Fleshgod Apocalypse are an Italian Death Metal band formed by Hour of Penance frontman Francisco Paoli; they was formed in April 2007 and recorded their first demo, Promo '07, at 16th Cellar Studio with producer Stefano "Saul" Morabito, releasing it shortly after.
In May 2008, the band recorded its first full-length album, Oracles. In December of that year the band decided to part ways with Neurotic Records and signed with Willowtip Records, who released Oracles in 2009. Shortly after the release of Oracles in 2009, the band had a lineup change, with a new member, Tommaso Riccardi taking over vocals and rhythm guitar, which were previously handled by Francesco Paoli, as Paoli took over the drums at this time.
In 2010, the Mafia EP was recorded, again at 16th Cellar Studios, and was released via Willowtip Records. It includes four new tracks and a cover of the track "Blinded by Fear" by At the Gates. The band embarked on another European tour shortly after the end of the Mafia recording sessions, supporting Suffocation. Following this tour was a headlining tour of Russia.
The band released their second album, Agony, on August 9, 2011 in North America and August 19, 2011 in Europe.Fleshgod Apocalypse took part in the 2011 Summer Slaughter Tour in North America, alongside co-headliners Whitechapel and The Black Dahlia Murder. The band toured the US with Decapitated in late 2011. In January 2012, they toured the UK with The Black Dahlia Murder and Skeletonwitch. During March 2012, Fleshgod Apocalypse toured South Africa, supported by local death metal acts.
Labyrinth, their third album, was released in August 2013, during which time they toured with Arsis and Wintersun. In 2014, they toured internationally with Septicflesh and Insomnium. 2016 marks the release of King, their fourth full-length, which will be ushered in with a US tour with Carach Angren and Abigail Williams.
In 2019, the group released Veleno, their fifth full-length album.
- Francesco Paoli lead vocals, rhythm guitar (2007present)
- Paolo Rossi bass, clean vocals (2007present)
- Francesco Ferrini piano (2010present)
- Veronica Bordacchini soprano vocals (2013present)
- Fabio Bartoletti - lead guitar, backing vocals (2017-present)
- David Folchitto - drums (2017-present)
- Oracles (2009)
- Mafia (EP with four new songs and a cover) (2010)
- Agony (2011)
- Labyrinth (2013)
- King (2016)
- Veleno (2019)
This band contains examples of the following tropes:
- Badass in a Nice Suit: If the above photo isn't an indication...
- Breakup Breakout: They were already starting to gain steam when Paoli was still in Hour of Penance, but it was only after he quit that they really started to hit it big; as of now, they're definitely a much bigger name than the former.
- Brutal Death Metal: Initially, but it's been toned down starting with Agony.
- Concept Album: Labyrinth is one based on the labyrinth of Knossos and the characters related to the associated myth.
- Cover Version: "Blinded by Fear" by At the Gates and "Heartwork" by Carcass.
- Darker and Edgier: To both Melodic Death Metal and Symphonic Metal as a whole.
- Lighter and Softer: To other Italian Death Metal bands. They're still quite hard though. Agony was also this in comparison to the rest of their discography.
- Drugs Are Bad: "Sugar", which is about opioid addiction.
- Dumb and Drummer: Averted. Francesco Paoli was originally the band's lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist before switching to drums in 2009 and still contributed guitar and vocals in the studio, co-wrote at least one album (King, with pianist Francesco Ferrini) and spoke at length about the writing and recording processes in the studio diary for King. After Tommaso Riccardi's departure, Paoli then went back to vocals and rhythm guitar, with David Folchitto becoming their new drummer.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Oracles had Paoli on vocals instead of drums, and there was less emphasis on the neo-classical, in addition to an absence of clean vocals.
- To be fair, he was still the vocalist for Hour of Penance at the time.
- Epic Rocking: "Abyssal", "The Egoism", "The Oppression", and "Kingborn" are 6 minutes long; "Under Black Sails" is 7.
- Lead Bassist: Paolo Rossi is a Type B.
- Five-Man Band:
- Loudness War: A problem with all their releases, but it really became apparent with Agony and Labyrinth, both of which had incredibly unbalanced productions that pushed the synths and drums way up front while burying the guitars and bass to near-inaudibility and topping it all off with horrendous brickwalling and depressingly frequent clipping.
- Thankfully and finally averted as of King and especially Veleno, which feature a much clearer mix.
- Melodic Death Metal: Oracles was always melodic, but it became moreso starting with Agony
- Metal Scream: Type 2
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Hard 10 on Oracles and Mafia, hard 9/soft 10 on Agony and the albums that follow it.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Notice all the sub-genre tags here?
- New Sound Album: Agony had a more symphonic/neo-classical sound than the previous albums, in addition to being far faster and a crazier, yet more melodic sound than the structured, yet heavier Oracles
- Religion Rant Song: Many of their lyrics are viciously anti-religious, which shouldn't be surprising if you're familiar with Paoli's previous band.
- Signature Style: Fast-paced music with hard-hitting riffs and lightspeed drumming with the touch of classical elements, along with atmospheric solos and clean vocals that are highly melodic.
- Soprano and Gravel: Paoli (harsh) and Rossi (clean).
- Special Guest: Veronica "ValchiRea" Bordacchini of In Tenebra does mezzo-soprano vocals on most of Labyrinth, while Mauro Mercurio (who was still in Hour of Penance at that time) did session drums on Oracles.
- Start My Own: Francisco Paoli actually intended for this band to be a side-project, but was forced to leave Hour of Penance at that time due to time constraints. His departure was accelerated by the Mauro debacle, however.
- Bloodtruth was started as another side project by Paoli and Rossi (among others) in 2009; while they no longer have any direct involvement with that band, they are good friends with Stefano Ciucci (the other founding member) and the rest of the current lineup.
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: Discounting string instrumentals like "Oracles", "The Day We'll Be Gone" is the closest this band could ever get to an outright Power Ballad while still retaining core aspects of their signature sound.
- Symphonic Metal: Possibly the heaviest and darkest band under this genre.
- Technical Death Metal
- Uncommon Time: It's classical-influenced music. What did you really expect?
- War Is Hell: The central theme of King. While it isn't stated explicitly, the album art and the song "A Million Deaths" invoke this trope in reference to World War I.