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ALBUM REVIEW: Codex Omega – Septicflesh

Since their rebirth in 2008 SEPTICFLESH have been firing on all cylinders, with albums Communion, The Great Mass and Titan all achieving critical acclaim continuously pushing the limits of extreme metal and 2017 sees the greek visionaries return with their highly awaited tenth release Codex Omega released via Season Of Mist. Their unique blend of symphonic death metal has turned many heads in the metal world since their inception and they plan to continue their rule over this domain and show to everyone that they are consistently raising the bar.

Utilising the services of an entire orchestra (in the form of the FILMharmonic Orchestra of Prague) and a full choir requires an incredible level of technique and skill and as soon as opening track Dante’s Inferno commences you know you are about to experience something special. Harbouring sinister, dark tones from the offset you feel yourself being immersed in the majestic combination of calculated guitars, pummelling drums and the accompanying orchestration which elevates the entire composition to an almost theatrical level. One of the most inviting qualities of SEPTICFLESH‘s compositions is how immediately distinguishable frontman Seth’s vocals are in the overall production as they pierce through like a cut throat razor with ferocious clarity.

Now the band have suitably eased you into the unravelling experience the shackles come flying off as they hit you straight in the face with the relentless shredding and bone shattering blast beats of 3rd Testament which is like an adrenaline rush straight to the bloodstream. The recruitment of Kerim ‘Krimh’ Lechner behind the kit was a masterstroke as his lightning quick limbs provide the most insatiably clinical backbone to the entire arrangement. Portrait of a Headless Man follows suit with its equally powerful yet methodical approach that also includes some experimentation with woodwind instruments and chilling violin sections.

Martyr unassumingly creeps into your airways with its soothing Japanese vibe before bursting into life with one of the most infectious riffs you’ll hear all year almost ripping your head clean off in the process with its raw energy and sheer brute force. If this doesn’t make it to their live set it’s a crying shame as it’s screaming out to be set free inciting a barrage of pits in its wake. Enemy Of Truth leaves very little time for respite as it dives head first into ominously savage riffs and its incorporation of the choir that feel like they have extracted the best parts of BEHEMOTH and DIMMU BORGIR to create the ultimate destructive force leaving you reeling from it’s ruthlessness.

Dark Art begins to engage the breaks a little from the feverish tempo as it proceeds with a solemn piano excerpt, don’t be fooled into thinking Codex Omega is going to lose its spark though as the evil sounding riffs abruptly follow soon afterwards. The orchestration within is utterly sublime and the selective appearance of Sotiris’ vocals providing the narrative further adds to the emotive splendour. Our Church Below The Sea injects a little more pace into the carnage with its frantic aggression blended with catchy yet monstrous riffs and further instances of Sotiris’ intriguing vocal palate.

As the latter stages of the album approaches Faceless Queen continues to baffle you with its intricate and intense instrumentation before The Gospels Of Fear leaves you trembling with its savage velocity and contagious compositions. Trinity brings the procession to a close with its more calculated pacing and melodic prose.

The sheer orchestration involved in Codex Omega is awe inspiring and every single instrument has been used to its full potential, never overstaying its welcome or feeling over zealous. SEPTICFLESH have developed what feels like you are being transported through an incredible voyage of emotions and artistry that will surely leave your jaw hanging in utter amazement. There is no doubt that Codex Omega is up there with some of the most intense music that extreme metal has ever witnessed and it will leave the remainder of 2017 with an insurmountable standard that will take something special to surpass.

Rating: 10/10

Codex Omega - SepticFlesh

Codex Omega is available now via Season Of Mist.

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