Septic Flesh - Communion

Eighteen years ago, Greece spewed forth a dark and sinister Death Metal act named Septic Flesh, who would later reveal to be one of the most innovative and interesting bands strolling through the underground scene. Considered an integral part of a revered Hellenic movement comprised of bands like Rotting Christ, Nightfall and Necromantia, the Greeks gained a cult status on the basis of their eerily dark and superb releases punctuated with orchestral arrangements and esoteric, mythological lyrical concepts.
Unfortunately, Septic Flesh incomprehensibly split up shortly after their most successful and acclaimed work “Sumerian Demons” was released in 2003 by also defunct label Hammerheart Records.
Now, five years after such premature split Septic Flesh have returned to grace us with their most complete, cohesive, and bold work to date “Communion”.
Featuring nine brilliant songs, “Communion” masterfully blends the brutality of Death Metal, the shimmering melodies of Dark Metal and the cinematic feeling of classical orchestrations. The chilling and disturbing atmosphere of “Communion” has certainly a cinematic scope, take for instance leadoff track “Lovecraft's Death”, its terrifying classical string sounds and choirs could perfectly be featured in a cryptic film score like Jerry Goldsmith’s “The Omen” as it conjures up images of some bizarre scene with little Damien’s devilries. Guitarist Chris Antoniou, graduated at London College of Music with a Master's Degree in Concert Music has definitely excelled himself in the classical compositions and in the supervision of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Prague composed of 80 musicians and 32 singers.
The classical arrangements penned by Antoniou are simply marvellous and well measured, adding texture and shape to an already rich and sinister Death Metal backbone that is often interspersed with sparkling and memorable melodies, especially of the second half of “Communion”. Such contrast between melody and brutality, light and dark is really quite striking and provides a very enjoyable listening. Songs like the diverse and vigorous “Anubis”, the catchy “Sunlight Moonlight”, which has a chorus that reminds me of Amorphis “Tales From The Thousand Lakes” era, the mid-tempo “Sangreal” with its Mediterranean warmth and “Narcissus”, a song Paradise Lost could have written for the “Gothic” album, all fall into the more melodic side of “Communion”. While songs like the symphonic title track, the severe and brutally intimidating “Babel’s Gate” and “We The Gods” and “Persepolis”, which is bound to raise neck hairs with its epic qualities, all constitute the more harsher facet of “Communion”.
Septic Flesh has definitely crafted a wonderful work to signal their comeback and it’s most likely it will be among the top 10 albums of 2008. (9/10)

Band info:
Label info: