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Released: 2017, Season Of Mist
Reviewer: Helias Papadopoulos
Greek Septicflesh is a phenomenon. After 13 years (1990-2003) of active performance in live stages and with six albums under their belt, they decided to split-up. Four years after, they have been reform the band again but under the name differentiation from “Septic Flesh” to “Septicflesh” and with a new talented drummer then, Fotis Benardo, they released COMMUNION, an album that re-defined their sound, it helped them to put their own spot in the world metal map. Their own magnum opus.
COMMUNION was the key for their global breakthrough. In addition, Septicflesh are one of the fewest metal acts that they record with an actual classical orchestra and not with keyboards or pre-recorded samples of classical music.
After COMMUNION, Septicflesh found their sound and now for a fourth time (1.COMMUNION-2008, 2. THE GREAT MASS-2011, 3. TITAN – 2014) they collaborated with The Filmharmonic Orchestra Of Prague for CODEX OMEGA. All lyrics are written by the super-talented and almost poet, Sotiris Vayenas and music is written by all of the bandmembers. Together with Rotting Christ, Septicflesh are the leaders of Greek metal scene. CODEX OMEGA has come to confirm again this title. The new one will also be the band's first with drummer Kerim "Krimh" Lechner (Krimh, ex-Decapitated), who replaced Fotis Benardo in 2014.
Musically, Titan is far better than anything the band has done in the 21st century and even better than COMMUNION in my opinion ! That is the challenge, baby !! The minimal motifs of the orchestra are strikingly good, not too high in the mix and not too polished. They retain the feel of a classical recording, while the instruments that stand out are the violins and the brass with the tribal percussion serving as a manic companion to the other instruments. Once again, the band has collaborated with the FILMharmonic Orchestra of Prague (that's how its written in the liner notes). This time every song features orchestral parts contrary to their previous album where the use of orchestra was not mandatory.
Take the warring good and evil of "Dante’s Inferno" with its absolutely stunning final minutes, the gothic vibe of " Portrait of a Headless Man" or the crushing drums and vocals of “Faceless Queen”: there is no lack of garnish here. In fact, I find myself enjoying every track pretty equally. If there is one thing that Septicflesh have stepped up with this release, it's the incredibly dense and complex level of classical orchestration. You will be hard pressed to find another release so rich in atmosphere, and in 2014 no one else in the genre could even hold a match to it. In essence, all of the ingredients are still here: incredible orchestrations, pummeling drums, haunting choirs, punishing death growls, and simple guitar hooks. In fact, I argue that this burger is every bit as delicious as its predecessor.
Septicflesh rocks once again and probably with their best album of their nearly 30 years-old career. Hail to the Orchestra !! This is how to write an extreme metal album enriched with live classical Orchestra !! Symphonic death metal on its best...simple as that...
1. Dante's Inferno
2. 3rd Testament (Codex Omega)
3. Portrait of a Headless Man
5. Enemy of Truth
6. Dark Art
7. Our Church, Below the Sea
8. Faceless Queen
9. The Gospels of Fear
11. Martyr of Truth
12. Dark Testament
13. Portrait of a Headless Man" (orchestral version)
Sotiris Vayenas - Guitar
Spiros "Seth" Antoniou – bass, vocals
Christos Antoniou - guitar
Kerim "Krimh" Lechner - drums
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