It’s a rare occurrence that I don’t want to review an album. But not for the reason you may think. In this instance it’s pure selfishness. If I don’t review this, then no-one else gets to read about it and I get to enjoy it on my own and it’s mine, all mine. Yeah, narcissism and delusion all rolled into one. But sometimes things are just too good to share and while I’d have no problem shouting from the rooftops lauding their praises, I also want it to retain that special quality of being enjoyed solely by me. Now with that said, let’s get on with it!
So three years after their last release, SepticFlesh are back with an even bigger, heavier and more adventurous sounding album in much the same way the deities that spawned the Olympians were. “War In Heaven” is everything you’d expect from these Greek metal gods. The orchestral backdrop complements the solid guitar riffs and pounding drums in the same way the choral vocals do the death roars. The song goes from slow and gentle to powerfully majestic so smoothly it’s a testament to the composition and musicianship we’ve come to expect.
The immediate drum blasts on “Burn” are only made heavier when they are littered with off beats by Fotis Benardo as they accompanied by Seth Siro Anton’s low roars, interspersed with Sotiris Anunnaki V’s clean vocals for the soothing balm required by your ears delivered by the blistering guitars before they morph into the beautiful outro bridge.
The bass on the truly cinematic sounding “Order Of Dracul” rattles your teeth as the brass section adds that epic quality great fantasy and war movies always manage to capture. Seth’s roars over Christos Antoniou and Sotiris guitars are the epitome of the SepticFlesh sound, which is carried on in “Prototype” where the inclusion of the children’s choir add a further dimension to Christos’s arrangement.
“Dogma” showcases Logan Mader’s production where all the instruments are clearly audible with an immense guitar sound driving through but still underpinned by the clean and choral vocals as they soar and are joined by the death roars.
The haunting opening to “Prometheus” has the orchestra in full swing until the guitars come to the fore and force it to make a stand and fight for supremacy which they do without hesitation. The choral and orchestral components of the song are both beautiful and utterly devastating simultaneously, which is an art in itself.
The title track “Titan” would make any horror film score writer soil themselves at the sheer ferocity of the guitars and violins along with the juxtaposition of the death and choral vocals as they swap to and fro.
The heaviest track on the album is quite easily “Confessions Of A Serial Killer”, which also happens to have some of the airiest melodies too. The ultra-tight guitars and drumming make it heavy, with the light orchestral interludes quite easily intensifying their sound by comparison.
The down-tuned guitars slowly build “Ground Zero” into the powerful death metal track it’s meant to be, while the melodious guitars and vocals make sure you never forget that subtle and violent can go hand in hand on any SepticFlesh song.
The final song, “The First Immortal”, again has a more epic feel to it with an undercurrent of heavy guitars and vocals as the sweetly singing choir and phenomenal orchestra are the primary focus and an exceptional way to end the album.
My only complaint, if I’m allowed to have one, is that the album could quite easily be 2 hours longer.
(9/10 Marco Gaminara)