Septicflesh - The Great Mass review




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Band: Septicflesh
Album: The Great Mass
Release date: April 2011


Disc I
01. The Vampire From Nazareth
02. A Great Mass Of Death
03. Pyramid God
04. Five-Pointed Star
05. Oceans Of Grey
06. The Undead Keep Dreaming
07. Rising
08. Apocalypse
09. Mad Architect
10. Therianthropy

Disc II [Limited edition] [DVD]
01. Making Of…
    1 - We Offer The Sun
    2 - Writing The Apocalypse
    3 - A Concerto Of Sadness
    4 - I Am The Destroyer Of Life

02. The Great Mass 5.1
    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
    7 - Rising
    8 - Apocalypse
    9 - Mad Architect
    10 - Therianthropy


According to Orthodox Easter, Christ will be resurrected by the end of this specific week, springtime unfolds its wings in a shy way, slowly but steadily, the flowers bloom, the butterflies dance and "The Vampire From Nazareth" is about to be awakened. Well, my dear friends, this is the most appropriate moment of the year for a new Septicflesh album.

And so, The Great Mass has been released and the sound is as expected, in the standards they set from their debut album to the new birth's predecessor, starting from there where Communion's last breath ceased to exist. This work is everything the band has been so far and a step ahead simultaneously. We're talking about a trademark Septicflesh ornament for us all to remember their course throughout the years and at the same time cherish something in the present that might evoke visions of the forthcoming future. Mystic Places Of Dawn and Esoptron set the basis. In these corridors you will find references to Ophidian Wheel's and A Fallen Temple's more atmospheric air. You will witness Revolution DNA's experimentation undressed from electronics, yet with its melody apparent. Sumerian Daemons' vulgar yet still elegiac vibes will lurk in the corner and Communion's more powerful aura will still haunt. And here's when Prague's Philharmonic Orchestra comes into play once again with the ensemble of a flotilla of musicians and instruments to frame the Septicflesh main core and here it is, a miracle, in exchange for your soul.

The first impression always emerges from the cover artwork, once again performed by Seth Siro Anton himself bearing his trademark signature, a fabulous piece of art with a Sopor Aeternus extravaganza and not only, plus the fact that you have to adore the new emblem of the band, their moniker never seemed so imperial; just like the sound. Everything's here, Seth's draconian voice that still haunts the abyss, Sotiris' sinister and at the same time gentle interpretation in a quite extended climax, the bombastic rhythm section that holds tight the compositions, the renowned Septicflesh guitar harmonies/melodies and the powerful bulldozing riffing. And all of them blend with a feast of nocturnal orchestrations, choir passages and female vocals from Androniki Skoula and Iliana Tsakiraki that bring forth memories of the Natalia Rassoulis era, in a whole lot different and personal vein though. Of course this mixture of massive assault, Anatolian mystery and dark delight would never sound the same without Peter Tägtgren's involvement in production.

Personality as an important aspect of Septicflesh's sound keeps reigning supreme and if Communion was the seed 'They, The Gods' planted during their reunion, The Great Mass is the blossom, with complexity and maturity overrunning the album through its 43 minutes of duration. I'd advice you to listen to it as a whole, it's an entity, not just ten compositions; coexistence is the key. If it won't earn your appreciation during the first blow, give it a few more spins, it possesses the art of growing; and then comes your reward.

The Great Mass is the intercourse of the damned's horrendous howls with the angels' enlighted chants, for they all shall inherit the same kingdom, that one, of the void.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 9


 



Written on 22.04.2011 by "It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."


Comments

Comments: 27   Visited by: 873 users
22.04.2011 - 21:31
Dargor
Perfect Review. Perfect Album.
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22.04.2011 - 21:39
corrupt
With a lowercase c
Very accurate. I like your style a lot here. The words of this review reflect the complexity and utter beauty of the record. I've been through the album for about 40 times now and the only flaw I find is it's length. Like Communion it ends just as you get comfy with it. Of course nobody would like them to include fillers just to prolong the experience, but some songs surely could have been longer. There are only two songs with more than five minutes in length here and the shortest is just over three minutes. That's barely enough time to build up some atmosphere.
Otherwise I have to agree. There's bits of everything here. I'm not so familiar with their work before Revolution DNA but just if you take Sumerian Daemons and mash it with Communion you get a good idea of what The Great Mass sounds like.

