Review Summary: is it better?
Septic Flesh are primarily known for their two most recent albums Communion and The Great Mass, and while those arent terrible albums their earlier material is much more effective, in both song writing terms and atmosphere. The real difference between this album and their later ones is that this isnt an overblown, overproduced ***ing borefest. The atmosphere here is dark, thanks to evil sounding guitar melodies and eerie production. Also the keyboard/string sections dont feel forced, they add to the atmosphere with spooky ooga booga melodies, its not for pussies. Unlike many symphonic metal bands, this album kicks your ***ter right off the line, it doesnt *** around with ambient noises or any bull*** like that. The variety displayed here is great and helps stop the album from becoming repetitive. Most of the songs are mid paced but there are plenty of aggressive sections throughout, Return to Carthage and Behind the Iron Mask being the most aggressive, balls hard and thrash. This album features two epic tracks titled Crescent Moon and Mythos (blah blah). Crescent Moon is a solid track with great twin guitar harmonies and a ***ing great ass solo, while Mythos is an all keyboard instrumental track, which does become quite tiring towards to the end. Of course when you compare this album to their later stuff the production isnt anywhere near as powerful or loud, but the clarity is much sweeter, this is due to it not being ***ing brickwalled. The vocals are unique and more manly back here, which really adds to the dark atmosphere. There are also clean vocals featured which arent brilliant but they rarely make an appearance, but at least they are actually ***ing tolerable unlike those on later albums. The instrumentation is awesome, the drumming especially is great and quite subtle which fits the songs perfectly, although there are a few winter blasts throughout the album.
If you have ever thought of looking into this band, or have heard their newer stuff and werent impressed then you should check this out. The symphonic elements actually work here and the album as a whole is much higher in quality. If however you are a fan of their newest couple of albums then this is probably too brutal and trve for you and thats fine, opinions differ from bitch to nonce. But always remember as far as ***ing objectivity is concerned, mystic places of dawn is better.