Septicflesh
Titan


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Davis CONTRIBUTOR (156 Reviews)
June 18th, 2014 | 99 replies


Release Date: 06/24/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A natural progression from the band's last two albums, "Titan" takes Septicflesh's core sound into uncharted territory, making for one of the year's finer releases.

Ever since Septicflesh reunited in 2007 and changed their name by simply not keeping two words (which are often synonymous with death metal) separate, the band have opted for a musical formula which has slowly but surely weaved its way deep into the heart of the core Septicflesh sound. This musical formula was monumental enough with the career-defining Communion, and even let the band take mammoth-sized steps into victory with The great Mass, but the latest album, appropriately titled Titan, really takes things seriously and goes for the fully-fledged orchestral extreme metal assault. Those last few words are quite a mouthful, sure, but it's just about the simplest way of describing Septicflesh's currently innovative sound, which few bands can even try to emulate.

Titan takes things up more than a few notches. With various songs neck-deep in orchestral power and the underlying existence of extreme metal, the transition between the two musical movements has never been fresher and more fluent in Septicflesh's songwriting. Opener “War in Heaven” is a victorious assault on the ears, dark-tinged choral chants breathing into the death metal elements and consequently making for an extremely emotional affair. It's the sort of thing which Septicflesh is now well-renowned for, but “War in Heaven” is not the only example of how well the band can pull this off. The menacing title track and lengthy, slow-moving opus “Prometheus” both display this well-balanced fusion of symphonic power and metallic energy, and it's almost as if Septicflesh can do no better. There is simply no better way to show that the band are in a world completely of their own.

That said, the best thing about the album is unfortunately one of the worst too. I don't mean that statement to make me out as a despicable nit-picker, but the main flaw with Titan is staring people in the face. Septicflesh, as hard as they try, just overdo things a bit, and it affects more than just a few songs. On “Prometheus”, where the band have obviously spent copious amounts of time making everything as epic as they could ever be, the orchestral arrangements are taken to a new level, and it's almost like the biggest war in the universe is happening right before your very eyes. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but when you get used to these symphonic elements blowing up in your face, it can start to get a little tedious. This problem affects the last couple of songs more than anywhere else on Titan, but for those who simply miss the band's rawer early years, where blastbeat-ridden songs were much more prominent than tinkling keyboards and harmonic string arrangements, this will come as a little disappointment. And that's the sole reason why “Ground Zero” and “The first Immortal” aren't any more effective than they should have been.

Full respect to the band though, because they certainly know how to pen a memorable song. The violent likes of “Order of Dracul” and the mischievous “Burn” are the most straightforward songs on the album, but that's only because the structures are based around thunderous riffs and ear-shattering drum work. It's the heart and soul of every perfect Septicflesh tune, the way in which extreme metal manifests itself easily into the band's free-flowing rhythm. Another bonus for the band's latest album is the vocal delivery, which isn't always as effective as it needs to be. Despite the clean vocals being a little mundane at times (“Burn” and “Dogma”), the most interesting aspect of the vocal range is Vayenas' excellent roars, which are the extra bit of spice in every song on Titan. He can really shake a song into a new level of power, and that's essentially why Septicflesh wouldn't be as promising as an instrumental band. Not to say that the band's instrumental abilities aren't excellent, but the vocals are a bonus element to an already well-refined musical formula.

Titan is one of 2014's finer extreme metal releases, and that's no lie. Though it sometimes trips itself up by attempting to tread more dangerous ground in the form of full-fledged orchestral assaults, what Septicflesh have crafted here is the perfect progression with their core sound. It may not necessarily click with you for the first few listens, but Septicflesh's ninth release confirms them as a band completely in a world of their own, undisturbed and for the most part, unmatched.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
June 18th 2014


1917 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album stream:

http://www.terrorizer.com/news/streams/stream-septicfleshs-new-album-titan-full-terrorizer

My first review of a new release in well over a month, and I'm proud to say it was of a Septicflesh album. Criticism is welcome.

Digging: Obliterations - Poison Everything

Sabrutin
June 18th 2014


1005 Comments


Really enjoyed your review, and since I like everything this band did I guess I'll be okay.

Just a few question: Are the lyrics good? I always loved them for that: they really have a
mythological and mystic feel. Also, is Sotiris (the clean singer) singing some parts like Sangreal? I
love his voice.

Mentally pos'd.

Digging: AC/DC - Rock or Bust

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 18th 2014


8387 Comments


Since sir Willie never gave me an answer, I'll ask you instead: if I found all the pre-released songs thoroughly underwhelming, is there any point in me checking out the whole thing? Is the rest considerably better, or about the same?

Willie
Moderator
June 18th 2014


16131 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I don't remember the question. Sorry. Anyway, my answer would be that you wouldn't like the whole thing.

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 18th 2014


8387 Comments


Some Sepfticflesh news thread where we both commented was where I posed the question, if my memory serves me right. In any case, I'll skip this then. I have much other stuff I also want to get to and if you say I probably wouldn't like the whole thing, I'll take your word for it.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 18th 2014


6286 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Band appears to go through the motions on this album.

Only marked difference I spotted is that songs tend to be more complex, yet with little effect.

A low 3.5 atm for me.

Digging: Madred - Supersonic Brainfuck Overdrive

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
June 18th 2014


1917 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

By a margin I prefer "Communion", and definitely agree with how the songs are more complex. That's probably the album's only flaw too.

KjSwantko
June 18th 2014


9446 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Very disappointed in this so far (1/2 way through). I'm leaning towards a 2.5-3

Communion--since we're talking about it--blows this away.

smokersleeper5268
June 18th 2014


168 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Looking forward to listening to this!

Killerhit
June 18th 2014


5254 Comments


their album arts pretty shitty

BigPleb
June 18th 2014


37588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Bet this is dull as all hell.

Good rev though dude.

Funeralopolis
June 18th 2014


11774 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

album sucks

Digging: Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

R6Rider
June 18th 2014


4717 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Bet this is dull as all hell.

Exactly what I thought of the singles.

Gonna listen to the stream even though I'm not expecting much.

Digging: Thou - The Sacrifice

PortalofPerfection
June 18th 2014


623 Comments


Never could get into these guys. Doubt this will change my mind :/

Digging: Ne Obliviscaris - Citadel

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
June 19th 2014


15026 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Was thinking about reviewing this and now I don't have to, not as good as their last two.

Digging: Kashiwa Daisuke - 9 Songs

KILL
June 19th 2014


72090 Comments


quite the feat

Digging: Steve Hackett - Out of the Tunnel's Mouth

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
June 19th 2014


15026 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

mystic places > amirite?

KILL
June 19th 2014


72090 Comments


u said it not me

smokersleeper5268
June 19th 2014


168 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wasnt expecting it to be this good. Really want to see these guys live.

InFlamesWeThrash666
June 19th 2014


1426 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Wish there were more clean vocals and lead guitar playing...This is their 3rd worst album for me.

Digging: Primordial - Where Greater Men Have Fallen



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