say that I only listen to underground bands, because I don't).

This band's first entry, Oracles, was visceral, raw and brutal. To change so drastically into a radio-friendly sound was going to be pretty much impossible, so there's that favoring the Italians, but Nuclear Blast is poisonous enough to shit all over the creative process of a band and twerk, move, remove and add any sort of element that could help promote it. This is why King is a rather ambiguous album, and while is fun as hell in many of its passages, it becomes sort of mechanical, over-the-top and too modern in others. The symphonic elements were tuned up to the maximum and the brutality quickly lost terrain to a Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones or (insert your generic fantasy blockbuster here) atmosphere. Of course, this almost demands the production and mixing to be good – which they are – and the songs to have lots of bombastic parts and an excessive amount of climaxes. Good tunes like "Mitra" and "The Fool" have a good amount of straight-up Death Metal and resonate well, while "Healing Through War" and "Cold as Perfection" abuse of the aforementioned cinematic movements; it reminded me a lot of Dimmu Borgir's Death Cult Armageddon.

A rollercoaster of hits and misses, King is better than its predecessor, Labyrinth, but pales in comparison to the band's first two works. Obviously, there is a great amount of proficiency and instrumental erudition, and the lyrics are above average, so the album should please those casual listeners who are just looking to have some fun and don't give a shit about technicalities. Nevertheless, it really bothers me that a once badass band is slowly becoming another label puppet.

Other related information on the site
Review: Oracles (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
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