Review Summary: Septic Flesh step things up with sophomore outing.
It’s 1995. Death have just released Symbolic
and At The Gates have shaped what is widely regarded as one of the most impressive pieces of melodic death metal ever in Slaughter Of The Soul
. Following the previous year’s debut album, Mystic Places Of Dawn
, Septic Flesh carved out a small but dedicated fanbase due to the diversity of their impressive atmospheric death metal. Their musical approach was an outlet for death metal fans who craved something extra. A year later, the band returned with their eagerly anticipated follow up, Esoptron
. An album that would gain the young Greeks deserved esteem from the Hellenic metal press, despite the indispensable masterpieces being constructed elsewhere. Continuing on from and building on their debut, Septic Flesh once again delivered an impressive slab of melodic death metal incorporating a unique atmospheric feel, and it is this release that firmly established the band on the scene.
is a step up in many respects from their debut. Most notably, the intensity on this album greatly exceeds the level set on Mystic Places Of Dawn
. While their first outing placed heavy emphasis on spacey, melodic passages, Esoptron
is more aggressive in terms of the instrumentation utilized. While these passages still remain, they are more aggressively executed by the band and this shows the character and confidence of the Greek outfit expressing their ability more freely. Atmospherics and subtle overtones once again give the album great variation; keyboard interludes intertwining with melodic dual guitar harmonies create ambient auras that are often disrupted by sludgy guitar riffs. Septic Flesh’s sophomore effort contains exactly the creativity and progression required if the band was to survive.
sees the grinding riffs present on the debut intensified further. Guitarists, Christos and Sotiris, however, produced something entirely new and different sounding when they combine here; almost doom metal sounding riffs. This new approach is best heard on the impressive “Succubus Priestess” and even the highly melodic “Ice Castle”, giving the record an even more malevolent feel that plays off the dark atmosphere already present. An excellent display of intensity and imagination. Seth’s ever present brooding vocals are perfectly apt for this sludgy approach. Keeping the album firmly rooted to their death metal beginnings, his distinctive throaty performance gives Esoptron
its sinister edge and his dreamy lyrics occupy the slow sections with what can only be described as belligerent beauty. The production of each song is brilliantly unique to the next, capturing the atmosphere and feeling of each individually. A partnership, one that continues to the present day, is forged between Seth and the clean vocals of Sotiris. The duet on “Burning Phoenix” is an elegant example and a fantastic addition to the already impressive array of musical talents which Septic Flesh possess. Closing track "Narcissism", exhibits the skills of the band at their compositional best, varying quiet moods with devastating riffs. Neat solos fit the music well with the tone of the music and highlight the aptitude of the guitarists.
, Septic Flesh were instantly hailed as a band who were on the path to greatness on their local scene. The progression and maturity from their debut served them well and ultimately led to a better sound; a sound that would that would remain a trademark for the band for years to come. Fans of Mystic Places Of dawn
will surely find this effort enjoyable and a step up in technicality and ability. While the atmospheric nature of Septic Flesh’s sound is entrancing and unique, it would be a while before the band would achieve success on a global level. This album, however, is a major stride in the right direction and one that would have a significant impact on Greek death metal.