Septicflesh
The Codex Omega

It wasn’t until 2014s Titan that I got into Greece’s Septiciflesh, which is a surprise considering I’m a sucker for big, epic orchestration in metal. But as with Titan, and even prior releases like The Great Mass that I went back to, Septicflesh remain all fluff and no real substance.  But the fluff, remains some of the most rousing, epic and bombastic fluff in metal.

Once again, the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra provides the downright glorious symphonics and choirs with the sound and scope rivaling any Hans Zimmer movie score, but once again it’s the most alluring feature of the music with Spiros Antoniou’s deep bellows and the standard European black/death metal being more of a back drop. Tracks like the middle eastern inspired “Martyr”,”Dark Art” or closer “Trinity” are merely there and even faster more urgent tracks like ‘”3rd Testament (Codex Omega)” or “Our Church, Below the Sea” don’t really hold your attention when they are just guitars blasting. Also, the occasional clean vocals of Sotiris Vayenass still don’t sit well with me.

Still, when it’s firing on all orchestra cylinders, it’s pretty fucking rousing. For example opener “Dante’s Inferno” dramatic “Portrait of  a Headless Man”, the downright glorious closing of “Enemy of Truth” and fierce “The Gospels of Fear”. But other wise, there is a lot of middling European black/death metal mired within that pretty forgettable and lacks the pure brute force of Fleshgod Apocalypse or catchy-ness of Samael. . If you removed the bombastic orchestration, this would be pretty bland stuff, but thankfully it’s there and its used to great effect, making the music far more enjoyable.

As with some prior releases there is a bonus CD of just orchestral tracks called ” The Codex Omega Symphony” and here you get the 12 minute “Martyr of Truth”, “Dark Testament” and a orchestral version of “Portrait of a Headless Man” from the album, and they well worth listen on their own. And as with the last few releases,the production and packaging and artwork is outstanding, I just keep waiting on these guys to write music and riffs that matches the orchestral element of their music, which is clearly what they are best  at at this point in their career. Just listen to “Martyr of Truth” for proof.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
October 2nd, 2017

Comments

  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    yeah, based on that song, linked above, they’re most confident using the symphony and programming as their lead instrument. I don’t have a problem with that, but it’s never gonna be exactly my thing.


  2. Commented by: gordeth

    Erik, you need to go further back to when their name was still two separate words. Those albums had zero fluff. Start with Mystic Places of Dawn.


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