Despite the chilly night outside, who would have thought that tonight would have been perhaps the strongest concert the Camden Underworld has seen for some time. This was the last date on the UK part of the "King" tour for Fleshgod Apocalypse and suffice to say they played the role of the 'King' tonight. For such a big band, a small venue did not hold them back from unleashing carnage, sure the 500 capacity venue was jam-packed, sure moshpits and stage diving happened for most of the night, sure Xerath and Hades Lab supported FA extremely well, but all in all this night belonged to one band.... Fleshgod Apocalypse. HAIL TO THE KING OF CLASSICAL DEATH METAL.
The horde from Perugia now take their Easter break before beginning their Russia, Estonia and Latvia tour. Then comes their festival shows, then as Tommaso indicated in our interview with him (click here), there may well be another America tour at the back end of 2016. But let's just recap last night shall we?
Having been on the scene for quite some time, dealing with various line-up changes and quiet periods of little activity, Hades Lab did their utmost to kick tonight off with a bang. Despite all of their attempts to ignite a crowd who were seemingly still chilled out from the cold outside, Hades Lab just could not get out of 3rd gear quick enough to leave a lasting impact. Although they performed some rather tight Black / Death / Grind Metal, the overall feeling was that they felt slightly uneasy performing, sure the crowd wasn't completely plenty and their mood was one of being expressionless, but that shouldn't hamper a band's performance right?
There was some glimmer of hope though as some songs did manage to get a response from the crowd, namely some ad-hoc headbanging but with some to most gigs, most people just hang around for the headliner which some would argue is disrespectful to those supporting, but anyway.... the fact that Hades Lab had the honesty (if you can call it that) to admit that their new song might not be perfect, could suggest a level of uncertainty resided within the band - if uncertain why try playing it at such a top notch gig, why not save it for a lesser riskier gig?
Again the goblins magic was at work because their playing at times was not in sync, that is they were slightly out of time with each other albeit the first which ironically was tight and played to perfection. Overall Hades Lab lacked that killer instinct, that notion that a band can whip out song after song like an endless machine gun firing away with no signs of slowing down or stopping.
Xerath bring their own brand of Orchestral Metal (with added doses of Groove Metal) to the fore, soon the crowd were into party mood as the band blasted them with a wall of sound (although Fleshgod would later on have the final say), initiating fans to clamber on stage by means of crowdsurfing and stage diving; some were so close to going wrong. Xerath here proved that they are no means finished, with their impending 10th year anniversary just around the corner.
As time flew by, some thought that Xerath deserved a longer set but in all truth the set flew by. Having been buzzing around the London metal scene, they were no stranger to big occasions having already played Bloodstock. Of course Xerath knew how to pull tonight's crowd up as they sussed out what this crowd needed, something to headbang endlessly to!
Cue the crowdsurfing and stage diving, during this performance there were at least 4, maybe 5 times were two people stage dived and whilst the moshpit opened up - some thought it wasn't small enough already haha (some said this), Xerath dealt the deeds through their infectiously groovy sermons of sci-fi faculty.
If this was a preview of what Xerath are going to unleash in shows to come, then they surely deserve greater appreciation and recognition than at present, because to tour and support one of Italy's finest and arguably successful metal exports (and to survive it) takes a lot of oomph and gusto. Xerath are underrated, after tonight they will have shed off that completely. Simply sensational.
HAIL TO THE KING.
HAIL THE KINGS OF 'CLASSICAL DEATH METAL'.
Check out below two videos we filmed:- "The Violent" in all of it's full glory and "The Fool" in part.
Apologies for some shaky camera moments, the moshpits and crowdsurfing was that extreme.
Tommaso bringing the Italian Renaissance to London.
We would love to know if Tommaso was actually drinking red wine in that photo, sure Fleshgod Apocalypse have released their own branded wine to promote the new album "King" (you can buy it online at their store - linked at the bottom of the page), but by bringing the Italian Renaissance visage to the fore meant only one thing. The purveyors of 'Classical Death Metal' were primed, poised and ready to unleash what could arguably be their best performance on British soil.
The videos we posted don't deal justice for their entire performance, sure it gives an idea but only let's say a third of it. Opening up with a selection of tracks from the new album "King", then whipping in the very first track from their very first album "Oracles" which is 'In Honour Of Reason' and closing up their set with the rather romantic number 'The Forsaking' (taken from their album "Agony"), Fleshgod Apocalypse are destined to become the new face of Italian music, let alone metal.
Backed by their honourable live musician and friend, Veronica Bordacchini, her soprano vocals injected the dramatics expected from a truly operatic, orchestral and theatrical performance. Make no mistake about it, the Italians of the Renaissance period would certainly look down at this band and nod with extreme approval. Hell this performance was equally as strong as their Bloodstock performance, meaning that they not only are consistent but do a f*cking good job of keeping their musical vision in sight without deviating down the wrong path.
Inciting the crowd at every moments chance, they know what it takes to deliver a stellar performance and then some, more importantly was the fact that they once again created an atmosphere that mimicked the same atmosphere one would experience at a ballet or theatrical play
Simply put Fleshgod Apocalypse are like the Leonardo Da Vinci of the art world, both dabbled in various areas - the former in Symphonic Metal, Death Metal and classical music, the latter in music history, inventions, etc. However attention cannot be deterred from the eccentricity of their stage uniforms, unique and perfected to detail, the quintet adorn themselves in uniform drawn upon from the Italian Renaissance period. Additionally Veronica does the same but also holds a caduceus of which in Roman mythology belongs to the god Mercury; the caduceus was uniquely used as a form of signature by the Italian Renaissance artist Jacopo de' Barbari.
Referring back the gig (or concert if you wish), it was clear that Fleshgod Apocalypse had left a lasting impression on those attending, rampaging on at the very last songs before being subject to the closing song 'The Forsaking' and an explosion of confetti being sprayed across the stage, band and crowd - what a majestic finale and what a way to end the night.
Now having done Bloodstock, the UK numerous times and travelled across the world, it would really be ace to see them at an edition of the Eurovision Song Contest - shame it wasn't this year as it would be 10 years since Lordi won it, so if they can enter and win then why can't Fleshgod Apocalypse? Fleshgod Apocalypse are 10 years old next year, so this would be a great party to devise and attend.
Hail to the King.
 RHYS STEVENSON
© 2011-2021 Global Metal Apocalypse
Live Reviews and News
From gigs to festivals, this is where the music means business