• The beauty seduces the beast - A review of Fleshgod Apocalypse's Veleno

    Fleshgod Apocalypse - Veleno (2019)

    Ambitious Italian trio Fleshgod Apocalypse combines technical death metal with vivid rhythm changes, complicated guitar riffs and aggressive vocals with classical music in form of professional opera singers, vibrant string sections and domineering piano melodies. The band's fifth studio record certainly needs some time to open up because many songs include too many ideas performed at high speed to digest them at first contact. However, once one gets used to this ferocious clash of genres, the song material certainly grows on the listener.

    The most outstanding song is however the record's calmest and smoothest track in form of ''The Day We'll Be Gone'' with melancholic piano leads, cinematic orchestral sounds, smooth drums and percussive elements, elegant female lead vocals and atmospheric growls that make for a wonderful gothic song that would do the soundtrack to any dark fairytale justice.

    An honourable mention goes out to the wonderful cover of Rammstein's epic ''Reise, Reise'' that can be found on the limited edition which also includes one more bonus track, a BluRay featuring an entire concert in the band's hometown that covers its greatest classics and a cool patch. The Rammstein cover makes the melancholic original song even greater with enhanced orchestral arrangements and choirs while the raw lead vocals and vivid drum passages create an intriguing contrast.

    In the end, Fleshgod Apocalypse's Veleno combines technical death metal with classical music in an ambitious, balanced and challenging way that needs some time to open up. Especially the calmer tracks manage to stand out and convince emotionally and intellectually. If the band enhanced its calmer soundscapes on future releases, it might even appeal to a wider audience and broaden its own horizons.

    Final rating: 75%

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