Septicflesh
Mystic Places of Dawn


3.5
great

Review

by Yeahtoast USER (19 Reviews)
August 7th, 2010 | 54 replies | 9,549 views


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Debut album sees Greek death metallers slowly finding their feet.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

It’s 1994. Emperor have just released In the Nightside Eclipse and Amorphis have crafted arguably the album of their careers in Tales From The Thousand Lakes. In the midst of these seminal metal releases, as well as many others, a small underground band from Greece known as Septic Flesh are quietly working on their debut album titled Mystic Places Of Dawn. While this record may not be as fundamentally important at influencing future generations of young extreme metal bands as those named previously, it would be an album that would set Septic Flesh on their way on a local level, as well as attracting attention from elsewhere due to the ability and diversity on display.

While not exactly reinventing the wheel and though it may not be as atmospherically impacting as their later releases will prove to be, Mystic Places Of Dawn is an excellent and fearless debut from the Greeks considering the eponymous albums surfacing around them. What Septic Flesh do, however, is play death metal often at a very pedestrian pace. While this may not sound immediately appealing to fans of the genre, these ambient passages are delicately filled with superbly constructed leads and almost progressive melodies. These dreamy moments intersperse the flashes of old school death metal brilliance that the band so effortlessly construct. All of the above elements combine to give an album of complex and contrasting song structures, made even more diverse and fascinating by the often haunting atmospherics incorporated in the production.

When guitarists Sotiris Vayenas and Christos Antoniou do combine to fashion riffs, they do so impressive style; aggressive while maintaining melody and feeling, as well as connecting wonderfully with the dark atmosphere. An atmosphere that only emphasizes the malevolent vocals of Seth Antoniou. His signature throaty growls give Mystic Places Of Dawn a sinister edge and even through gentle melodic sections keep the album sounding brutal and angry. Though the vocals and progressive tones can become slightly repetitive, songs such as “Return To Carthage” show the furious pace Septic flesh are capable of manifesting. Pounding blasts beats, sharp riffing and the ever present belligerent howls create a sound that the band would eventually grow into over the years. Throughout the album there are plenty of neat sounding solos highlighting the proficiency of the guitarists and their enthusiasm for their style of music they play. “The Underwater Garden” combines all elements of the album to create a song that’s as beautiful as it is heavy. Subtle keyboards and melodic guitar dexterity create the atmosphere while the guttural vocals, brutal riffs and hammering drum patterns perturb the delicate interludes with sheer metallic prowess.

While it’s not ground breaking, Septic Flesh do well on their debut to craft a style and an album that will be a basis for bigger things to come. The eclectic nature of each song is what makes Mystic Places Of Dawn so appealing and it will prepare the underground world of what would follow in the forthcoming years. While avid death metal fans might argue that this record is at times sluggish and may become boring, the quality it possesses is enough to see past this possible flaw and those who embrace it for its qualities will surely find something enjoyable. A very solid debut from a band that would rise to the top of the Greek death metal scene.

Overall: 3.3/5.



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user ratings (64)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
KILL (4)
is it better?...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Yeahtoast
August 7th 2010



2041 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Half completed review from a while back I decided to put the finishing touches on. Gonna do these guys’ discography, and with this review, the first rating of the album. I know Sumerian Daemons was a bad place to start for doing a discog but fuck it. This is pretty good stuff, especially if you enjoyed their other releases.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2010



5921 Comments


well written review, have a pos.

the only wrong thing about this album is that the drums were played by a drum machine.

It was so hard for a band to find a good drummer in Hellas back then.

Digging: Essence Beyond - Carnivalism

Yeahtoast
August 7th 2010



2041 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah man it was a drum machine, although I didn't really feel the need to point that out in the review as many people, such as yourself, were already aware of this. And they did sound quite well on the album nonetheless.

Thanks for the pos dude.

TRMshadow
August 7th 2010



4982 Comments


Good review. I pos'd it but in no way does this review make me really want to go out and try this album.

Yeahtoast
August 7th 2010



2041 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks a lot shadow, no worries, it'll at least get the word out somewhat of this album. Was unrated until today.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2010



5921 Comments


And they did sound quite well on the album nonetheless.

that's true.

I'm only pointing this out, because the lack of a drummer kept them away from live shows (and further recognition) for a criminally large amount of time. That wasn't their fault, though.

As you may know, in their last two albums - both are masterpieces - they finally found a drummer qualified enough to meet their demands and they managed to do extensive touring (they went to every major Americal city while touring for Communion) and people finally got to know them outside my home land, Hellas.

Yeahtoast
August 7th 2010



2041 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh you're from Hellas? Epic ^_^ have you been a fan from the beginning or did you only discover them recently enough?

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2010



5921 Comments


i know them from the beginning. Their demos were presented in the early 90's in the Hellenic Metal Hammer magazine.

from the first albums, i have only listened to The Ophidian Wheel which is excellent.

I haven't listened to Esoptron and Mystic Places of Dawn, because they were released in limited amount of copies and they are out of print nowadays, in Hellas at least.

Yeahtoast
August 7th 2010



2041 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awh man, that sucks. I'm actually in the middle of reviewing Esoptron (reviewing them all), I was gonna ask you if you could describe the feeling in Greece after the debut was released, how it was received etc so I could use the info to bolster the review...at least on a factual basis, would be great coming from someone from the same country! If you don't have any info like I mentioned above it's all cool though buddy :D

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2010



15341 Comments


good review

where do you come up with 3.3/5 though? haha

Digging: Astronauts - Hollow Ponds

Yeahtoast
August 7th 2010



2041 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Lol Sowing, it's just compared to their recent releases it's a bit inferior production wise etc, as you can imagine for a 1994 album. My only problem was this juggled between a 3 and a 3.5 in my mind, 3 seemed a bit too low while 3.5 was slightly closer to the mark. Basically 3.3 felt right in my head. Hope that cleared it up a bit ;) thanks for the pos!

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2010



5921 Comments


with Esoptron (or Έσοπτρον in Hellenic), Septic Flesh was instantly hailed as a promising band from the local metal press, that's for sure.

You can write that.

You can also write that the word Esoptron denotes an instrument with which one can reflect his innerself to the open and examine it.

Back in the 90's, the Hellenic Metal Hammer was issuing CD compilations with Hellenic metal bands from time to time that also included new Septic Flesh songs (that is whenever the band had something ready to give)



Yeahtoast
August 7th 2010



2041 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sweet dude! Thanks a lot :D I did know the word Esoptron literally translates as mirror (or at least that was the assumption I was under), but you put a cool spin on it. It'll definitely help man, thanks.

KILL5
October 23rd 2011



429 Comments


their best

KILL
November 1st 2011



70718 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

agreed

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

KILL
November 5th 2011



70718 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea dude agreed its much better than the newer albums yea agreed yea

KILL
November 5th 2011



70718 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yep

BallsToTheWall
November 5th 2011



44164 Comments


Death Cult Armageddon is much better than this yeah.

KILL
November 5th 2011



70718 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0



KILL
November 9th 2011



70718 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ugh so good ugh



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