Album Review: Septicflesh – Codex Omega

By Francisco Zamudio

Longevity is an accolade that has become more and more apparent in the last couple of years. Not to be categorized with the over-the-hill and nearly laughable group of bands from the Sunset Strip or the glam days and comeback reunion final farewell tours. No, we are talking more about the underground and extreme side of the spectrum. And when the ’90s hit, there was a lot of confusion as to where metal was going. While the American influence was searching for its identity, you have a band like Septicflesh from Greece who have stayed consistent for the most part despite their five-year break-up/hiatus from 2003, after their paramount release ‘Sumerian Daemons’. For 20 years, the Greek troupe has cast a dark veil with their symphonic metal hybrid. Now through Prosthetic Records they release their 10th full-length, ‘Codex Omega’.

A step forward from their previous release ‘Titan’, which was still a good album but did leave us something more to be desired – the aggressiveness pierces through on ‘Codex Omega’. Mauling the canvas with an orchestral lead-in, the opening track ‘Dante’s Inferno’, a nod to the poem by Dante Alighieri – begins to tell its story in romantic fashion. The support cast by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra adds so much depth to this record. Influencing a heavy drive on drums and lending his skills is sick drummer Krimh Lechner. Fulfilling his parts with great discipline and never needing to go over the top, bringing the exact attitude and approach necessary to maintain the powerful energy each song has developed.

So bold and defined is the complete sound emanating off this record. The production of the record is awe-inspiring to have been successful at capturing the emotion from every song with so much going on. Every song coming off as a scene in a grand musical or opera, the only thing thankfully missing was the “fat lady”. Often times, you can hit shuffle on an album and the songs won’t sound out of place. With ‘Codex Omega’ it might be an experiment worth taking. The fluidity as of now is so appropriate. It maintains its darkness throughout the album, yet there’s a feeling of a beginning, middle and end. Build-up to tragedies and action sequences on stage, running through your imagination, every song has multiple faces and characters in various scenes. Why bands like Septicflesh and more metal bands don’t get picked up for movie soundtracks, instead of today’s weak pop music, is beyond me.

Adding to the already amazing album as a bonus, a few symphonic tracks are included in the package. Should there ever be a need to explain to someone unfamiliar with the influence that symphony and orchestras have had on great songwriting and even further more, metal music – this record right here would be included in that discussion. It further proves how open-minded metal music, musicians and fans can be, exposing themselves to music with such heart, meaning, depth and a multitude of emotions. And the crowd rose to their feet in applause once the final opus concluded and the curtains drew to a close on this phenomenal record.

Rating: 9/10

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Record Label: Prosthetic
Release Date: September 1st 2017

Track Listing:

Disc 1
01. Dante’s Inferno (5:35)
02. 3rd Testament (Codex Omega) (4:08)
03. Portrait of a Headless Man (5:00)
04. Martyr (5:08)
05. Enemy of Truth (4:55)
06. Dark Art (5:24)
07. Our Church, Below the Sea (3:59)
08. Faceless Queen (5:21)
09. The Gospels of Fear (3:41)
10. Trinity (4:04)

Disc 2
11. Martyr of Truth (11:37)
12. Dark Testament (7:52)
13. Portrait of a Headless Man (Orchestral Version) (5:02)

Total Duration: 1:11:46

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