And it's not often that an album so hyped before it's release actually lives up to the promise. Well done guys!
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Schwarzmetall!
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22.04.2011 - 21:59
!J.O.O.E.!
Defunct
I'm still not sure about this. I do really like it but I think it's a bit too flamboyant for its own good sometimes. I like the simplicity of songs like 'Rising' but often it feels like I'm listening to a film score which means the guitars sound kinda lazy and uninspired at points. A death metal version of Rhapsody perhaps?

Anyway this is probably gonna top 2011's list of albums.
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22.04.2011 - 22:00
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
I don't think I have written this before...

Roz, I fucking love your reviews, really... It's always a pleasure to read them. The choice of words is amazing.
You really inspire people to check this out.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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22.04.2011 - 22:17
MetalSpider
This is an amazing review of one of the most amazing albums my ears have ever had the pleasure of listening to.
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Thanks to Corrupt for these banners!
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22.04.2011 - 22:24
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
I'd give this review a 9/10 but the album a 6.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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22.04.2011 - 22:42
frankeli
Account deleted
A damn great album. Amazing work with the artwork, concept, music, production ........
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22.04.2011 - 22:47
Nerevarine
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 22.04.2011 at 21:59

I'm still not sure about this. I do really like it but I think it's a bit too flamboyant for its own good sometimes. I like the simplicity of songs like 'Rising' but often it feels like I'm listening to a film score which means the guitars sound kinda lazy and uninspired at points. A death metal version of Rhapsody perhaps?

Anyway this is probably gonna top 2011's list of albums.


Same feeling for me, the orchestral arrangements give a rhapsody feeling to the simpler songs. Plus the fact that some songs should be longer, they have the material to build up more interesting structures than what they do here. Either way, I'd give an 8, I have to admit I prefer their most ancient albums; like Mystic Places Of Dawn or Esoptron, they have more of an Oriental feeling and they' feel more fresh, I'd say. This is also what this album lacks a bit, Communion had a very "ancient persian/egypt" air about it, that I do miss now.
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This Is Not Dead Which Can Eternal Lie, And With Strange Eons, Even Death May Die
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22.04.2011 - 22:49
corrupt
With a lowercase c
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 22.04.2011 at 21:59

I'm still not sure about this. I do really like it but I think it's a bit too flamboyant for its own good sometimes. I like the simplicity of songs like 'Rising' but often it feels like I'm listening to a film score which means the guitars sound kinda lazy and uninspired at points. A death metal version of Rhapsody perhaps?

Anyway this is probably gonna top 2011's list of albums.

That's pretty much the opposite of my own perception. At first I would have agreed with you because on the first few spins, the orchestra really dominates. But once I got into it, I realized that they are in fact not doing the Rhapsody thing. The orchestra is not there just for the sake of having one. It serves to support the sound in well-defined places without cutting off it's edges.
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Schwarzmetall!
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22.04.2011 - 22:54
!J.O.O.E.!
Defunct
Written by corrupt on 22.04.2011 at 22:49

That's pretty much the opposite of my own perception. At first I would have agreed with you because on the first few spins, the orchestra really dominates. But once I got into it, I realized that they are in fact not doing the Rhapsody thing. The orchestra is not there just for the sake of having one. It serves to support the sound in well-defined places without cutting off it's edges.

Well I've given it about 4 playthroughs but I come away each time like I've just chugged a litre of Red Bull and then injected myself with a Mars bar. It's a bit too heavy on the symphonics for me.
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22.04.2011 - 23:12
Mikyz
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 22.04.2011 at 21:59

I'm still not sure about this. I do really like it but I think it's a bit too flamboyant for its own good sometimes. I like the simplicity of songs like 'Rising' but often it feels like I'm listening to a film score which means the guitars sound kinda lazy and uninspired at points. A death metal version of Rhapsody perhaps?

Anyway this is probably gonna top 2011's list of albums.


