Combining cinematic elements in Metal can be somewhat of a disastrous affair. Full of metaphorical pitfalls from the mix, production style to the sheer incorporation of the idea can be a total catastrophe. Understanding the the compromise between the two Septic Flesh have long since been the banner men for the art of Symphonic Metal and Codex Omega is a true statement of their grandiose intent.
Opener “Dante’s Inferno” sets the ominous tone perfectly, seeing neither orchestra or band overshadow each other but rather work in tandem to create an atmospheric and genuinely thrilling opening soundtrack. Think of it as an undead Lawrence of Arabia if you will, the imperious tones of “Portrait” signify a foreshadowing that wouldn’t be amiss in Game of Thrones. Before kicking in with brilliantly placed rhythms that again let orchestra and band breathe.
Not limiting themselves to one single style of orchestra both band and symphony are able to create differing sounds, in turn creating an entirely different wave of emotion making each track stand, quite rightly, out. A perfect compromise of the ostentatious and the minimalist, with the band sticking to simple sounds whilst the orchestra flanks the more intricate of parts. “Dark Arts” for example showcases are more regal sound than what the band had put forward before, with clean vocals from Sotiris Vayenas both lead guitar and orchestra combine, its visionary stuff. With the addition of sticksman extraordinaire Krimh, the man has the ability to bring Septic Flesh into rhythms that would have previously been beyond their reach prior to his joining.
Able to conjure up nightmarish visuals, frontman Spiros Antoniou is also responsible for creating the dysmorphic image on the records cover. A perfect metaphor, Septic Flesh combine the androgynous beauty with nightmarish Horror echoed fantastically throughout the bands music. With the ebb and flow of the tracks the listener is never bored making our way through the grooves of “Gospel” effortlessly before the baroque style finale of “Trinity” which moves seamlessly in its Black Metal dance. I was pleasantly surprised by the sheer amount of depth that Septic Flesh have put together, combine that with the masterclass musicianship and genius compromise and the band have created a record that not only stands out but blends good and evil, light and dark perfectly in a dualistic tapestry.