There are two kinds of extreme metal that divide us as metalheads. There is the underground stuff all of us cynical fucks like and there is the kind your lame friend that thinks he is a metalhead listens to. Bands like Cradle of Filth or Lamb of God. They go around thinking these bands are Black or Death Metal and are ignorant to genre for the most part. Fleshgod Apocalypse‘s Labyrinth fits into the latter category. Being, oh so, wonderfully generic, thus cementing its appeal to the mainstream metal masses.
It has all the bells and whistles one would expect from a band like this. Alongside typical Death vocals we get female, gothic vocals, as well as Power Metal style ones. I, honestly, really don’t care for beauty and the beast style vocals or Power Metal vocals at all. These would appeal more to the metal mainstream, which is its target audience. The riffs don’t seem very Death at times, again, made milder to be more appealing to the “normies.” The mixing is over polished, as to be expected, which isn’t bad, per se, but makes it sound, again, mainstream. There is tons of symphonic synths, think of this band as the Death Metal Dimmu Borgir. Like Dimmu Borgir and its zillions of clones, it is over relied on. These bands use the symphonic stuff to make up for the lack for creativity in their riffs. Which are, also, generic and predicable. There are lots of Power Metalish sounding licks a lot of the time too.
Everything is played competently. Competent, does not mean talent, however. They really fail to stand out over the seemingly thousands of symphonic extreme metal bands. The vocals that stray from Death Metal tend to annoy me, but that is a personal distaste. Maybe some people like whiny sounding Power Metal vocals and some over blown sounding chick that thinks she is an opera singer. Not me. It’s funny, all the bands like this go for “epic” with their big, bombastic synths and singers, but all fail because they all become generic copycats of each another. We get it, we get it, You’re “epic.” Moving on.
That is all there really is to say, they blend in perfectly with the bands they want to emulate, so good for them, I guess. If you like mainstream extreme metal, you might like Fleshgod Apocalypse‘s Labyrinth. For all of us metal prudes out there, you might not. They don’t stand out in any way, the very definition of generic. Copying the “epic” sound of everyone else makes you boring and no so. The final and title track Labyrinth is ok, as it is just a purely instrumental piece.
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