Right now is the most important era for Italian Maestros Fleshgod Apocalypse and the environment is ripe for the picking. What is unmistakable in the band’s latest album, Veleno, the fifth in their catalogue is the change of approach and change of pace – clearly many changes have engulfed camp Fleshgod over the past year and not just creatively and strategically… Sentinel Daily caught up with Francesco Paoli, lead vocalist and guitarist for the band who are fresh off a stint in North America to discuss this new found aggression in Veleno and the many layers that contributed to this masterpiece…

Do you feel the lineup change was a natural evolution for the band – that perhaps Veleno may not have been achieved without these drastic changes? “Vocal wise maybe – I mean, I always took care of the song writing, everything you hear is either my fault or Francesco Ferrini’s fault [Laughs] – Veleno is a different album because we were looking for something different as a band anyway. We started writing some of the material as far back as 2016; I’m pretty sure about one thing – the result is because of this new lineup. The approach, the aggressiveness, the spirit is way more in your face and we wanted to invest much more on the live performance and that’s why we spent a lot more time on the instruments that we play live rather than arranging massive orchestras and just adding things on at the tail end. For example, we spent a great deal of time working on the piano samples. So it is a big change but for the mood it has amplified it. Veleno has reflected this one hundred per cent”.

I’ve had a sneak peak of the album this week and it was just very apparent how aggressive this album is – just peppered with angst and it shows a bold exploration of not only heavier sounding music but heavier themes for the band – Embrace the Oblivion just as one example – as ominous as it gets. So this heavy focus on collecting ideas for the album – can you go into
more detail as to how you arrived at what is now known as the Veleno album? “Music wise we were collecting material for almost three years – so it was a long period of time we were writing. The variety of the material definitely reflects the time frame. Each idea presented in the album carries with it the spirit of the time it was written. The concept was already there, after King we started talking about writing an album about the relationship between man and nature; and the manifestations of this whilst at the same time making it very introspective and trying to understand the relationship between man and human nature. So the concept behind Embrace the Oblivion in particular is about pollution basically. Man exploiting resources, the mindset that man has to exploit everything for the good of humanity and the lack of vision by man that in the end will lead us to self destruction. We as mankind, we can not deal with any of this. We need certainty. This is why man builds religion. We are
poisoning ourselves… We are animals but have the gift of intelligence yet we have no perspective. In the end the themes belong to our era, it belongs to now, it isn’t something that belongs to the past at all”.

Right now you guys are in your A game – where do you feel this new found ‘spirit’ as you describe it will take the band in the future of this style of death metal? “This is a very positive moment for us – it comes from one of the lowest moments of the band. Its a real rising. The way we are doing it, it is massive. We thought that after King, perhaps we had reached a
certain level, we finally found the balance, sound wise, the creative production. Then everything changed. We thought, ok we’ll restart with a new mood. we didn’t have any specific expectation and were pleased by the chaos and spontaneity that Veleno offered. We just try to do our best every time. And what we are noticing is that if you are sincere and one hundred per cent honest in your creative process, working at your best to entertain and being super motivated we are pushing to higher and higher levels, rising more and more. The album isn’t out yet and we are getting asked to play everywhere! It is really overwhelming, it is super flattering and we are super proud of what we are doing – it is telling us that we are on the right track, we are working hard and it is paying off so we are super happy”.

Fleshgod is a tapestry with such intricate details poured into the material – however this album in particular has so many variables which required a very versatile producer I understand? “We started this album trying to do it ourselves and achieve the best production here in Italy. We got a lot of experience and with experience comes the opportunity to explore to find new people and new options. The “metal part” of Veleno was recorded in Rome at Bloom and Kick Studio while the “orchestral part” – the ensembles – were tracked at Musica Teclas. Jacob Hansen handled the mixing and mastering. Kick studio produced King and we were super happy even though we could feel it was lacking power somehow – we didn’t find the proper balance somehow. We were looking for something more modern. The style we play is already very ritualistic; very epic, classical and atmospheric and sometimes in some songs it is perfect – but we’re still a death metal band and we want to bring a very
powerful and aggressive approach to the music so we heard of this guy, Jacob and I think that Veleno has the best production we’ve ever had. The sound, the balance, the mixes – perfect. It was a long process from the song writing to heading into the studio yet we had so much guidance with the material when we finally got in. The relationship we have right now
with Jacob is so spectacular, I really love the guy”.

Fleshgod have been extremely busy on the touring circuit prior to the release of the album – where will the promotion for the album take the band over the course of the year? “Yes, so we’re heading to South America in the next couple of days, we then start some festivals in Europe; Graspop Metal Meeting then on to Germany – it isn’t much this summer as we wanted to take some extra time to build the live show for the new album – we’re going to take this summer to add some more creative elements for the live show then we will start the ‘proper’ tour in the fall. The two main continents that will see a bigger production will be the US and Europe. A larger scale will have a lot more people involved so we need time to pull it all together. In the end we are looking forward to coming back to Australia very soon – hopefully before the end of the year. If not very early 2020 – as Australia along with countries in Europe and the US are one of our biggest audiences and our most dedicated fans. We are working hard to make it happen”.

Veleno is out on May 24th.