Greek extreme metallers Septic Flesh recently conducted an interview with SubExistance concerning their new album 'The Great Mass' which is one of the most anticipated albums of the year so far. Let's see what Christos Antoniou and Sotiris V. has to say about the recording process and all things that revolve around the band as their unleashing their Great Mass to us!
-First of all thanks a lot for the interview. It’s been more than a year since you last talked with sub-existance and a there have been a lot of changes within the band. To begin with, you’ve been to a massive tour schedule for 2010 including a North American tour featuring Behemoth. How was the experience?
Christos Antoniou: I would say 2010 was not as heavy as It was in 2008 or 09. After the Behemoth tour we had the composition process for our new album “The Great Mass”.To tour in Usa is amazing and with Behemoth is even more. We had excellent time there and feedback from everybody although we had to cancel 3 main cities due to heavy snow. The result was that we had to stay in a Gas Station for 3 days!
-‘Communion’ was definitely a comeback album for you. Now that almost 3 years have passed since it’s release, how was the reception of the album? Are you still happy with the way things turned out?
S: Then, we didn’t know what to expect, especially after all those years of absence from the scene. Everything was possible, failure included. But things turned out extremely well at the end and the band managed to achieve with Communion a large scale of recognition. For the first time also, there was such an extensive touring, to Europe and USA and with some of the most renowned bands in the business, as Cradle of Filth, Behemoth, Moonspell, Gorgoroth etc.
-Now that the recordings for ‘The Great Mass’ are done, what can you say about the recording procedure of the album? Did you approach things differently this time or you used the same formula as the previous album, a quite successful formula indeed.
Christos Antoniou: We never follow any formulas or “recipes” for all our albums. We would limit our creation if we had to do that. The inspiration has to flow continuously. For the new album I composed the orchestral parts and the other members added their parts. In this album orchestra plays a vital role for the music. Is our fifth member and has a protagonist role. The majority of the bands use it as an accompaniment here is different. On the contrary for communion I had to orchestrate or to add the orchestra on top of the metal part. Both ways are working for us. It seems that we will follow the same procedure for the next album but you never know.
-The first single off of ’The Great Mass’ entitled "The Vampire From Nazareth’’ has been released on December. The song gained high reviews and raised the expectation for the album by far . Is the whole album on par with the single, what can we expect from it?
Christos Antoniou: This song has all the elements of the album. Full orchestra, female and Sotiri’s vocals to ethnic instruments. Definitely is the micrography of the album. The reviews for the entire album are excellent. Much better than communion we didn’t expect to have this feedback.
-Judging from the tracklist of the album we can assume that the lyrics deal with more religious matters this time. Is this true, was it something intentional?
S:“The Great Mass” has the character of a black mass, as the thematology portrays a rebelious spirit and attempts a deconstruction of religious symbolism. There are 10 different psalms, telling specific stories, that are part of a the same “liturgy”. There are also a lot of references to the human nature and its contradictory elements. Man takes the role of a suisidal god, just as gods that he created in his own image...
-How is working with an orchestra? Do you find it difficult to come up with so many parts and arrangements?
Christos Antoniou: I have studied that and this is my job. For the Great Mass I was working non stop for months in order to get the best result from the Orchestra. I made many arrangements and orchestrations and all the instrument colors I added worked really well. Also the Flimaharmonic Orchestra and Choir of Prague are very organized and experienced there are many people involved for the recordings. You have to be accurate and very careful otherwise if you ruin the sessions you could end up losing thousand of euro.
-You have been together as a band for 20 years now. Looking back in time what can you say was the most notable experience of your career? Would you do things any different now?
S:Artistically we are very proud for our releases. And we managed to do a lot of things having in mind that Greece is definitely not the easiest of places to start a carrier in Death Metal music. We have passed through a lot of difficulties, we did also our mistakes. For example we lost a lot of years without touring and promoting our material. However, there is no reason to look back and think “what if ?”. We have lived a lot of good experiences and many of our dreams became true. I think that our reunion is probably one of the most important turning points in the bands history so far.
-What have Septicflesh in store for the rest of 2011? Is there any tour scheduled and will you be coming in Greece anytime this year?
Christos Antoniou: Till now we have 2 festivals in France one we will be headliners and the other will play along Epicam Dagoba. On May is our headline tour in France for 11 shows and June we have Hellfest again in France. End of june and for a month we will tour in US/Canada with big package but I can’t say anything more for that. From September we will tour again in Europe and of course we will start our Greek shows.
-Anything last you would like to say to your Greek fans out there?
Christos Antoniou: Thanks for all your support all these years and be prepared for The Great Mass of Death.
Thanks a lot for your time and we wish you all the best. We’re definitely looking forward to ‘’The Great Mass’’!
Christos Antoniou: Thanks for the interview and keep supporting the Greek Scene!