For this reviewer, Fleshgod Apocalypse‘s new album Labyrinth, is the best album of the year to date. Other bands are going to have to put in some amount of effort to beat this beauty. When Fleshgod Apocalypse brought out Agony in 2011, I thought it would be hard to beat but this new album has risen from the depths of a Labyrinthine hell. Labyrinth is a concept album based upon the mythical Labyrinth of Knossos. The album combines opera, technical death and tells the story of the fabled maze. From the opening track “Kingborn” to the final note of this album, you are captured in the story. The strength of the album lies in this tale and Fleshgod Apocalypse weaves the story sublimely.
Everything feels right on the album and I surely will not forget the musical and technical aspect of this masterpiece. Let this be clear, Labyrinth is foremost a death metal album. The five suited up gentlemen who created it bring brutal music and if you are familiar with the story, (If you are not, look it up. It’s awesome!), this brutality really portrays the savagery of the Minotaur. Blastbeats, raging guitars and pulverizing vocals mix perfectly with epic orchestration. They do this without getting boring, a problem that abounds in the tech-death genre.
Listening to songs like “Warpledge”, you can imagine actors in costume giving you a full operatic performance. Maybe it isn’t even such a stupid idea to bring Labyrinth to La Fenice opera house in Venice. But I’m wandering away from the album now. Special mention has to be given to the drummer, Francesco Paoli. How is he doing this with only two arms and two legs? This man drums with machine perfection. The vocals appear in various styles, some high pitched clean vocals coming from bassist, Paolo Rossi and of course some really shredding and bone narrowing growls. Classical female voices are thrown in to give even more of an opera feeling. I can’t really pick a favorite song but since it is a concept album this is not very weird. It is more important to hear the whole picture of Labyrinth than just hear one song.
Altogether this is a beauty of an album. Labyrinth does not get boring at any time as it keeps inspiring and vivacious. The songs themselves won’t really stick but the album as a complete body of work, will. Labyrinth is a perfect mix between technical death metal and orchestration. With the addition of this bombast, Labyrinth has huge potential for the world domination of Fleshgod Apocalypse. I wish them the very best success with Labyrinth and I’d love to see them play these new songs live.
Fleshgod Apocalypse is:
Paolo Rossi – bass, vocals
Francesco Paoli – drums
Cristiano Trionfera – guitars, backing vocals, orchestral arrangements
Tommaso Riccardi – lead vocals, guitars
Francesco Ferrini – piano, orchestration
Tracklist of Labyrinth:
2. Minotaur (The Wrath of Poseidon)
4. Towards the Sun
7. The Fall of Asterion
10. Under Black sails