SEPTIC FLESH
Death Metal / Gothic Metal • Greece

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Hailing from Greece, Septic Flesh - or Septicflesh - was founded in 1990. The band's sound is considered to be comparable to Death Metal mixed with Doom Metal elements. The band has often been compared to other bands of the similiar style, like Paradise Lost, Anathema, My Dying Bride or Nightfall. In 2003 the band disbanded for several reasons but reunited in 2007.

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COMMUNIONCOMMUNION
Season of Mist 2012
Audio CD$9.42
$4.81 (used)
TitanTitan
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$6.58
$31.99 (used)
Ophidian WheelOphidian Wheel
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$7.20
$7.19 (used)
CommunionCommunion
Season of Mist 2008
Audio CD$11.08 (used)
Mystic Places of DawnMystic Places of Dawn
Import
Imports 2013
Audio CD$11.16
$52.00 (used)
Sumerian DaemonsSumerian Daemons
Hammerheart America 2003
Audio CD$38.85
$11.66 (used)
Titan by Septic Flesh (2014-07-01)Titan by Septic Flesh (2014-07-01)
Imports
Audio CD$50.98
COMMUNION by Septic Flesh (2009-03-10)COMMUNION by Septic Flesh (2009-03-10)
Season of Mist
Audio CD$55.22
Mystic Places of Dawn by SEPTIC FLESH (2013-09-17)Mystic Places of Dawn by SEPTIC FLESH (2013-09-17)
Imports
Audio CD$57.64
Ophidian Wheel (Re-Issue) by Septic FleshOphidian Wheel (Re-Issue) by Septic Flesh
Season Of Mist
Audio CD$69.40
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SEPTIC FLESH Discography

SEPTIC FLESH albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.98 | 6 ratings
Mystic Places of Dawn
Death Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 4.75 | 2 ratings
Esoptron
Death Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 3.76 | 3 ratings
Ophidian Wheel
Death Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 4.02 | 2 ratings
A Fallen Temple
Death Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 4.48 | 2 ratings
Revolution DNA
Gothic Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 4.32 | 11 ratings
Sumerian Daemons
Death Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 4.01 | 15 ratings
Communion
Death Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 4.14 | 19 ratings
The Great Mass
Death Metal 2011
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Titan
Death Metal 2014

SEPTIC FLESH EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Eldest Cosmonaut
Death Metal 1998

SEPTIC FLESH live albums

SEPTIC FLESH demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

SEPTIC FLESH re-issues & compilations

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Forgotten Paths (The Early Days)
Death Metal 2000

SEPTIC FLESH singles (1)

.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
Order of Dracul
Death Metal 2014

SEPTIC FLESH movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

SEPTIC FLESH Reviews

SEPTIC FLESH The Great Mass

Album · 2011 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"The Great Mass" is the 8th full-length studio album by Greek death metal act Septicflesh (formerly Septic Flesh). The album was released through Season of Mist in April 2011. Founded back in 1990, Septic Flesh are one of the most prolific Greek death metal acts on the scene. Stylistically they´ve gone through various phases and styles, they´ve challenged themselves and also tested their audience in the process.

"The Great Mass" may not test the band´s audience that much though, as it is more or less a continuation of the symphonic death metal style introduced on Septicflesh comeback album "Communion (2008)" (they were split-up from 2003 - 2007). Just as the case was on the predecessor guitarist Christos "Chris" Antoniou (who has a masters degree in concert music from the London College of Music) has written comprehensive orchestral scores to accompany the death metal basis of the band´s music. The scores are performed by The International Choir of Prague and The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. The music features a couple of samples but otherwise all classical instruments are played by a real orchestra.

Now on paper it always sounds impressive with a classical orchestra and choir in rock/metal music, but in my experience the combination fails more often than not. "The Great Mass" is one of those rare cases where it works though. Firstly the sound production is powerful, detailed, and clear enough to allow all instruments to be heard. Secondly the classical orchestra and choir work with the core death metal tracks and not against them or parallel with them, which is where a lot of other similar projects fail, and third and last the quality of the compositions are really high and specifically designed for the purpose. These guys didn´t just write a bunch of death metal tracks and as an afterthought decided to put classical instrumentation on top of them.

Needless to say the musicianship are on a high level, both when it comes to the classical musicians and the band themselves. The growling vocals are powerful (could have been a bit more intelligible, but that´s always a matter of aquired taste), the rhythm section is precise and the guitars and guitar themes delivered with conviction. The materal are also intriguing and varied so all in all "The Great Mass" is a strong symphonic death metal release by Septicflesh and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

SEPTIC FLESH Ophidian Wheel

Album · 1997 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Time Signature
Towards the topmost step of the Earth...

