Fleshgod Apocalypse

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Want essential metal? Look no further than Fleshgod Apocalypse and their latest album King, a balanced work of searing metal riffs and majestic classical elements. With King shooting the Italian metal masters to the top of their game, there’s something about the positive reaction that album produced that vocalist and guitarist Tommaso Riccardi is unable to put his finger on. “I believe that King has a very good balance between the elements and [is] a very varied album,” he says. “I can just say we are honoured to be considered ‘essential’. We simply do our best to deliver good music and I truly believe that doing this is possible only when things come from the heart. And we put all of our heart in what we do!”

Truly a work of art, King is as heavy as it is beautiful. “We actually approached it with the idea of finding the perfect balance between the grandeur orchestral elements and the aggressive riffing that we always had, combining many things of the past with things that look forward to our future and we feel like we did a good job. Also, I really believe that the work we did together with Jens Bogren and Marco Mastrobuono in terms of recordings and production has been extremely important to give this album a clear sound that could help bringing all these elements to the listener’s ears.”

Such a delicate balance between two drastically opposing genres naturally involves a balance between an album’s concept and a perfecting of the execution, and just like true Italian cuisine, needs to be cooked to perfection. Riccardi says “Like everything in life, the balance between things is the most important aspect. Even when playing live, we give a lot of importance to the execution but we absolutely conceive a live performance as a show. This means that imperfection is not only normal to us but also welcome, because a show must be a show: energy has to cut through, no matter what.”

Not your typical headbangers, a Fleshgod Apocalypse show is a sensational opportunity to see this delicate balance Riccardi speaks of in practice, while still retaining that heavy and traditional metal showmanship. “Even if there are several practical and visible reasons why we could say that a Fleshgod Apocalypse show is different from other kinds of show, I like to think that the main reason is the people on stage and the amount of heart that they put in the performance,” Riccardi says.

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“In fact, this is something that you cannot see (and there are many, many things to see in a Fleshgod show) but I believe it is far the most important element. It is what I call ‘energy.’”

Want to experience that magic metal energy live? Look no further than June as these Italian masters are about to crash onto Australian shores on their first ever headlining tour. “From the reviews [of King] and what I’ve seen in terms of fans reactions online, it looks really good. I hope the live reaction will match the expectations once again!”

With a back catalogue of four studio albums across a decade-long career, Riccardi has much to reflect upon and much still yet to bring. “We learned many things… and I guess we still have to learn a lot! Of course, if I think about how it was seven, eight years ago it is pretty impressive.

“Being on the road and in the studio for so much time literally changes you in many ways and the best thing is how your relationship between the band members gets deeper and gives you more and more strength and vibe when on stage playing together.”

Positivity is rife in the world of Fleshgod Apocalypse, and the support of their fans and the steady consumption of metal music by the masses is something Riccardi feels can only continue to benefit bands like his. “The fact that the saturation of the music (and metal music) market that happened during the last two decades is bringing some sort of collapse and hopefully leaving space to real passion and creativity once again,” he observes, a cloak of wisdom in his voice.

“It is still far from actually happening, but I can feel something in the air. My hope is that art will take over.”

Written by Anna Rose

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Written by Dave Griffiths

Dave has worked as a music & film journalist for over 20 years now. Aside from Heavy he does radio and various podcasts as well. He is the proud owner of Metal Cat.

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