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Review of the Album "Communion" by Greek Death Metal Band Septicflesh

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

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Introduction to the Album Communion and Its Musical Style

“Communion” is not just a word but it is the 2008 studio album by Greek death metal band Septicflesh and this album marks the first one that was released under their new name. There is a title track called Communion and this one has a sort of chanting with people saying “oh” and holding that note as if it is an opera style song. One thing that must be said about Septicflesh is that while the length of their songs are not as long as Opeth for instance, the music from these Greek guys is more of an acquired taste so you may like it or not. Not all fans of death metal will enjoy this but for those that do, you will be treated to death metal that has been fused with elements of Gothic and or black metal.

How the Band Septicflesh Reformed

Septicflesh had been inactive from 2003 until 2007 but they announced a reunion show at the Metal Healing Festival in Greece and then they released Communion with the help from the French record label Season of Mist. Guitarist Christos Antoniou arranged a full classical orchestra. He has a master’s degree in concert music from the London College of Music.

"Communion" Is a Musically Varied Album

However, by the time we get to the song Sunlight/Moonlight, this is an interesting musical shift because we have a mix of Lacuna Coil and death metal in the same song. The soft vocal part resembles a bit of vocalist Sakis Tolis of the band Rotting Christ other than the chanting of “Sunlight, moonlight.” Communion can be thought of as a mishmash of different musical elements. This is not necessarily a bad thing because for Greece’s Septicflesh, this kind of approach definitely works out well. Yes, the vocals are rough but they do not make you feel as if they are so bad that they don’t belong in the songs.

How Does "Communion" Begin?

Communion begins with the very heavy and atmospheric song called Lovecraft’s Death which is also accompanied by fast drumming and some orchestration. This is not going to be a symphonic metal album but an album in which variety is the name of the game. The song has the names of some of H.P. Lovecraft’s stories. One full listen through the album Communion leaves me wondering whether it can match the band’s earlier releases under their former name. Well, this one is pretty solid as well for a band that has been in existence since 1990.

"Anubis"

Why Did Septicflesh Choose to Split Up?

Guitarist Sotiris Vayenas gave an interview about the album way back in 2008 and he opened up in depth not just about the album but why Septicflesh chose to reunite after being split up. He said that the reason why the band chose to split up was because of the desire of the other members to pursue other projects but now since those goals have been achieved there is less pressure on the members. The fan support for the band was great even before they split up.

The Meaning Behind the Album's Title

Sotiris V. also said that the songs of Communion give the answers as to why the band had to reunite. In addition, Communion is thought to mean communication with non-human entities.

Final Thoughts About the Album Communion

As part of this meaning and symbolism, lyrically Sunlight/Moonlight tells the story of a person that closed his eyes and went to sleep. He then felt paralyzed as he saw himself floating above his body and he called it a miracle. Persepolis lyrically explores the theme of mythology. Sangreal also has some clean vocals along with the heavy riffing. Lyrically, this song is about the darkest secrets hidden from the family of light. But there is a sacred kind of cup that has this sort of royal, bluish blood. Overall, Communion has plenty of melody and varied musical styles especially in the song Narcissus but can it be better than the band’s first two albums? That is a really tough call.

© 2020 Ara Vahanian

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