Septicflesh - Codex Omega review




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Reviewer:
8.0

294 users:
8.68
Band: Septicflesh
Album: Codex Omega
Release date: September 2017


Disc I

01. Dante's Inferno
02. 3rd Testament (Codex Omega)
03. Portrait Of A Headless Man
04. Martyr
05. Enemy Of Truth
06. Dark Art
07. Our Church, Below The Sea
08. Faceless Queen
09. The Gospels Of Fear
10. Trinity

Disc II [Deluxe Edition]

01. Martyr Of Truth
02. Dark Testament
03. Portrait Of A Headless Man [Orchestral Version]


If you have a soft spot for symphonic death metal, Septicflesh is beyond doubt the band to satisfy your needs. Since their rebirth, the Greek lords of brutal harmony have taken the genre to a different level that other acts can only dream of and have managed to put themselves in a class of their own. Codex Omega showcases once more the mastery of their style, though without any hidden surprises to spice it up.

The collaboration with the Filmharmonic Orchestra of Prague is present again in Codex Omega and the result is a grandiose and dramatic atmosphere, bestowing on us the musical equivalent of whole cities being razed to the ground and civilizations collapsing like a pack of cards. This is achieved by a constant and recurrent cycle of the triptych: build-up, climax, release. The instrumentation is brilliant as always and the band's form is at its peak.

The album obliterates everything in its path through the first half, which features some of the best moments Septicflesh have ever produced, culminating in one of the most epic and intense tracks of their career, "Enemy Of Truth". This song is an astonishing amalgam of inspired symphonies and hellish metal and the soprano choir is sure to raise the hairs in the back of your neck. Seth Siro Anton's infernal growls combined with Sotiris's demonic clean vocals in "Dark Art" offer another gothic highlight and the soundtrack for the apocalypse continues with "Faceless Queen".

Sadly, there is a feeling of déjà-vu, or, better phrased, déjà-écouté, that frequently appears in the album. "Portrait Of A Headless Man" starts by repeating the line "In a world controlled by fire" in the same way James Hetfield sings twice "And the road becomes my bride" in "Wherever I May Roam". The ghost of Metallica emerges in "Martyr" too, when, halfway into the song, the riff of "Moth Into Flame" can be clearly recognized (and it is not very original anyway). However, the most disturbing thing about "Martyr" is that it is using the same riff as "Anubis" from Communion and this is not the only unsubtle rehashing occurrence throughout Codex Omega.

To a certain extent, Septicflesh seem to be at the same crossroads as their fellow countrymen, Rotting Christ. They have honed their craft to perfection and set the bar so high that they have ended up with a formula of cloning themselves, thus not doing full justice to their undoubtedly immense musical abilities.

Fans of the last decade's Septicflesh will be pleased nonetheless, because Codex Omega is a thundering album with many awe-provoking moments and a formidable production that allows room for all instruments to shine (and there's plenty of them). It demonstrates great balance between orchestra and metal and resembles The Great Mass as far as songwriting quality is concerned. However, being the fourth consecutive release of the band in this style, it lacks the element of surprise and innovation that characterized The Great Mass and it cannot of course come close to the apotheosis of Communion. On the other hand, it is remarkably better than its predecessor, Titan, and miles ahead of most symphonic death metal albums.

"One more empty frame ready for display
On a gallery of headless portraits…"


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9


 



Written on 01.10.2017 by See them shimmy see them go,
see their painted faces glow,
slow slow quick quick slow,
see those pagans go go go go go!


Comments

Comments: 7   Visited by: 150 users
01.10.2017 - 10:33
garmling
I agree completely with your review! I could also add that some parts in Trinity are very reminiscent of Theater of Tragedy - Aegis sound... BUT despite these minor complaints, I find that every fucking track on this album is absolutely magnificent in its own way. There are plenty of jaw dropping moment on this album that is simply astonishing! I've heard it like 100 times already and it's still so moving and satisfying - a perfection of their art. That's why it is 10/10 in my opinion....
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01.10.2017 - 20:42
Polaria
Written by garmling on 01.10.2017 at 10:33

I could also add that some parts in Trinity are very reminiscent of Theater of Tragedy - Aegis sound...

Now that may explain some things about my (unexpected to me) 9/10 for this album
----
Life is all the pain we endeavour.
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02.10.2017 - 13:56
s_t_s
Even though I agree that some few parts can remind of other songs I could put names on them, for instance that bass line in Martyr as you mentioned it. I don't see the common point with Anubis, had a quick listen and both songs sound so different to me. What I like most with Codex Omega is that the symphony has been a bit tuned down compared to Titan, hence sounding closer to The Great Mass, my all time favourite album by Septicflesh.
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02.10.2017 - 23:35
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by garmling on 01.10.2017 at 10:33

I agree completely with your review! I could also add that some parts in Trinity are very reminiscent of Theater of Tragedy - Aegis sound... BUT despite these minor complaints, I find that every fucking track on this album is absolutely magnificent in its own way. There are plenty of jaw dropping moment on this album that is simply astonishing! I've heard it like 100 times already and it's still so moving and satisfying - a perfection of their art. That's why it is 10/10 in my opinion....

I love it too, but I can only give a 10 to Communion.
----
on and on south of heaven

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03.10.2017 - 10:55
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by s_t_s on 02.10.2017 at 13:56

Even though I agree that some few parts can remind of other songs I could put names on them, for instance that bass line in Martyr as you mentioned it. I don't see the common point with Anubis, had a quick listen and both songs sound so different to me. What I like most with Codex Omega is that the symphony has been a bit tuned down compared to Titan, hence sounding closer to The Great Mass, my all time favourite album by Septicflesh.

Try 0:44 from Martyr and 1:04 from Anubis. And it is not used only once in each song. I recognized it immediately, because Anubis is my all time favourite from Septicflesh and has been the ringtone on my mobile phone for years so I've heard it quite a bit
----
on and on south of heaven

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03.10.2017 - 20:25
s_t_s
Agreed but it won't spoil the qualities of Martyr, one of my fave songs from Codex Omega. I guess that at some point each band goes repeating be it wanted or not Who said that "Skyline" by Omnium Gatherum sounded a lot like "Only For The Weak" by In Flames ? Now to be honest, even when comparing both songs I can hardly hear how they are similar to each other, call it fan blindness ? :p
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14.10.2017 - 22:33
CWA
Written by nikarg on 03.10.2017 at 10:55

Written by s_t_s on 02.10.2017 at 13:56

Even though I agree that some few parts can remind of other songs I could put names on them, for instance that bass line in Martyr as you mentioned it. I don't see the common point with Anubis, had a quick listen and both songs sound so different to me. What I like most with Codex Omega is that the symphony has been a bit tuned down compared to Titan, hence sounding closer to The Great Mass, my all time favourite album by Septicflesh.

Try 0:44 from Martyr and 1:04 from Anubis. And it is not used only once in each song. I recognized it immediately, because Anubis is my all time favourite from Septicflesh and has been the ringtone on my mobile phone for years so I've heard it quite a bit
The are very similar riffs indeed, but they are not the same. I kind of see it as though the band was revisiting old riffs and seeing how they could improve it or just make it sound fresh. Good review though.
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