Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fleshgod Apocalypse - Mafia (2010)

My absolute favourite part of this EP is the first second of opening track 'Thru Our Scars'. Man is it lary! 4 stabbing chords and a gravity blast. Like chucking a grenade into a room before the assault proper begins. And you know the drill with a band like Fleshgod Apocalypse, it is a veritable assault for the duration of the 3 original Metal numbers here. As predicted in my review of Oracles, the band have seen a healthy degree of evolution in the mean-time and are near to being the band I'd hoped. I say merely near because this is only an EP and a new album will be the true acid test. That evolution? Well, firstly the staccato riffing has been binned entirely. Praise be! Also gone is the overbearing similarity to Hour of Penance (they do still share a genre so I bet many will disagree there). The Classical elements are more numerous and seamlessly grafted into the brutality, they are still though, as far as Classically inspired Metal goes, understated and straight forward. There's an abundance of melodic lead work, as well as tastefully executed operatic clean vocals. Alongside these appetising upgrades the band has refined their sound as a whole and manage to combine all their elements cohesively, as let's be honest the debut was a little piecemeal. Here you can't see the joins. And these are long songs by Brutal Death Metal standards - 5:30 apiece for 'Thru our Scars' and 'Conspiracy of Silence', while 'Abyssal' clocks in at 6:45! And their durations work, thanks to the depth the enhanced melodicism provides. Their acknowledgement of Melodic Death Metal is underlined by the cover of At the Gates' 'Blinded by Fear' - I will use one word to describe this and that word is silly. The final piano piece is similarly superior to anything in the same vein on the debut. This is definitely more like it from Fleshgod Apocalypse, and despite its short length has me toying with declaring Oracles redundant. I would say the band have really discovered themselves here (another distancing factor vis-a-vis Hour of Penance) and if they can repeat the trick over 8 tracks, while keeping it classy, we'll be in for a treat my friends!