Septicflesh
The Great Mass


5.0
classic

Review

by Subrick USER (36 Reviews)
April 16th, 2011 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The best Septic Flesh album to date, as well as the best album of 2011 so far.

Septic Flesh is one of the few proverbial diamonds in the rough in the modern death metal scene. In a musical genre filled with generic performances, poor structure, and outright chaos just for the sake of outright chaos, Seth, Sotiros, Christos, and Fotis have been creating interesting and varied death metal for the better part of 21 years. So it should come as no surprise that The Great Mass, the band’s eagerly anticipated follow up to 2008’s Communion, is another amazing effort. It might be early to say this, but it’s possibly the band’s best outing to date.

The album kicks off with “The Vampire from Nazareth”. The first thing one will notice when listening to the opening track is that the background is loaded with orchestral elements. Now, Septic Flesh has always had symphonic sounds on their albums, but this is a different kind of symphony. It appears that Septic Flesh have gone to the Dimmu Borgir School of Orchestra Usage in Extreme Metal, as that in fact was the first thing the orchestra on this album reminded me of. The band has combined the flowing, epic orchestras of Dimmu Borgir with the speed and intensity of death metal, coupled with a healthy dose of melody on many of the tracks. Along with the orchestras, female vocals are used sparingly throughout the album, as is the clean vocals of guitarist Sotiris Vayenas. Parts of songs, or even entire songs like “Pyramid God”, are very much akin to a style of melodic death metal that is not a total rip off of the Gothenburg sound. Every track has new tricks up its sleeves, making it a varied experience where during every listen the listener will find something new about a song that they didn’t notice before. If there’s any one thing I like in my metal music, it’s variety. I despise boring albums, and The Great Mass is anything but a boring album.

The two vocalists in Septic Flesh, growler & Seth Antoniou and clean singer & guitarist/keyboardist Sotiris Vayenas, come to the forefront whenever they are featured. Seth has a very Mikael Akerfeldt-like quality to him; this comes from the fact that Seth and Mikael’s vocal styles are very much alike. Both use a very guttural throaty kind of death growl that is so thick and powerful that you can feel their vocal cords ripping and tearing as they create their inhuman roars. It’s very much like listening to the roar of a lion, although the lion might have met his match in the form of Seth. Sotiris’ clean vocals, while not used as much as I would have liked for them to be used, are very interesting to listen to. Much like how Seth can be compared to Mikael from Opeth, Sotiris is very much comparable to Snowy Shaw from Therion. Sotiris uses a somewhat nasally singing style, which makes it sound unique amongst the crowd of weak sounding backup singers in metal today. The guitar offerings of Sotiris and Christos Antoniou vary between light finger-picked harmonies akin to early Mayhem, and fast paced, face ripping death metal riffs that would make Deicide blush. The bass is, sadly, inaudible, something that I really don’t like in modern metal. That’s one of the only real criticisms I have of this album: the bass is absolutely inaudible throughout the vast majority of the album. Fotis Benardo’s drumming is, once again, superb, varied, and downright insane at times. Fotis uses a potent combination of double bass and blast beats to beat the listener into submission. Sections of songs such as the opening verse of “The Vampire of Nazareth” are akin to the “bass drums follow the guitar no matter how crazy the riff is” approach popularized by Fear Factory and Meshuggah.

The combination of all these fine musicians putting all their ideas together, mixing in symphony and melody, and using a production style that is audible while still retaining some organic feel to it, creates an epic listening experience for whoever pops in this album and sits in awe of what four guys from Greece have created. During the period before The Great Mass was released, I felt that it would certainly give Communion a run for its money. It has exceeded all my expectations and is without a doubt the best metal release of 2011 thus far, and quite possibly the best album ever made by Septic Flesh.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Subrick



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user ratings (433)
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other reviews of this album
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If you’re at all familiar with and a fan of Communion, then you will be pleased to know The Great ...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
ThyCrossAwaits
April 17th 2011


3055 Comments


Your first paragraph is great, but afterwards you kinda slipped into some cliches and a little fanboyish later on. You
should use more descriptive words that aren't "superb" or "great", etc.

come to the forefront whenever they are featured. (this is redundant)

Your bit about the guttural vocals and the lion metaphor is way overstated.

Otherwise decent review.

Hawks
April 17th 2011


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Instantly 5'ing this album is pretty ridiculous tbh.

InFiction
April 17th 2011


3681 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Now I'm even MORE psyched to hear this.

BallsToTheWall
April 17th 2011


44593 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Shit owns.

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

Babyss
April 17th 2011


66 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

@Hawks
For experienced ears instantly 5ing an album is pretty reasonable.




Irving
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2011


7311 Comments


Decent review; some things to point out though:

i.) It might be early to say this, but it’s possibly the band’s best outing to date.

Sentence is contradictory (it cannot be "early to say this" if your qualifier is that this is their
best album "to date").

ii.) It appears that Septic Flesh have gone to the Dimmu Borgir School of Orchestra Usage in
Extreme Metal


Sentence is just plain ridiculous to look at - and it sounds worse when you read it out aloud. The
argument is okay, but framing it like that is just awkward.

iii.) Both use a very guttural throaty kind of death growl that is so thick and powerful that you
can feel their vocal cords ripping and tearing as they create their inhuman roars.


REAAALLLLLY? Melodrama rarely works in a review, mate. I get what you're trying to say, but
making the point like this just makes you sound a.) ridiculous or b.) like a fanboy.

iv.) Review is too conversational. The presence of too many personal pronouns really kill the
effectiveness of the writing, and make this sound like a mere blogpost that you randomly banged out.

Hawks
April 17th 2011


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

No, not really. This album isn't even out yet so you can't possibly have a good reason for giving it a classic rating. Plus you gave Surtur Rising a 1 just because it wasn't original, so your opinion could be easily discarded.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2011


31340 Comments


@Hawks
For experienced ears instantly 5ing an album is pretty reasonable.


Lol

Tyrael
April 17th 2011


20893 Comments


@Hawks
For experienced ears instantly 5ing an album is pretty reasonable.

Wow and I thought I was stupid.



sifFlammable
April 17th 2011


2741 Comments


Writing a review within a day's release is generally not the best thing to do...

anw symphonic metal is generally horrible to me so I'll steer clear.



Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2011


31340 Comments


You can rate however you want because everyone views the scores differently (personally I consider a 3.5 to be somewhat of a high rating) but half the reason I hand out a 5 is duration and longevity. Am I going to be feeling the same about this album after loses that new purchase smell?

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2011


8371 Comments


Unless the Brits or Ze Germans conquered New Zealand, I'm pretty sure Deviant is in fact not from Europe.

EDIT: ok who deleted Irving's comment and made me look like I've lost it, I want answers goddammit!

Oathbreaker
April 17th 2011


1649 Comments


This guy brings the laughs.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2011


7311 Comments


Now why have I been censored?!

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2011


8371 Comments


You were too off when pinpointing Deviant's ethnic origin ;)

Irving
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2011


7311 Comments


Isn't he English? LOL this is embarrassing XD

Acanthus
April 17th 2011


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hmm first time I've been censored before... well that cherry's been popped.

I thought Deviant was from New Zealand?

The review isn't all that bad, but as a reviewer you come off as being a twat; when the simplest comment brings out your rage it hinders the readers experience and sets your authority askew.


Digging: The Knife - Deep Cuts



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