Rating:
9.0
Septicflesh - Εσοπτρον
1995


01. Breaking The Inner Seal
02. Esoptron
03. Burning Phoenix
04. Astral Sea
05. Rain
06. Ice Castle
07. Celebration
08. Succubus Priestess
09. So Clean, So Empty
10. The Eyes Of Set
11. Narcissism
12. Woman Of The Rings [Re-release bonus]
13. Crescent Moon [Live in Lille, 1999] [Re-release bonus]
14. Brotherhood Of The Fallen Knights [Live in Lille, 1999] [Re-release bonus]


One year after their successful debut album "Mystic Places of Dawn", Chris Antoniou, guitarist and one of the former members of Septic Flesh leaves for now the band in order to continue his guitar and orchestration studies at UK. Spiros and Sotiris remain back to continue the vision of Septic Flesh and in 1995 they release their second attempt, "Esoptron". For one more time the production was made by Septic Flesh and Necromantia's Magus Wampyr Daoloth, a good production but definitely not the best for such a wonderful release. In this album all the music and lyrics were written by Sotiris and it seems that he's pouring his soul into this release exposing his very own esoptron. According to the music, Septic Flesh, when time comes to relate "Esoptron" with their debut album, lower the speed of their compositions, but without losing in aggression, and at the same time the dark and mystic atmosphere becomes more descriptive evoking pictures of our inner self along with the esoteric lyrics. This time the influences from the ancient Greek culture are way more obvious and more intense than the ones in "Mystic Places of Dawn" and they add a unique mystic and ethereal feeling to the whole atmosphere. "Dark Romanticism and Ancient Memory" is what exactly this album is made of.

"Esoptron" is a deeply esoteric album expressing the inner self of everyone who is willing to stare at the mirror of his soul, his very own esoptron, of everyone that has the courage to face his very own reflection and know the mysteries that dwell deep into the abyss of his soul. Are you ready to lose yourself into a world where there's just you and your shadow, from where only one can return? If you think you can face yourself take a stare at the mirror of your soul and let "Esoptron's" chants echo…

The journey to the core your soul begins by "Breaking the Inner Seal" and serene eerie keyboard melodies echo prefacing "Esoptron", an elegiac composition based on guitar chords and tranquil guitar riffing in the background (some outbursts can be heard but they don't affect the tranquility that this composition exudes) and some keyboard melodies that echo here and there whilst Spiros' vocals express the pathway to your inner sanctum where you'll know who you really were, who you really are. "Burning Phoenix" that follows begins in a calm way to turn into a flaming outburst with Spiros sounding ecstatic as never before; the whole atmosphere is so devout, atmosphere based on Sotiris' chants and the wonderful riffing and expressing the beauty of the Phoenix, "the flaming bird" that "was born to fly".

As the album flows you lose yourself for a few seconds in the "Astral Sea" of tranquility, a tranquility that won't last long since the following composition "Rain" is a fiery maelstrom with great guitar riffing, beautiful-sounding small solos and inspired guitar chords that echo here and there evoking a dark feeling. After the "Rain" snow falls down and you lose yourself into the "Ice Castle", a wonderful composition with an eerily dreamy atmosphere; the keyboard melodies whenever they enter the song along with some serene chants bring forth the calmness of a wintry sunset and the guitars, acoustic or electric, they pace with the whole wintry feeling that this composition evokes. Some seconds of ancient beauty follow through "Celebration" and beautiful melodies echo praising the welcome of the "Succubus Priestess", a composition filled with an unearthly delightful feeling, with ecstatic howls by Spiros and ethereal chants by Sotiris and, of course, inspired guitar riffing.

"So clean, so empty" continues the album in an aggressive way but it is also filled with slower atmospheric moments with wonderful keyboard melodies and beautiful-sounding guitar solos. Oriental melodies echo as you see with "The eyes of Set", a composition with imposing and mystic atmosphere; for one more time the guitar work is exceptional with beautiful solos, riffing and acoustic chords creating an elegiac composition! As every journey has its end, the inner journey of Åóïðôñïí ends with "Narcissism", a 9-minute monumental composition, beginning with whispers, devout chants and mystic atmosphere-evoking keyboard ideas making the whole composition sound more intense at times whilst at others sounds so soft, so tranquil prefacing the entrance of the wonderful guitar riffing and Spiros' deep brutal voice. Natalia lends her ethereal voice to some parts of the song accompanying Sotiris' chants and the song and the whole album slowly reach the end with an inspired melancholic guitar solo. The journey is over, where you strong enough to return or you remained back, forgotten in oblivion, you and your shadows...?

Highlights of the album? Nah… It flows as one and it definitely should be a part of your collection.

"They are the grass, we are the blade that reaps redemption
Praise Set and join the storm that will turn their hopes into dust"


Band profile: Septicflesh
Album: Εσοπτρον


 



Written on 20.09.2004 by
DerRozzengarten
"It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."
More reviews by DerRozzengarten ››



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iaberis - 21.09.2007 at 01:41  
Well, what can I say. I don't like the vocals on this album for sure, since they're too brutal for my tastes, but the music is awesome! I love the melodies!
But the production as DerRozz says sucks. Maybe they'll re-release this album one day, with a better production and better vocals

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