Septic Flesh – The Great Mass
Communionhas been a break –through, the least. Musically adept and catchy as hell (yet not of a mainstream focused orientation) had certainly set the bar quite high for the Greek Sympho-deathsters. The next release would be a highly anticipated one. However, few did actually expect what it would be essentially composed of – the grandeur this would emit.
The Great Mass’essence should be analyzed as follows: two are the key musical fundaments of this album – the death metal one, and the symphonic, or most aptly, the classical one. The above mentioned musical grandeur that runs this album in whole (each and every composition illustratively exemplifies this – e.g. The Vampire From Nazareth, The Great Mass of Death, Mad Architect) is due to the classical fundament (the filmharmonic orchestra of Prague’s commitment is one of a kind), and actually/ especially to the fact that all metal parts were added to the classical composing instead of the reversed songwriting method established, concerning the extreme metal genres. Thus, the grand feeling that classical music naturally extracts is as vivid as possible, and, as so, awe flourishes. This turns even more concrete as the tight/ fresh production elevates the musical ideas in the most creative manner, easily conveying the ambience to the listener, facilitating the resonance. This ambience is theatrical, horrific, haunting – the orchestra is the fifth SF member.
This album could very well be the band’s most inspired release. Creativity stands firm in all levels thinkable, from the fierce drumming to the lyrical concept. Christos Antoniou served the others the fertile material on which they would relieve their dense artistic displacement. This album is the subconscious’ exploration, an actual subliminal creativity brought forth. The tunes are not catchy, they are memorable, making the listening a pleasurable plus accessible experience. Another spec of The Great Mass is the emotion lurking constantly and continuously (e.g. Ocean of Grey). Seth Siro’s vocals are, as expected, harsh/ deep and with a tone emotionally charged. On the drum kit, Fotis Benardo’s act is exceptional, in terms of execution/ performance and ideas too (in the mid-tempo parts, the drum tuning is lower, and as a result, aesthetics of largeness gain shape). In overall, this release is utterly mature, confident and massive. All confidence and largeness finds its reasoning through the constant struggle of a musical thesis and antithesis (classical musical element – extreme metal one, respectively). This dialectical shape breeds The Great Mass.
Lyrically, the album focuses on major philosophical matters, anthropocentrically viewed. Each song relates to a theme (e.g. God, lucid dreaming, etc.) and SF (more specifically, Sotiris V.) lays thoughts on it; a well-structured, well-written concept. Moreover, technically, the improvement is prominent in comparison with the predecessor (the very choice of words is far wiser). The covers (the limited edition digipack features a different image) have been done by Seth Siro himself, and the impressive, thought provoking artwork of the limited edition depicts a man-made God feasting on his own flesh.
The Great Mass is already considered to be among 2011’s most successful releases, strictly musically speaking. SF actually claims to assume the reins of the extreme music. This album confirms the band’s musical integrity. Grandeur has never sounded fresher, more baronial, more imposing than this obscure musical mass.
1. The Vampire From Nazareth
2. A Great Mass of Death
3. Pyramid God
4. Five-Pointed Star
5. Oceans of Grey
6. The Undead Keep Dreaming
9. Mad Architect