Fleshgod Apocalypse

Live at The House of Blues

Hollywood, California

August 26th, 2013

Review and Photos by Travis Baumann

Fleshgod Apocalypse are an Italian metal band that have been classified as Technical Death Metal but this hardly comes close to describing what Fleshgod sound like or what their live show is like.

They are an atmospherically heavy band with multiple layers to their sound. They utilize piano and orchestrations to build up a deep and dark foundation and then layer that with smashing blast beat style Death Metal percussion.

On top of this a flood of lead, rhythm, and bass guitar build a wall of metal. They finish this off with growled lead vocals, shrieking backing vocals, and an operatic female melody, a beautiful juxtaposition to build out a complete sound.

Fleshgod Apocalypse are touring in support of their latest release, "Labyrinth". This album is a concept album detailing the mythological tale of the cursed Minotaur and his Labyrinth that he is trapped within.

Fleshgod Apocalypse were the opening act for Wintersun's North American tour but they had a full stage production for the show. The stage was dripping in mood and atmosphere, painted dark red and blue by the lighting.

Their large Labyrinth banner hung in the background. The band took the stage all dressed in tattered and dusty suits like they were an undead wedding party or a ghoulish aristocratic opera.

They had an upright piano, full drum kit, and an operatic singer dressed up in full gown and feathered mask. The entire setting was Gothic and dramatic and lent a great presence immediately.

The piano sat angled so we could see the pianist's back and his hands at work, he had a shaved head and at times would turn to look over the shoulder at the audience with a demented grin. The piano and orchestrations started the sound building as the guitar, bass and singer playing rhythm guitar took their places.

Things built quickly as the heavy drums and guitar blazed into audible life. The lead singer has a growled Death Metal delivery but the other two guys on bass and guitar also lent their voice at times, alternating with piercing shrieked high pitched delivery.

Flushing out the intensity was the woman in the back, lifting her voice in a beautiful operatic style that lent a melodic and majestic quality to the songs.

Their first song was "The Hypocrisy" off of their album, "Agony" before leading into "Minotaur (The Wrath of Poseidon)" off of the latest release.

I loved the different vocals going back and forth between the different male singers as well as the woman's extremely different addition.

The live piano added a completely different quality than most Symphonic or Melodic Death Metal bands produce.

They went back to their "Agony" release for a number of songs in a row including "The Deceit", "The Violation", and "The Egoism".

The only other song they did off their "Labyrinth" album was "Elegy" which brought them to their final song of the set, "The Forsaking" also off of "Agony".

They only had time for seven songs due to being in the support position but they were not short ones, each layered and building with an intense almost carnivalistic approach.

They are definitely story-tellers with a high level of theatrics and know how to put on a great performance. Their showmanship takes things far above the typical delivery of this style of music.

I was not that familiar with them prior to seeing them live but after seeing this performance I would definitely say they are an awesome band.

They are really fun to see live and once all of their mood and character are implanted in your mind you can't help but go back and listen to the albums and see the different parts each of the members play out in your mind.

I highly recommend checking them out live if you have the opportunity and I think "Labyrinth" is a great album and since seeing them live have gotten into the "Agony" release as well.

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