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Septicflesh, "The Great Mass" Album Review

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


Basic Facts and Observation About "The Great Mass"

Genre: symphonic death metal with drumming similar to the band Cradle of Filth

Label that it was released under: Season of Mist

Length: 43 minutes and 35 seconds

The Great Mass Represents Something New For Greece's Septicflesh

Greek death metal band Septicflesh entered 2011 having been active since 1990 and with this album called The Great Mass, they have entered musical territory which for them was like uncharted waters in a sense. With The Great Mass, there is the contribution of Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and you can clearly hear the orchestration in the music. It is a good assumption to state that Greece has now fully entered the metal genre as one of the growing nations of Europe in this category. They have come a long way since about 1987 when Rotting Christ entered the scene and were able to really make a name for themselves. Septicflesh followed in their footsteps forming a few years later in 1990.


The Great Mass Is Both Symphonic and Melodic

The Great Mass is one of those albums that can be seen as being melodic in nature as well because you might get the sense that parts of it sound like Swedish melodic death metal and that’s certainly not a bad thing! This album might as well be considered a great mass of symphonic written material that should appeal to fans of classically orchestrated metal music. “Oceans of Grey” has a small section that sounds like later Sepultura groove only better. Yes, just because this metal band is from Greece doesn’t mean we should underestimate their talent. The only quality that needs adjustments or fixing is the rough vocals part. If you make that part more audible to the listener then the albums would go up a huge notch. This is not to say that Septicflesh albums are bad. It is just that with an adjustment to the rough vocals, the listener could understand what is being said without constantly having to have access to the lyrics.

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About the Songs In "The Great Mass"

We will mention that the song “Rising” shows that this Greek band is rising in terms of its status and I know that fans are very grateful that they did not totally disband after 2003. They came back stronger than they previously were and decided to include the contributions of a Philharmonic Orchestra of another fine nation (Czech Republic).

This album begins with the major classically orchestrated “The Vampire From Nazareth.” Whether this was part of the band’s attempt to have this sort of play on words when they wrote the lyrics can only be an assumption but the lyrical part “For blood, is life” speaks to the fact that vampires need blood in order to sustain themselves and live. “Pyramid God” is one of those mid-tempo symphonic death metal tracks that is sort of influenced by Paradise Lost, only better. Septicflesh know how to be musically creative and make it work musically with this album. The drumming in this song should make any aspiring drummer proud to be practicing to become a professional drummer one day. Speaking of the song “Rising,” the song lyrically is about a man whose sole objective or goal was to levitate or make his soul power rise above the wickedness and evil of the world. He says that he is rising above that all and he is a triumphant warrior. His broken wings have been healed as well. This is perhaps the best album for Septicflesh up to this point in time which means from 1990 to 2011.

© 2022 Ara Vahanian

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