FleshGod Apocalypse plays Gramercy Theatre with All Shall Perish
Published: Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 20:05
On April 19th, All Shall Perish and FleshGod Apocalypse rolled into town to play what has been appropriately called “This is Where It Ends Tour” at the Gramercy Theatre on 23rd Street. The only thing ending is the fact that you’re not a fan of these two extreme metal powerhouses. Both bands laid down high standards for their performances, leaving the other bands on the tour in their wake.
FleshGod Apocalypse, a technical orchestral death metal band from Italy, dropped into the death metal scene with the sudden surprise and the grace of an atomic bomb in 2007, releasing their first album Oraclesin 2009 and then dropping another face melting technical masterpiece in 2011 titled Agony.
Opening their set, with the theatrical, forceful and dynamic orchestral work of keyboardist Francesco Ferrini the tone was create for the band.
The guitar work of Tommasso Riccardi and Christiano Trionfera is accurate and by the looks of their stage presence and the performance they put on, well within their comfort zone. This was a serious plus because in comparison to the band that played before FleshGod Apocalypse, Conducting From the Grave who felt awkward and small in the large amounts of vertical space on the Gramercy Theatre stage, this comfort allowed FleshGod Apocalypse to move and maintain a stage presence that seemed equal parts sheer situational domination and indomitable will.
Tommasso and Christiano’s combined head banging and synchronized tremolo picking, occasionally syncing to the point where it’s hard to tell where one guitarist ends and the other begins.
Keyboardist Francesco Ferrini was mixed in well with the band, although throughout the show it seemed to be challenging to hear him in some of the heavier and overtly extreme portions of their songs. At other times Francesco Ferrini dominated the venue with his string synthesizer and piano work and wild pianist stage presence. The clean vocals of Paolo Rossi were surprisingly authoritative, taking into account the physical assault that is the nature of technical death metal.
Francesco Paoli’s drumming was scarily precise and the hallmark for technical death metal drumming, his blasts beats seemed consistent and endless, and lacked the novice technique issues of slight deviations in timing that occur to many technical death metal drummers throughout a performance. A surprisingly accurate live-to-album sound was what one can consider FleshGod Apocalypse live.
The songs were punctuated by short vocal introductions that carried the tense and melodramatic presence that mixed with the fast paced, often madly fast paced drumming, guitar, piano, orchestral, and bass guitar playing, creating an almost intimate relationship between the fans and the band throughout its performance.
Fleshgod Apocalypse were all in what can only be described as a uniform, torn up tuxedo like suits that fit more with composers of the 1800s than today. Wither this was a tongue in cheek joke to their heavily neo-classical approach and sound, or to their expression of their Italian roots and a view of the continuation of a proud musical tradition, or maybe the band believes they look cool nobody may actually know. It could possibly be all three; however, the end result is something that works well with the lighting and aggressive yet beautifully breathing and composed music of FleshGod Apocalypse.
The fan response from the beginning of the set, was enthusiastic, to say the least. The bum rush from the smoking area outside to the mosh pit in front of the stage demonstrated the enthusiasm for this band. Even though Gramercy Theater was only half filled, the fan response was enormous.
FleshGod Apocalypse stole the show with their up and coming Italian form of neo-classical technical death metal. All Shall Parish and FleshGod Apocalypse however, raised a collective bar for technical death metal bands to hopefully follow.