Personnel: Francesco Paoli (vocals, guitar, drums); Cristiano Trionfera, Tommaso Riccardi (vocals, guitar); Paolo Rossi (vocals); Francesco Artusato (violin, viola); Matt Sotelo, Derek Boyer, Dino Cazares, Brian Eschbach, Sven de Caluw?, David Kinkade, Kerim "Krimh" Lechner, Jari M?enp??, Marco "Cinghio" Mastrobuono, George Fisher , Tony Lazaro , Mark Holcomb , Stephane Barbe, Fotis Benardo, Kai Hahto (violin); Nicholas Barker (viola, triangle); Till Lindemann, John Williams , Glen Benton, Frank Mullen, Stefano Rossi Ciucci, Rob Halford (viola); Dodi Battaglia, Giulio Moschini, Brian May , Dave Vincent (cello); Giovanni Nardi (flute); Matthew Bellamy (clarinet); Michael Keene (oboe); Alessio Cosenza (bassoon); Ugo Alunni (contrabassoon); Adam Darski, Paolo Pedana (trumpet); Simone Bertozzi, Paolo Pieri, John Gallagher , Igor Spallati (French horn); Hansi K?rsch, Fernando Ribeiro (trombone); Cristina Scabbia (tuba); Francesco Ferrini (piano); Steve Harris (double bass); Pete Sandoval (bass drum); Dave Grohl (cymbals); Oliver Peters (taiko); Tarja, Tarja Turunen (timpani); Riccardo Perugini (percussion); Spiros Antoniou (gong).
While many albums have been dubbed "rock operas," few, if any, of them feel as operatic as Labyrinth, the third album from Italian technical death metal maniacs Fleshgod Apocalypse. Merging the furious brutality of death metal with the elegance of classical and opera, the album weaves a tale about the mythical labyrinth of Knossos. The juxtaposition of punishing guitar riffs and relentless blastbeats with full symphonic arrangements and soaring operatic vocals is fascinating in the way it highlights the inherent differences and similarities the two genres have. While classical fans might balk at the savagery of Fleshgod Apocalypse's sound, the album has a dazzling technicality that's easy to appreciate. Conversely, metal enthusiasts will enjoy getting swept up in the epicness the classical elements bring to the table. Whichever side you might fall on, Labyrinth is a solidly written and brilliantly executed album that makes a wonderful spectacle out of a rather unlikely pairing. ~ Gregory Heaney
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