Italy’s brutal/symphonic horde, FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE, have returned with their definitive epic masterpiece Agony. With only two releases under their belts, Oracles (2009) and the Mafia EP (2010), FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE have already become one of the most talked about bands in the underground. Their unique blend of technical death metal with a symphonic elements have quickly made them a favorite with fans and critics alike. Now, after a slew of successful tours in Europe and the US, the band have unleashed their defining moment in the form of Agony! Fleshgod Apocalypse are: Tommaso Riccardi: Vocals & Guitars, Paolo Rossi: Vocals & Bass, Cristiano Trionfera: Vocals & Guitars, Francesco Paoli: Drums, Guitars & Vocals, Francesco Ferrini: Piano, Orchestra.
Hi, I’m Tarja, welcome to Metal Shock Finland! What was your first thought of this morning?
Hi Tarja, it’s Cristiano, the guitarplayer. It’s a pleasure to answer your questions. I think that the first thought of this morning, quite like almost every morning actually, was “where’s my coffee?!”
Well we’re still preparing it, practicing and taking care of all the planning. We just got back home from the Summer Slaughter Fest 2011 and I think this tour will be much more relaxing, even if full with work. Moreover it is gonna be so much fun, since we’ll be on the road with our friends Decapitated and Decrepit Birth. I’m sure this tour will be a great time and people are gonna love it as well.
Your newest album “Agony” came out only a month ago, what has been the reactions so far?
Great reactions, great response on the press, on the web and at the shows. We’re superstocked about how the album is being welcomed from the fans and the people we work with. Even if it is out from a short time, we feel like it has been already taken as a piece of our path, as we wanted it to be.
Let’s talk about the album, which I’ve just listened to for the first time, it is a strong mix of technical death metal with symphonic elements. It’s something you do since the formation of the band, or have you discovered it along the way?
It is a step forward on our path of evolution in a matter of sound and it can be seen as a point we always wanted to reach, but needed to make the right moves before approaching on it. The basic idea of the band since the very beginning is to merge Death Metal and classical influences and a symphonic album is the result of our work during these years. The lineup is surely a reflection of the idea now and we could make this album in this way thank’s to Francesco Ferrini, which took care of the orchestral arrangements and wrote the songs together with Francesco Paoli, joining the band as a full-time member.
What can you tell me about its 10 song themes? Temptation, The Hypocrisy, The Imposition, The Deceit, The Violation, The Egoism, The Betrayal, The Forsaking, The Oppression, Agony… it seems to be a concept for life…
It is a concept actually. It talks about the evil part of men, which makes them act evil in regard to other men and makes them oppress, act hypocrite, forsake, violate, impose, lie etc. This deeds condemn all of us to an endless state of agony, as the man on the cover artwork, chained to the ground under the upcoming storm. Basically every song is a chapter of this description.
Technically, how Agony differs from your first full-lenght “Oracles”?
Oh it is different indeed. It has been different to write it and to think of its shape. It has been different to record it and to find the right equilibrium between the “modern” part and the symphonic part, which is now all over the place. In general I’d say that Oracles is a starting point for us and it’s written in a classic death metal way, with the integration of the classical and neoclassical influences. Then passing throughout Mafia, we started going deeper into our sound and came up to Agony with this idea of making something we love to consider as a Death Metal symphony, even if the path is still long in front of us.
Anything you’d wanna tell me about the studio-sessions and songwriting process?
As I told you this time it has been really hard for us to find an equilibrium in the sound. We didn’t want it to sound as a symphonic metal album, much lighter than what we did in the past, but still wanted it to have that pressure and brutality. This time we changed way of writing, not as before starting from the guitars, but from the orchestra and the drums, arranging then guitars and bass as those instrument are part of the whole orchestra, The result is something we are very proud of and it’s an important step for us.
The album cover art has been done by Marco Hasmann, how it’s connected to the album’s concept, and from where you took the idea?
As I was saying the cover artwork is strictly connected to the concept. The man on the artwork is a symbol of the whole humanity, the chains are the evil acts of men and the storm upcoming is the agony we all are condemned to live. The idea came out from one of our discussions about how the world is and how life goes on and out of this reality. Basically we like to describe things that we care about and believe in on our albums and it after comes out from our discussions about it all.
Your band was formed in 2007, in these past few years you’ve toured a lot, sharing the stage with many big names, which have been so far the best/worst shows?
I really can’t say what was the best or the worst one. You always have good ones and bad ones. The more you tour, the more it become natural. If to this you add my bad memory, you have the result of a lot of images in my mind and nothing specific hahaha! Just kidding, but yeah, every show has its particular good and bad aspects.
And now a couple of questions, just for the curiosity… the band name ” Fleshgod Apocalypse “, how you came up to it?
We were searching for the monicker. We wanted to reflect what we had in mind: the post-enlightment view of mankind, which will come to its end by its own hand. Basically Paolo came out with that name and we all thought it was weird, so a good name to recognize and remember. That’s it.
I’ve heard that you call your bassist Paolo “Il Frappa” (“the milkshake”), I wonder why this nick?
Hahahahahah!!!! Actually we call Francesco Paoli “frappe” and it is not “milkshake”, but a typical italian sweet that we eat during the carnival period. We call him like that because it’s a nickname someone gave him when he was a child and we still use it.
Hahaha. Yeah, we call Francesco Ferrini “il Ferro” which means “the iron”. That’s just a nick name that comes from a joke made on his family name.
And what about your next plans, after the tour?
We’re working on Europe and there will be a lot for us in the next months here. For now we’ll be in UK and France with The Black Dahlia Murder and Skeletonwich, then again in europe for some headlining shows which will be defined soon, then we’ll be headlining a South Africa Tour in March. Actually there are a lot of other things, but it’s work in progress right now.
And now, the last question, what are your greeting to our readers?
Guys, thak you so much for all the support you give us. We’ll meet you all on the road! Keep it up metalheads! Cheers to all!
Interview by Tarja Virmakari
FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE – The Violation