43. Fleshgod Apocalypse - Agony
OK, so here's the deal. I've been back and forth on this band for some time now. At first, I checked them out because of the insane amount of love they get on this forum. I liked what I heard, but it didn't take long for me to start dismissing it all as a whole lot of technical wankery. However, being the eternal optimist that I am (
), I decided to keep my mind open, and when these guys put out something that was not only technically amazing but also compelling to listen to for more than fifteen minutes, I would give them another shot. This album basically did it for me. Not only is the musicianship outstanding, but the atmosphere, production, songwriting and the whole rest of it is all there as well. Plus, I like it. It keeps my attention, and I have a desire to hear it again after it's done. The symphonic bits can be a bit off-putting if you're not in the mood for that sort of thing on that particular day, but luckily the band collectively has a proverbial lead foot on the accelerator often enough that pure power typically wins the day over beauty...and by the way, isn't that the way things generally should be in metal?