Fleshgod Apocalypse

Amager Bio, Copenhagen - 2016

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

This is a shoutout to Angry Metal Guy, a good friend and main mastermind at the angrymetalguy.com album review site.
Up until about two months ago, the only thing I knew about Fleshgod Apocalypse was their name, and I had a sneaking suspicion that we were dealing with some form of death metal. Oh, and for some ungodly reason I also got them mixed up with Cattle Decapitation, another band I only really know the name of, and have a sneaking suspicion that they’re playing some form of death metal. Yeah, you can see the pattern here, can’t you?
Anyway, Fleshgod Apocalypse were coming to town in the beginning of April, as support to Ensiferum, and Mr. Angry was kind enough to order me to listen to them forthwith. He directed me to his review of their new album, King, in which there was a Soundcloud link to the single of the album, The Fool. I don’t mind admitting I was hooked from first listen, and quickly delved deeper into the King album, which turned out to have many more gems stuck in this crowning achievement of these Italians who masterfully blends brutal death metal (yay, I got it right!) with classical orchestration.

“We are Fleshgod Apocalypse from Italia! Let me hear you Copenhagen!”
- Tommaso Riccardi (vocals/guitar)

At Amager Bio, the lights were turned down, and as Marche Royale thundered through the speakers, we saw a lady in a green dress and golden mask make a graceful walk to the middle of the stage, accompanying every beat of the music with a beat to the floor by the large staff she held in her right hand. The lady was Veronica Bordacchini, often used guest vocalist of the band, and when she had taken the audience in with her scrutinising stare, she walked over to the left hand side of the stage, and gave way for the rest of the band to enter.
After this stylish opening, we were now pummelled into oblivion by In Aeternum, the opener (together with Marche Royale) of the King album. To go with the style, the band wore 18th century fancypants, and Francesco Ferrini had a real piano on stage. Similarly, both guitars and the bass were decorated to resemble violins. I’ve got to hand it to these guys, when they go for something, they apparently go all the way!

The show pressed on with one heavy tune after the other. I didn’t recognise all of them, I am still quite new to the band after all, but enjoyed them all nonetheless.
With the exception of some guitar trouble with put the show on pause after the third song, Fleshgod Apocalypse’s determination could not be stopped. They weren’t overly dramatically in their delivery, which on a quick glance followed the standard stay in your place and headbang formula, but if you let it, there was an atmosphere that swallowed you whole. Even though no one invented something new and surprising with their performances, it was impressive to see how they all stayed committed and concentrated throughout – even Bordacchini, who only occasionally had to deliver musically, stayed on stage from beginning to end, swaying to the music, staring down the audience, and playing with her staff (no, not like that!).

The crowd had grown some since Heidra played, and even though I have no clue as to how many knew about Fleshgod Apocalypse from before, the Copenhagen metal fans were on track with the show. Also here, nothing wild and rowdy, but definitely positive. There was some headbanging in the front, arms were raised further back, and shouts were let free in the right places – hell, Riccardi even managed to instigate a wall of death in one of the final songs for the night!
Fleshgod Apocalypse also gave a shoutout to the other bands, dedicating the final song of the set, The Forsaking, to both of them. And again, impressing me with their level of dedication, Ferrini stayed on stage, and played the outro by himself on the piano. Now that’s going out in style!

Not surprisingly, Angry Metal Guy crowned King record o’ the month, and likewise, I will have to crown Fleshgod Apocalypse the band o’ the evening. So again, thanks for heads up about this band, and your recommendation is hereby passed on to of you, our lovely readers!

Setlist (incomplete):

Marche Royale
In Aeternum
Cold As Perfection
The Violation
The Fool
The Forsaking

Fleshgod Apocalypse

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