Review Summary: Greek veterans show they can flourish on their own.
When Septic Flesh released A Fallen Temple
in 1998, many fans contemplated the direction the band would take with their next release, which was to be unveiled later in the year. A Fallen Temple
was a culmination of all the bands efforts to date, but also an album that edged the band in a completely new direction than before. With reports circling that Natalie Rassoulis would not feature and that Sotiris was to assume a more dominant role in terms of vocals, it was clear that Revolution DNA
was shaping up to be the most raw, modern sounding record the band had produced to date; a record that stands out to this day in the discography of Septic Flesh in terms of the music styles portrayed.
However, the true impact of Revolution DNA
could not have been imagined by any fan or critic. A stripped down approach to something Septic Flesh had never produced before. Here, we find certain trademarks we come to expect absent; in their place we find a new melodic approach, filled with weighty riffs, direct song structures and the now extremely reliable base of Akis "Lethe" Kapranos on drums. His input keeps the album plugging along and ensures this is the band’s most vigorous album to date. While subtle keyboard undertones remain to give the album melody, texture and most notably, atmosphere, this is an almost entirely revamped Septic Flesh sound. An intrepid move by a band now oozing confidence, a fact made obvious by the impressive results on display.
The most striking element introduced on Revolution DNA
is the increase in Sotiris’ vocal capacities. Building on previous performances, his new semi-clean vocal techniques sound imposing and at times, vicious. Seth’s presence and impact on the album is as ferocious and fearsome as ever, the two interlock fantastically on tracks such as “Radioactive” and Sotiris’ new malevolent tones coalesce strikingly with the new musical direction Septic Flesh have taken; his diverse performance fills this record with surprises and ensures it spans as many subgenres as possible. The intensified performance of the guitarists fills the spacey passages with dual guitar harmonies and the two combine in brutal fashion to carve out the biggest riffs Septic Flesh had written to date. Songs like “Science” and “Chaostar” not only show off the new vocal patterns of Sotiris at their most malevolent, but also the type of riffs he and Christos can forge, interchanging heavy chugging sections with the beautiful melodic leads they have executed so many times in the past. “Last Stop To Nowhere” is a track many have labeled as dispensable when compared to the other material on Revolution DNA
, however, I find this ballad to be among Septic Flesh’s finest moments, awash with melody, alive with texture and is a clear acknowledgement of the band’s beginnings. A slow track filled with delicately executed guitar leads, keyboard undertones and most surprisingly, an infectious bass line. The beautiful alternated vocals of Sotiris give the track raw emotion and a song that is surely a spectacularly intimate affair in a live setting.
Therein lies the appeal of Septic Flesh; each record is a vastly contrasted yet equally surreal experience. While Revolution DNA
may be a different album in terms of style and atmosphere, it is by no means a blotch on the excellent Septic Flesh back catalogue. It is a behemoth that shows the true force and capabilities of the band without the aid of orchestrations or outside vocal additions. A superb performance that shows the evolution required if a band is to avoid fading into the tepid background of modern day metal. For the band, Revolution DNA
is the crossing of the threshold into new unexplored territory, and unlike many bands who have attempted the same feat, they have succeeded in creating something immense.