@Hammerfest VIII, Hafan Y Môr Holiday Park, Pwllheli, North Wales, 11 March 2016
Italians Fleshgod Apocalypse have shed blood, sweat and tears to be playing shows like Hammerfest: from a country with a limited (and limiting) metal scene, they’ve spread their tentacles across the globe, bringing their brand of symphonic death metal to European stages and establishing themselves across the Atlantic too.
These are heady days for the quintet, who are riding high on the success of recent album, King, and a major push from label Nuclear Blast: this festival appearance couldn’t have been better timed.
And anyone witnessing the Perugia band’s shock and awe onslaught on Friday couldn’t have failed to be impressed – even taking into account the gremlins which seemed determined to wreck Cristiano Trionfera’s guitar output.
For this was a set full of operatic bombast and crackling with energy, a feast for both eyes and ears. Fleshgod Apocalypse’s attention to detail – from the cut of their neo-classical stage garb to the old piano adorning the stage – is commendable, and their aesthetic approach melds with their tumultuous sonic assault to suck you into their own dimension (which, it has to be said, is not a peaceful one).
Frontman Tommaso Riccardi played the role of conductor, entrancing his audience throughout songs like Cold as Perfection and The Violation, while the band’s firestorm of pummeling rhythms and piledriving riffery threatened to shatter every window in Gywnedd.
This was a statement of intent from Fleshgod Apocalypse, make no mistake, and while the talented Trionfera must have cursed his luck, this exciting band of troubadours more than justified their status as a must-see act.
Their rise continues…