Genre: symphonic/gothic death metal

Released in 1997, Ophidian Wheel proved a major milestone in the musical development of SepticFlesh's, as it was on this album they transitioned from traditional death metal into the symphonic gothic death metal sound that characterizes their current efforts. The album was reissued this october on their current label Season of Mist with three bonus tracks and an awesome new cover artwork.

Ophidian Wheel opens rather weakly with 'The Future Belongs to the Brave'. The problem here is twofold. Firstly, the track itself is simply not among the most convincing songs composed by this otherwise very talented band. Secondly, the production is rather tinny, and the new mastering does not really seem to have helped much. Consequently, the ear which is attuned to the pristine and crisp production of modern metal releases has to get adjusted to the less refined sound on this album at the cost of the opening track. However, if the listener sticks around and listens the entire album through, the listener will soon realize that the rest of the album is pretty good. What I like about it is the eclectic nature of the album, as the listener is treated to od school death metal riffage and harsh vocals appearing side-by-side with symphonic elements and a gothic meodicism. Several tracks on the album sound like a more sophisticated version of Gothic-era Paradise Lost, in the sense that the album is full of melodic doom metal passages. There is also some pretty avant-garde stuff on the album, such as the dramatic 'Tartarus'.

A good album though it is, Ophidian Wheel suffers from not to convicing symphonic elements performed on a synthesizer (in 1997) which sound more like something out of a 1990s fantasy computer game than anthing else. Still, this does not really detract from the compositions or the performance, and the album remains an enjoyable listen. As for the three bonus tracks, I think that the reissue does not really need them, but, then again, I can imagine that hardcore fans of the band will be thrilled to hear them anyway.

Definitely not the best alum by Septicflesh, but perhaps the most important one, Ophidian Wheel should be of great interest to fans of their more recent efforts, such as The Great Mass, because this is where it started. Although I have my reservations towards this album, I really enjoy its eclectic nature and appreciate the gothic doom passages in particular.

(review originally posted at seaoftranquility.org)

SEPTIC FLESH The Great Mass

Album · 2011 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The Block
Septicflesh, hailing from Greece, has been around for about 20 years leading up to this release, yet never once have I heard their music. That being said, this sure was a great introduction. Mixing brutal death metal with brilliant orchestra sections, Septicflesh has created their own unique brand of symphonic death metal. All throughout “The Great Mass”, blast beats and powerful guitar riffs also adorn the beautiful orchestration. Though this may be a turn off for some metal fans, it adds a different, yet great aspect to the music that, at least to me, adds to the overall enjoyment of this album.

“The Great Mass” is an almost perfect balance between symphonic metal and death metal. Take, for example, the first track “The Vampire from Nazareth” which, besides being a great intro, starts out very symphonic and almost atmospheric and then transfers into heavier riffs in an almost seamless fashion. The death metal sections of this album definitely lean towards the melodic side of death metal rather than the straight up, hardcore death metal fashion. While most people might not be used to this combination of music, many will soon figure out that it is, in face, quite good.

Another thing that I like about this album is that there are both harsh growls and clean vocals. The growls of Spiros Antoniou are pretty normal, yet they contribute very well to the bands style. This is especially evident on “Five- Pointed Star”, which is definitely one of the best songs on the album. Sotiris Vayenas’s clean vocals are a whole other matter. His voice is very odd, leaning into a weird almost crazy pitch during most of the album, but it sounds really cool with the rest of the music. Perhaps the best part of this album is the keyboards, played by Sotiris Vayenas, which add a nice over tone to the whole album.

While being a relatively old death metal band, Septicflesh has still found a way to continue to release very good material. “The Great Mass” isn’t necessarily ground breaking but it provides lots of enjoyment through its music. The orchestration on this album is fantastic, and the production of it is clear and crisp, making everything much better. For a great release Septicflesh gets 4 stars.

SEPTIC FLESH The Great Mass

Album · 2011 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Phonebook Eater
8/10

"The Great Mass" is one of the best Death Metal albums of the last few years.

Septicflesh (formally Septic Flesh) is a Greek Death Metal band, from Athens. Their first part of their career, from 1990 to 2003, was relatively obscure to many, so they split up, to reform again in 2008, releasing “Communion” which many consider to be, other than a masterpiece of it’s genre, a sort of second debut for the band. “The Great Mass” in that case would be their sophomore album. I’m not the greatest expert of Death Metal around, but I’ve heard quite a few stuff from it, and I can say that this is one of the best album of the genre of the last few years.

