The masters are back from the dark abyss, and they peer deep into the darkness – inside and out – to bring you tales of blackest despair and death, crafted into some of the most majestic yet evil tunes ever put to record. The album lets rip with “Lovecraft’s Death”, a song that will have you headbanging away within a few bars after the intro, with great atmospherics courtesy of a full 80 piece orchestra and a complete choir section. The combination of crushing diabolical metal and authentic dramatics works to great effect, as it does throughout the album. “Annubis” harkens to the melodicism of Revolution DNA with arrangements that will have jaws dropping, and somber choruses that you can hum during that special ritual killing. The choir/ blast beats juxtaposition of the title track gives Therion a good run for their money, and as far as I can see Septic Flesh are pretty much at the top of their game, making them peerless in their orchestral brutality. Spiro’s growls are as demonic as ever, and here he proves he is a vocal force without match. Its great to know that Septic Flesh (like fellow countrymen Rotting Christ) continue to progress with each release yet never let go of the inherent darkness of the music as well as the factors that made their sound such a success in the first place.
“Babel’s Gate” will utterly crush aside all pretenders with the power punch of death metal done right flowing on the wings of a string section possessed and choirs galore. It’s always a pleasure to hear songs that one can remember as much as for the unique atmosphere as for the musicianship and choruses. “We the Gods” continues the trend of full throttle moody metal madness. This is a soundtrack to a movie about the Elder Ones in the act of destroying a mystical Sumerian civilization. It also has that special quality of creeping out listeners (under isolated conditions). Strange how just as the horror gets unbearable, a song like “Sunlight Moonlight” comes in, again showing the slower more melodic side of the band. How many bands can you name that can cover such a broad spectrum of sonics yet make it streamlined enough to write great songs?
“Persepolis” has a Middle Eastern yet Hellenistic twang to it that is now a patent with these guys. The mix is amazing, with the warmth of the string and brass sections nicely filling out (and in some cases leading) the thick, tasty extreme metal brew. The imagery conjured up is majestic and evil, yet never going headfirst into the penny dreadful theatretics of mid period COF or the extra cheese bombast of Bal Sagoth, instead being a force within the song. The humming at beginning of “Sangreal” is again chilly, and the track explodes with symphonic grace and galloping triplets only to go into a wonderful harmonized riff based verse (dual vocals). “Narcissus” works as an album closer, the unique melodies swarming your head. I could go on and on, but suffice to say: Get it NOW!!
Like wine, Septic Flesh only gets better with age, and this is undoubtedly one of the best (comeback) albums of the year. With Origin also finally releasing a new record, this is going to be hell of a year for forward thinking metal. Combining the best elements of their rich discography, the Greeks have come up with a winner. Perfection!
01 Lovecraft’s Death
04 Babel’s Gate
05 We The Gods
06 Sunlight Moonlight