Friday, 6 July 2012

FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE - Oracles (2009)


01  In Honour Of Reason
02  Post-Enlightenment Executor
03  As Tyrants Fall
04  Sophistic Demise
05  Requiem In Si Minore
06  At The Guillotine
07  Embodied Deception
08  Infection Of The White Throne
09  Retrieving My Carcass
10  Oracles

'Oracles' is the first full-length studio album by Italian death metal band Fleshgod Apocalypse, released on March 30th 2009 by Willowtip Records. The band was formed in April 2007 and recorded their first demo at 16th Cellar Studio with producer Stefano “Saul” Morabito. The band's line-up currently consists of Tommaso Riccardi (Vocals), Paolo Rossi (Bass), Cristiano Trionfera (Guitar), Francesco Paoli (Drums) and Francesco Ferrini (Piano).

'Oracles' is a good album, because despite their obvious ability to create sickening pit grooves or noodle off into arpeggios at any turn, they focus on what's most important to this style: the creation of bewildering, grinding and winding riffs that can hold the attention of the death metal purist through the creation of a caustic and blood pumping environments. The most powerful aspect of Fleshgod Apocalypse is tied between the rhythm guitar and the furious drumwork, courtesy here of Mauro Mercurio. The band has just a powerful ability to make the heavy sound beautiful as well, but unfortunately 'Oracles' still does not stand as a masterpiece in my eyes. This is greatly due to the songwriting itself, which is strong enough for death metal, but many of the songs feature little to no distinguishing traits, apart from the odd nuance here and there.

There is a certain sense of ‘abandon’ here though; an undeniable feel of enormous energy and unbounded enthusiasm that makes this band stand out from its peers. While all too many technically proficient death metal albums fall prey to sounding phoned in, as though the artists have spent more time working through every fanciful note sequence possible for the sake of it, rather than play with any sense of bright-eyed passion. On ‘Oracles’ the band never once lose that fire in the belly and that twisted love for the brutal that motivates all the best death metal – that they manage to marry all this with the perhaps more po-faced elements of their classical inspirations so seamlessly makes the album an absolute stormer to listen to.

While Fleshgod Apocalypse’s approach will hardly tick everyone’s boxes, bearing a few too many similarities to modern-day Behemoth for many a metalhead’s comfort and a seeming inability to ever slow down until a song’s conclusion, this is nowhere near enough to tar a record of consistent quality and zealous gusto. The band's 2011 follow-up 'Agony' was another solid slab of metal and I truly expect big things from this band in the future.

Highlights include; "In Honour Of Reason", "Sophistic Demise", "Embodied Deception" and "Oracles".

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