Nuclear Blast Records
Review by Warren Mayocchi
There are bands where you will have little doubt about what you will hear simply based on their name. An good example, would be a band called Fleshgod Apocalypse with an album titled “Veleno” (poison/venom). The majority of the album is a blur of growling vocal over fast everything – drums, guitars, keyboard. Of these songs “Sugar” is my pick, it differentiates itself with strong chanting vocal lines. However, if you listen closely, in this whirling blur of song there are a few hints of something else, and then there are a few songs where the ‘something else‘ takes main stage. The hints are most prominent in the slight operatic backing during “Workship and Forget“, the classical piano playing along with “Pissing on the Score“, and the symphonic accompaniment to “Embrace the Oblivion”. Then there is “The Day We’ll Be Gone“. A clean female vocal leads with a slower temp symphonic backing. Joining the female vocal at times throughout is a growling partner who adds the typical emotional depth such a pairing creates. “Veleno” is a delicately disturbed piano instrumental preceding the almost clean male vocals of “Reise, Reise“. Veleno closes out an hour of music with a strained echoing growl over a piano lead symphonic backing, assisted occasionally by a distant clean female vocal on “The Forsaking“.
But, what about “Monnalisa“? What a magnificent five and a half minutes is “Monnalisa“, six and a half if you wish to count the instrumental track “The Praying Mantis’ Strategy” as an introduction. This is my favourite track on the album, it has an awesome threatening bassline featured in the first section of the track, soaring female vocals, pace changes, well placed guitar squeals, piano interlude, symphonic elements, and a growling lead. How it is less than six minutes is a musical miracle.
“Absinthe” contains a moment of levity for me. The growling which is featured well on Veleno is often referred to as ‘cookie monster‘ vocals. Here it is possibly more apt than usual as mid-song there is a chant which sounds like “yum yum yum“. Beyond the small chuckle, the song is an interesting conversation between absinthe and a sailor. The sailor says, “Emerald nectar, let me be mad“, and it seems absinthe is willing to oblige.
Alongside the swirling blur which seems to be the majority of the album is what might either be a anarchism or a work of art. I consider it to be the latter, though the album does generally fit the death metal genre there is sufficient here for it to be a mix of a few different worlds. Whether it satisfies the listener is always personal, though I wonder if any audience will be fully happy with “Veleno” – too arty and at times slow for the death metal crowd, too much of the melody-less blur for the symphonic metal crowd? Whatever your preference, there is variety here which is undoubtedly entertaining – the more I listen to it the more I love it.
Rating – 83/100
- Carnivorous Lambs
- The Praying Mantis’ Strategy
- Worship And Forget
- Pissing On The Score
- The Day We’ll Be Gone
- Embrace The Oblivion
- Francesco Paoli – Vocals, Guitars, Drums (studio)
- Paolo Rossi – Vocals, Bass
- Francesco Ferrini – Piano, Orchestrations
- Veronica Bordacchini – Soprano vocals
- Fabio Bartoletti – Lead guitar
- David Folchitto – Drums