Friday, August 26, 2011

Initial Impressions: Septicflesh: The Great Mass

I really enjoyed Septicflesh's last album, and I really enjoy this one. However, I think the band is starting to lose their identity a little bit. When I think of a Greek extreme metal band with some symphonic elements, but not overpowering the music, Rotting Christ is the first band that comes to mind. This is not to say Septicflesh sounds exactly like Rotting Christ, but this album is a little too close.

Of course, I am a huge Rotting Christ fan, so this album definitely does it for me. But as I said, there are definite differences that set Septicflesh apart from Rotting Christ. For one, Septicflesh exists more on the death metal side of the metal continuum, whereas Rotting Christ is more of a black metal band at their core. Secondly, Septicflesh's symphonic elements make up more of their sound than Rotting Christ. The band is much more of a symphonic extreme metal band, somewhat in line with groups like Dimmu Borgir. And I have now unintentionally referenced both bands listed on the "For Fans of:" sticker on the cover.

This is definitely an epic, dark album. The music is almost eerie. Definitely pluses in my book. It's almost like a dark horror movie soundtrack. Something supernatural and otherworldly with sinister and evil elements. That is just the kind of visual effect I get by listening to this album.

The only downside is that this album is missing a "Sunlight Moonlight". The song from their last album was almost romantic and pop-inflected. There is no counterpart on this album, which is fine, but I really enjoyed that song and wondered if the band could replicate its success.

Despite the similarities to Rotting Christ and Dimmu Borgir, Septicflesh retain their own identity, at least for now. This is a very impressive album, possibly better even than their last.

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