Fleshgod Apocalypse – Veleno (Review)

Fleshgod Apocalypse - VelenoThis is the fifth album from Fleshgod Apocalypse, an Italian death metal band.

The follow up to the acclaimed King, Fleshgod Apocalypse’s orchestral death metal is in fine form on Veleno, with the band’s symphonic orchestration once again ably enmeshed in their technical workouts and core brutality. However, the orchestration does feel pared back a bit on this new album; not massively so – this is still Fleshgod Apocalypse after all – but it’s not quite as front and centre as it was on King. Ultimately, I suppose, Veleno is more of a death metal record than King was, at least overall.

With a swathe of additional musicians, full choirs, and real orchestration, Fleshgod Apocalypse haven’t done things by halves on Veleno. This is a different band than the one that recorded their previous full length, however. This manifests in an album that has a different feel to it in places, as the songs seem to flow where they want more than always being directed.

Also, the vocals have changed, somewhat. There is less clean singing on this album, and more outright death growls and beastly roars, with the band mastermind returning to main vocals. I have no complaints, and everything is very well performed.

The technical components in the music appear to have increased in places, and in some ways Veleno is a less accessible record than its predecessor. However, there are still moments of bombastic catchiness and even some major hooks, so it’s not as simple as it might initially seem, especially as some songs lean more to one extreme than the other. Additionally, the album seems to flow from the more brutal and technical, to the more epic and symphonic. Obviously all elements of Fleshgod Apocalypse’s sound are present throughout the album, but as you work your way through the 52-minute playing time, things do have a tendency to expand outwards.

This is an exceptional record, and one which I heartily recommend you listen to intently.

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