Sounding like a Film Score isn't a bad thing Personally, I think they balanced the orchestra and themselves quite well. The composition undoubtedly gives the orchestra the upper hand, which I found to be all the more engaging and not at all off putting. This is for fans of early Therion imo, and its definitely going to end up on my year-end list.
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Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep and you weep alone.
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22.04.2011 - 23:18
!J.O.O.E.!
Defunct
Written by Mikyz on 22.04.2011 at 23:12


Sounding like a Film Score isn't a bad thing Personally, I think they balanced the orchestra and themselves quite well. The composition undoubtedly gives the orchestra the upper hand, which I found to be all the more engaging and not at all off putting. This is for fans of early Therion imo, and its definitely going to end up on my year-end list.

Haha, no it isn't a bad thing necessarily, you're right and it is a fun record and one I've no doubt I'll play a lot more in the future. Just not normally the kind of thing I listen to so it's like "woah, bit heavy on the melody" kind of thing.
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22.04.2011 - 23:20
MechanisT
Account deleted
Everything about this album screams masterpiece. Absolutely agree on the coexistence and grower part. These two qualities effectively helped shape my opinion of the album.
A befitting ode to an album which radiates utter brilliance.
Personally, I'd also like to add the the dying moments of "The Great Mass of Death", when the tempo works its way up to reach a steller climax, is a culmination of one of the greatest musically-overwhelming experiences in quite a while.
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22.04.2011 - 23:47
Paradox0
Unasuming Madnes
I'm now in spin three of this album. It is pretty epic and I would say better than communion, if not for the fact that this album lacks any filler. On the other hand, theres nothing that really sticks out for me. Sure each song has certain parts which i find somewhat enjoyable but nothing overall grips me like the better parts of Communion. The album does essentially also conquer the problem Communion had of although having epic symphonies which complemented the music, they were somewhat "one-dimensional" in their utilization and too often than not repetitive. Mass amends this problem with blending the metal and symphonic elements into a more complete whole while showing more depth and variety in the symphonic elements. However at the same time I don't feel the two parts truly complement each other, but actually either step on each others toes or hold each other back in order to coexist. I've felt too many times that the orchestra sections where kind of dull in some areas, while at other times the blast beats could either be toned back a little, or at times have heavier production., but I felt that too many times they just didn't sit quite at home with me. Surprisingly I was kind of impressed with how they re-defined the utilization of the guitar as an instrument within the context of the music. It actually does work well with the orchestra or drums, which I suppose is a little odd for some metal listeners to have the guitar as such a non-prominent instrument (but its been done in Unexpect's "In A Flesh Aquarium", so this isn't so radical to be blasphemous to me). from a technical aspect, this album is fairly ambitious and does something pretty unique within the metal scene. unfortunately, the album just doesn't seem to offer any truly impactful moments. I'm going to continue giving this a spin, but zi just feel that I'm only going to find small embellishments from here on in rather than anything which tis the music better. 8/10
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23.04.2011 - 12:46
K†ulu
Seeker of Truth
Written by Mr. Doctor on 22.04.2011 at 22:00

I don't think I have written this before...

Roz, I fucking love your reviews, really... It's always a pleasure to read them. The choice of words is amazing.
You really inspire people to check this out.

+1. This album is on my "check out as soon as possible" list. Great job with the review. Thanks!
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Savor what you feel and what you see
Things that may not seem important now
But may be tomorrow

R.I.P. Chuck Schuldiner

Satan was a Backstreet Boy
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23.04.2011 - 12:59
Merchant of Doom
I quite enjoyed it, but it needs several spins, because after the first one all the tracks seem the same. None of them stands out. Maybe there is too much uniformity in their diversity...
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23.04.2011 - 18:29
Baz Anderson
Strange album. I've listened to it a few times, but maybe I just don't "get" it.
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23.04.2011 - 18:47
Deadmeat
Necrobutcher
Written by Paradox0 on 22.04.2011 at 23:47
On the other hand, theres nothing that really sticks out for me. Sure each song has certain parts which i find somewhat enjoyable but nothing overall grips me like the better parts of Communion.

i will give much more spins to the album before i finish with it's listenings but that's also how i feel about it. i like it more as a whole but i love much, much more some communion's moments and songs. on the other hand this is one of the very few albums that can "live" only as a whole. and it happens rarely (that a band creates this type of an album). and i appreciate that.
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Υou've sold your human essence to the cold world of dead and empty things... You're SOLD!
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24.04.2011 - 06:16
Richard
Written by Mr. Doctor on 22.04.2011 at 22:00

I don't think I have written this before...

