Fleshgod Apocalypse Agony

Fleshgod ApocalypseAgony
With second full-length Agony, Italian melodic/technical death metal genii Fleshgod Apocalypse have created a very good album that will also annoy the pants off listeners. First effort Oracles was a perfect blend of melodic, symphonic elements and brutal, supremely played death metal. They have taken that musical alchemy and added several ingredients to the mix, mudding and diluting their sound. Fleshgod Apocalypse have added keyboards and a full orchestra, which have made them sound less like themselves and more like Dimmu Borgir. There are also issues with the clean singing on Agony. The death vocals are rich and gritty, but the clean passages have a nasal, airy quality that doesn't suit such a massive, towering composition. Agony comes across too much like a horror movie soundtrack, but the worst part is the fact that there are so many things about the album that are great. It's well produced; the instruments are flawlessly played; the songwriting is complex and intelligent; the songs have a great narrative progression and flow; and there are moments of genuine loveliness. What could have been a spectacular album ends up being overdone, and that's tragic. (Nuclear Blast)