Fleshgod Apocalypse – King (Nuclear Blast, 2016)
Committing wholly to their hellish penchant for orchestral excess, Italy’s Fleshgod Apocalypse double down on style and showcase little discernible substance on King, their fourth album. Thanks to a garish mix, the overblown orchestration is given a plastic-y sheen, never given enough room to coalesce with the band’s uninspired death metal. To make matters worse, King’s cabaret-style presentation does the band no favors, its spoken word sections proving insufferable. For all of their commendable attempts at reinvention, Fleshgod Apocalypse simply don’t have the songwriting chops to measure up to genre contemporaries Septicflesh. Symphonic death metal shouldn’t sound this processed and soulless.
Trial Track: “In Aeternum”