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Album Review

Fleshgod Apocalypse play extreme metal with orchestral flourishes, an idea that's been explored before — Cradle of Filth used a real orchestra and choir on Damnation and a Day, and Dimmu Borgir did it on Death Cult Armageddon, to pick two notable examples. These Italians aren't using a real orchestra, though, as one can tell by reading the CD booklet; pianist Francesco Ferrini is credited with "orchestral arrangements," which likely means Logic or Cubase. And unfortunately, the classical instruments aren't integrated into the music in the way Dimmu and Cradle did; they're reduced to intros and codas. The album begins with the sound of an orchestra tuning up, and the coughs and shuffling of an "audience," but then the band comes in and listeners get standard brutal, technical death metal, somewhere between Suffocation and Necrophagist. The orchestra isn't heard from again until the last minute of the third track, "As Tyrants Fall," when the metal part of the song ends and a waltz interlude fills out the rest of the running time. One would think with a title like "Requiem in 57 Minore," a true combination of classical instrumentation and metal fury would ensue, but no. The next non-rock instrument heard is a Baroque piano intro on "Embodied Deception." A choir is heard at the tail end of "Infection of the White Throne," but again, they're separate from the metal, not of it; they might as well be samples. And the album's final track is a three-minute Baroque piano solo piece. If one comes to it seeking really good technical death metal, Oracles is highly rewarding. The band can definitely play, and the songs are good. But from the classical-metal fusion angle (and extreme metal frequently does have more in common with classical music, compositionally speaking, than rock), this album is something of a missed opportunity.


Formed: 2007 in Rome, Italy

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '00s, '10s

With a sound that doesn't so much find the worlds of classical and death metal merging as it does colliding, Italian band Fleshgod Apocalypse are one of those rare bands whose music is actually more brutal and over the top than their name. Based out of Rome, Italy, the band came together in 2007, making a splash right away with a demo and tours with bands like Napalm Death and Hate Eternal. The band eventually brought their technical wizardry to Willowtip Records who signed them and released their...
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Oracles, Fleshgod Apocalypse
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