Roz, I fucking love your reviews, really... It's always a pleasure to read them. The choice of words is amazing.
You really inspire people to check this out.


Absolutely.. He's written many splendid reviews over the years, which are both eloquent and informative. This sounds like a very intriguing album - I own most of Septic Flesh's material, and particularly liked 'Esoptron' although the later material is also good.
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25.04.2011 - 18:24
AngelofDeth
Cyborg Raptor
This album is absolutely breathtaking
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pewpew.. gotcha
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25.04.2011 - 21:47
Dark Blood
The Avenger
Pretty good and accurate review. I've heard the album 2 or 3 times but it didn't impressed me that much.. and it still doesn't, but It's slowing growing on me. I doubt I'd consider it better that Communion though.
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It is humanity who must pay homage to the greatness of the Universe... not the Universe to the human narcissism.
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25.04.2011 - 21:55
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Mikyz on 22.04.2011 at 23:12

This is for fans of early Therion imo,



early Therion has no orchestration whatsoever. And is plain old straight ahead death metal. Great though and vastkly superior to what they churn out now. Butsaying this album is for fans of early Therion is way off. Lepaca Kliffoth I can see, but not Of Darkness...., Beyond Sanctorum, or even Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas era Therion and that's the ear I would call early Therion
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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26.04.2011 - 08:29
Mikyz
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 25.04.2011 at 21:55

Written by Mikyz on 22.04.2011 at 23:12

This is for fans of early Therion imo,



early Therion has no orchestration whatsoever. And is plain old straight ahead death metal. Great though and vastkly superior to what they churn out now. Butsaying this album is for fans of early Therion is way off. Lepaca Kliffoth I can see, but not Of Darkness...., Beyond Sanctorum, or even Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas era Therion and that's the ear I would call early Therion


Yeah sorry I didn't express myself well enough, I meant the early symphonic era of Therion as in Theli and Vovin, I'm not saying that it's similar I'm saying that people who like it should enjoy The Great Mass, it has the same kind of atmosphere.
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Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep and you weep alone.
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27.04.2011 - 14:33
DerRozzengarten
Odysseus
Bought the album yesterday, the limited edition, the cover artwork is even more astonishing all silver and shiny Get the limited edition asap, not the common version, it has a bonus DVD to that i haven't watched yet since i'm off town atm.

PS.
Thanks a lot on the positive feedback; and of course i'm glad most of you enjoy the album to say the least. If you love the orchestrated parts, don't forget to check out Chaostar, a side project of orchestral blablabla music by Chris Antoniou of Septic Flesh. You will either love or hate it, it's always up to you. But i suppose most of you are aware of this band's existence. Horns up brothers and sisters like Rotting Christ say
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Dec. 30, 1334.

...And the whiskey and wine entered our veins when blood was too weak to carry on.
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01.05.2011 - 00:52
Monochromatic-7
Written by Troy Killjoy on 22.04.2011 at 22:24

I'd give this review a 9/10 but the album a 6.

yea me 2.
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31.07.2011 - 02:12
Dark Cornatus
Powerslave
It's a great album, but i agree it's a little too heavy on the Symphonics. I wouldn't even call it Death Metal. It's actually kind of Draconian-ish just not as doomy.
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18.10.2011 - 17:47
Mechaniacal
Are some of you really complaining about "too many symphonic elements" in a symphonic death metal album by a symphonic death metal band? What's next, too many death metal elements in a death metal song by a death metal band? Haha, oh wow. Thanks for the entertainment.

The Great Mass will easily end up in my Top 3 of the year. I see no faults here, just another masterful release by the almighty Septicflesh.
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