You’d think I’d be more familiar and versed with Greece’s long running Septicflesh. They are after all part of the long running and somewhat influential Greek metal movement from the early 90s along with Rotting Christ, Thou Art Lord, Varathron and Necromatia and of course, one of the early death metal bands to add cinematic orchestration to their sound, something I’ve always been a sucker for.

But it wasn’t until 2011’s The Great Mass where the band band showed up on my radar and I actually heard them, and consequently picked up most of the band’s considerable back catalog out of curiosity, though I can safely say I’m still not overly familiar with them. I did however load up The Great Mass, Sumerian Deamons and  Communion on my ipod to give myself some perspective of the bands latter efforts to compare to Titan. And as you’d expect if you are familiar with the bands last few efforts, Titan is on par, being a big, brash, bombastic but sometimes a bit banal symphonic death metal.

For me, Septicflesh like Fleshgod Apocalypse, are  made by their orchestration, provided once again impressively by the Prague Philharmonic  Orchestra, not keyboards). (I’m curios how much does it cost to hire an orchestra to record stuff for your death metal album?).  Remove the big brass, choral and string elements, remove the cinematic, epic movie score like atmospherics and the band’s bare bones sound simply does not hold up on its own, being a rather bland form of European Gothic doom/death metal. But luckily, the band DOES have a huge orchestral presence that makes the music so much better and the dramatic clash of symphonics, death metal growls and chugging death metal riffage comes out as shiny and epic as you’d expect.

Other than the above observation, I get the impression that the band has notched up the aggression factor along with the symphonics just a shade as evidence by opener “War on Heaven”, “Prototype”, “Burn” , and personal favorite “Order of Dracul”. But you are listening to Septicflesh for the orchestra right, not blast beats and such, and in that, Titan delivers in spades. Whether it’s loads of dramatic, angry elephant , trumpeting loudly brass  ‘paaaaaaaaaaarps’ or grandiose strings and regal choirs, the whole affair is certainly sheathed in epic, glossy majesty,making Dimmu Borgir look rather understated, even if the riffs are a tad forgetful. However, there’s a tasteful delivery and elegance to the orchestration, rather than a bloated, sheer orchestral mass or continual overdone diffusion.

At times, the cinematic scope of the music is truly enthralling, rivaling any Hollywood cinema score, and if you accept that as the focal point of the music (which it clearly is and has been), Titan is incredibly satisfying. The aforementioned tracks, which comprise the album’s first half are down right rousing, especially with the increased pacing and aggression, just don’t go delving deeper for great riffs or solos.  But around “Dogma” things slow down a bit and start to drag, and the album loses some of its momentum, even with some alluring choral arrangements, the same goes for “Prometheus”.

The choir heavy title track picks up the momentum again as does the spookier “Confession of a Serial Killer”. “Ground Zero” has a nice percussive build up before exploding impressively with a very fierce blast beat that gets cut short and segues into a more sugary, clean vocal laden number before arising again to close the track out with some real urgency. Unfortunately. ‘The First Immortal” ends the album with a bit of a mish mash of mid paced warbling,  blast beats clean vocals and choirs and then just ends suddenly without an apparent conclusion., which is fine as I’m a little overdosed on the bombastics by this point.

In all, Titan is what you would want and expect from Septicflesh. so fans will be appeased as will anyone like me who enjoys some big brash symphonics mixed with their metal, regardless of the quality of the actual metal.

“PAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
July 14th, 2014

Comments

  1. Commented by: gordeth

    This band used to be all about amazing guitar melodies and riffs (back when they were Septic Flesh). I guess they ran out of those and now rely on the orchestration, which is disappointing. It’s not that I expected them to stay the same forever, but they could’ve evolved without losing so much substance.


Leave a Reply

Privacy notice: When you submit a comment, your creditentials, message and IP address will be logged. A cookie will also be created on your browser with your chosen name and email, so that you do not need to type them again to post a new comment. Your post and details will also go through an automatic spam check via Akismet's servers and maybe held up for further approval. We purge our logs from your meta-data at frequent intervals.

  • Ad Vitam Infernal - Infernal Comedy
  • Fluisteraars - Bloem
  • Cianide - Unhumanized EP
  • Abhomine - Proselyte Parasite Plague
  • Porta Nigra - Schöpfungswut
  • Abigail WIlliams - Walk Beyond the Dark
  • Suicide Silence - Become the Hunter
  • Annihilator - Ballistic, Sadistic
  • Hell:On/Pripjat - A Glimpse Beyond (Split)
  • Silvertomb - Edge of Existence
  • Necropanther - The Doomed City
  • Lorna Shore - Immortal
  • Ian Blurton Future Now - Signals Through the Flames
  • Voice of Ruin - Acheron
  • Inverted Matter - Detach