Review Summary: Masterfully composed symphonic death metal from Greek veterans.
Prior to their October 2003 break up, Septic Flesh released arguably the album of their careers thus far via Hammerheart Records. Sumerian Daemons
is a culmination of a number of elements that made their earlier releases interesting and distinctive. Rudiments ranging from the debatably over experimental Revolution DNA
, to the more progressive style of the band’s earlier work are all combined here with Septic Flesh’s signature brute force and aggression to form something new. The band have crafted an album that marks progression, maturity and exhibits the Greeks in their comfort zone.
While incorporating many of the same styles and techniques as their competitors, Septic Flesh employ a full orchestra, as well as the soprano vocal styles of Natalie Rassoulis to increase the punch they pack, as well as a way to leave their own unique stamp on the genre in chilling fashion. Sumerian Demons is a work of true flair in terms of musical composition and lyrics while remaining conjectural in every form of its nature. While tunefully based on the solid debut, Mystic Places Of Dawn, this record is a much darker and for the most part pacier affair due the orchestrations which provide a magnificent and often sinister atmosphere. Backing choir vocals offer another layer to Septic Flesh’s profound sound and give the album a haunting theme while not at all distracting focus from the sound of the band itself.
Septic Flesh offer fans of death metal something more diverse than other bands on the scene. While impressive operatic and symphonic themes sets the band and record apart from others, the signature melodic death metal sound portrayed by the band on Sumerian Demons is the most impressive of their career. Chris Antoniou and Sotiris Vayenas’ guitars carve the melody and anger into the album and their characteristic sound is not hampered by under par production. Each song is wonderfully different in sound and structure to the last, from sharp frantic riffing combined with blast beats from the pedals of Fotis Benardo, to the slower melodic sections led by choir and other assorted orchestrations. Seth’s aggressive guttural vocals adjoin all components of the music into one impressive song structure as he vehemently growls and snarls on this impressive return to form for the whole band. Keyboard melodies are integrated also to give the album a malevolent feel at certain points such as the intro to the wonderfully melodic “Magic Loves Infinity”. The compositional brilliance and talent for song structure of Septic Flesh is best heard however on “The Virtues Of The Beast”. Dark, gloomy atmospherics are perturbed by a gargantuan riff and a dominating vocal performance from Seth that spans the song’s entirety. Solid drumming and beautiful choir vocals ambiently guide the track along its dark path.
Sumerian Demons is a solid performance from a band who were carving their own sound. A sound that is reinforced by the immense orchestrations that give Sumerian Demons its vast depth, emotion and imagination. An album that displays the raw talent and wealth of ideas this band possess to all those who were previously unconvinced. While not without minor flaws, impressive song structures as well as instrumentation make this record a captivating and at times punishing affair that is sure to keep the any listener’s attention right through to the end. A truly focused record from Septic Flesh that would keep them in good stead despite their temporary hiatus and one that would cement their place at the top of the Greek death metal pile.