Written by: MN on 28/01/2015 00:32:27

Feeling inclined to reconsider all critically acclaimed records of 2014, I was flabbergasted to find such a level of excellence on Septicflesh's 9th release in form of the seminal "Titan". For this reason, I backtrack to a record released during last summer and give it the honours that it crucially deserves. Septicflesh hail from Athens, Greece and have been active since 1990. Like their fellow countrymen, Rotting Christ, Septicflesh have established an impressive roster of records with blinding consistency, with the difference that the grounding foundation of Rotting Christ is black metal, while Septicflesh are firmly planted in death metal. After a longer hiatus during the early 2000's, Septicflesh returned to the limelight with a somewhat rearranged approach to their music. They strived to create something even bigger and more menacing than ever before, and thanks to the inspiring collaboration of the Prague Filmharmonic Orchestra, Septicflesh have thus far released three records with full orchestration delivered by what is considered one of Europes absolute prime orchestras.

The death metal roots are still reaching deep, but the symphonic and gothic elements add another complete dimension, this along with the thunderous growls and lyrics of duo-vocalists, Sotiris and Seth, creates a powerful trifecta of classic orchestration, brutal death metal chugs and larger-than-life growls. "Titan" is another masterpiece that truly showcases Septicflesh's true brilliance along the lines of Behemoth, if not, even better.

Septicflesh have a natural inclination to base a lot of their music on Greek mythology and it's alluring mysticism. This album is no different, "Titan" refers to the myths of Prometheus and the symbolic strive for knowledge. "Titan" cannot be regarded as a concept album though, seeing as each track has a large array of allusions and an abstract theme to be deciphered by the listener. That being said, the overall experience is cohesive and the thematic significance overlaps in a selection of the songs. "Order Of Dracul" being a song that refers to the Romanian Vlad The Impaler, thereby referring to power over the masses, as is also the case in the furious track named "Prototype". The latter's orchestration is astounding as the nerve-racking sounds of the brass and woodwind yanks you out of your seat in the most unsettling manner. This paired with the somewhat creepy child choir in the recording makes for a powerful and extremely riveting experience.

"Prometheus" is another track that lifts the bar, although it is, for once, tough for me to reward any specific track as they are all interesting in their own manner. The apocalyptic "Ground Zero" is as morose as a song can get, the drums coupled with the dark chords create a distinct atmosphere of hopelessness in a desolate land. The follow up track "The First Immortal" breathes some new faith in the atmosphere as it describes the existence of life in this created desolate world. It is also the album closer, which leaves the listener shredded to the bone by this thunderous effort, yet with a reinvigorating and inspiring strength. In other words, this album is not one of melancholy, it is one of fury, a startling narrative of mysticism, god-like strength and fantastic imagery.

It is really an absolute pleasure to listen to this record, the production is also crisp and manages to keep the instruments from huddling up into an indecipherable mess. Compliments to the man behind the production decks, namely Logan Mader, formerly of Machine Head. If you're into complex death metal with grandiose passages, then make sure to get a hold of this record. If I were to have a critical perspective, I would say that Septicflesh could add more clean passages to let the dust settle at times. Fans of Dimmu Borgir, Stormlord, and Hypocricy won't be dissapointed though.


Download: Prometheus, Burn, Ground Zero
For The Fans Of: Fleshgod Apocalypse, Carach Angren, Vesania

Release date 20.06.2014
Prosthetic Records

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