Like in their “second debut”, Septicflesh have a very brutal and fierce sound when it comes to the heavy parts. But they are also able to create great, atmospheric and pretty ambitious parts, thanks to the huge amount of symphonic arrangements they use. “The Great Mass” is in fact a mix between Death Metal and Symphonic Metal, to say it in the easiest way. With symphonic arrangements, I mean soprano female vocals, plenty of strings that accompany the rest of the band most of the time, and sometimes also some horns; An entire orchestra was called to do the arrangements for this album, giving the music a more refined and epic sound. Clean vocals are present as well, but not as much as you would really expect, even though many times the music isn’t exactly melodic. But when it is, the song gets a somewhat beautiful feeling. The production here is phenomenal, crystal clear and even gorgeous sounding at times, it wouldn’t have been as good if the symphonic arrangements weren’t there.

Being from Greece, Septicflesh, even when they were known as Septic Flesh, have always had a lot of Ancient Greek mythology subjects in their music and lyrics, which some times make the music sound almost gothic like, and so happens here as well; the atmospheres are mysterious and even eerie when the music is a little calmer, epic when the brutal parts come along. As a result, the songs here have a pretty solid structure, despite being all less than six minutes. The album consequently is solid too, ten songs that unfold in about forty minutes; starting from the opener, “the Vampire From Nazareth”, which perfectly sets the stage with its eerie sounds and female vocals. There are almost all great songs here worth mentioning; “Pyramid God” has a great, powerful ending that will stick with you even more than the first part of the song, “Oceans Of Grey” is more melodic, but still violent and full of guts. “The Undead Keep Dreaming”, “Rising” are again great songs, but my personal favorite is the extremely dramatic and epic “Mad Architect”, just beautiful in it’s sheer bestiality. “Therianthropy” a haunting song, with a great synth addiction, that closes magnificently the album.

An album that if you’re a Death Metal fan you must absolutely listen to, especially if you felt positive about “Communion”, because hear you see Septicflesh at it’s absolute pinnacle.

SEPTIC FLESH The Great Mass

Album · 2011 · Death Metal
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The idea of mixing symphonic metal with extreme influences isn’t exactly a new thing, and indeed, The Great Mass stands as the eighth album by Greece’s Septicflesh (formerly Septic Flesh). But where most cases of extreme symphonic metal are symphonic black metal, Septicflesh stands as one of the few artists I’m aware of whose music is actually symphonic death metal, something which is executed to near perfection on this album to create an extreme, yet atmospheric and epic record.

The sound exhibited by Septicflesh on this album combines some pretty heavy and extreme death metal ideas with some dark symphonic backing. Sometimes the death metal is leaning more towards melodic death metal with the inclusion of clean vocals, but generally I don’t detect a lot of melodic death metal elements in the music, although it certainly has plenty of melody on offer. The excellent and often eerie symphonic ideas make the atmosphere really special. The combination of death metal with symphonic metal may not be so common, but here it works very well, with results being for me a lot more interesting than much symphonic black metal, the genre’s extreme symphonic cousin.

I especially like that the band opts to include clean vocals from guitarist/keyboardist Sotiris Vayenas along the harsh growl of Spiros Antoniou. There’s an unusual tone to Vayenas’ vocals, but it fits with the music perfectly, especially the atmospheric parts. There’s also some female soprano vocals included on the album. We hear them right away in opener The Vampire From Nazareth, which is one of my favourites from the album. It’s very dark and very epic as well, with the female vocals creating the perfect haunting intro before the band launches themselves into their symphonic death metal attack, which is fabulous on the atmospheric front, with the heavy guitars and prominent orchestration really hitting the spot as well. It really doesn’t take any more than this track to know that The Great Mass is something pretty special.

As one of those albums with a consistent level of high quality material, The Great Mass should stand as a very easy listen for those into their death metal. I also suspect that it will meet with approval from anyone looking for a somewhat different take on the death metal genre. Track highlights for me include the above mentioned The Vampire From Nazareth, A Great Mass of Death, Pyramid God, Oceans of Grey and Rising quickly establishing themselves as firm personal favourites of mine. They save one of the very best for last though with Therianthropy. Band’s like Septicflesh make it a wonder that symphonic death metal isn’t a more common or popular style, but even if it was, I’d imagine it difficult for others to replicate the sort of quality that Septicflesh showcases on The Great Mass, because things stay extremely strong right from the off, and it’s a true pleasure to listen to. The Great Mass was my introduction to the band but it’s an album that has inspired me to take proper note of them, and I’m sure I’ll be enjoying exploring their back catalogue soon enough.

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven, scoring 9.3/10)

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Psydye wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Amazing friggin' band! One of the best(if not unique) death metal bandss out there...

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