Welcome to the LOUDEST DOT COM ON THE PLANET!
KNAC.COM
WATCH NOW! Facebook Twitter Instagram LOGIN
MAGAZINE -  DOWNLOADS -  CONTESTS -  STORE
Reviews

SEPTICFLESH Modern Primitive

By Peter Atkinson, Contributor
Sunday, May 29, 2022 @ 9:53 AM


- advertisement -
SEPTICFLESH
Modern Primitive

Nuclear Blast Records




After 30-plus years, 10 albums and the inevitable showcase concert with a full orchestra, Greek titans SEPTICFLESH have taken “symphonic blackened death metal” to its logical extreme – if “logical” is the proper term for this thing that probably should not be. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for refinement, as the quartet prove here with Modern Primitive.

The band’s classical aspirations arguably culminated with a February 2019 concert in Mexico City that teamed SEPTICFLESH with not only Symphonic Experience Orchestra, but the Enharmonía Vocalis Choir and the National University of Mexico Children’s and Youth Choir. After years of having to pipe in orchestrations and choirs via laptop while on tour, this was a dream come true for the band, which certainly comes across in the performance, as deliriously over the top as it was – check out the Infernus Sinfonica MMXIX CD/DVD to see/hear for yourself.

With Modern Primitive, the band’s 11th studio outing, the presentation is certainly still quite grand, but feels more organic and keenly focused, with the “blackened death metal” side of the equation carrying the day. The orchestrations – composed by guitarist Christos Antoniou and performed once again by the Filmharmonic Orchestra of Prague, a partnership that dates back to 2008’s Communion - are deftly incorporated into the body of the songs and don’t draw as much attention to themselves as they have in past efforts, despite being a more constant presence. Even the sometimes overly demonstrative clean vocals of studio-only guitarist Sotiris Vayenas don’t stand out quite so much either – which is saying something given bassist Seth Siro Anton’s consistently bowel-loosening roar.

For Modern Primitive, the band has written arguably the best batch of songs, top to bottom, of its long career. Efficient, turbulent, catchy and brutal in almost equal measure, the nine tracks flow seamlessly despite their constantly shifting moods and pace – and all in a lean and often mean 40 minutes. There is no real filler or fluff here, neither superfluous intros nor segues, despite all of the window dressing.

“The Collector” sets the tone from the outset with its blend of pomp and thunder, easing out of the gate with a momentarily delicate Eastern motif before the band unleashes its full metallic fury. The orchestration flits about amid the bombast, but finds a comfortable slot from the get-go and sticks there, for the most part, the rest of the way.

The surging grooves here flex some serious muscle, buoyed by the bottom end thunk of Anton and drummer Kerim “Krimh” Lechner, which also carries through to the end. Where producer Jens Bogren – who also worked on 2017’s Codex Omega - can sometimes have a too delicate touch, he brings ample oomph to the presentation on Modern Primitive, while leaving just enough space for the symphonic and folk accoutrements to cement the overall sense of balance.

The hulking “Hierophant” builds on the Eastern vibe with its serpentine swells, but just when it seems that SEPTICFLESH has settled on a sonic theme “Self Eater” takes things on a more Gothic turn with its dramatic vocal tradeoffs, mournful string sweeps and wash of piano. “Neuromancer” and “Coming Storm” deliver some of Modern Primitive’s most ferocious moments, but contrast them with a smattering of traditional Greek instruments – on “Neuromancer” – and a frantic flurry of cinematic strings and horns – on “Coming Storm” – that echoes Ron Goodwin’s awesome Where Eagles Dare score or the soundtracks to Jaws or Psycho. The quaking “Psychohistory”, fittingly enough, revisits this approach as the album draws to a close, with much the same effect.

The back half is highlighted by the anthemic “A Desert Throne”, which would sound downright listener-friendly given its propulsive melody and fetching hooks were it not for Anton’s always assertive growl. Same goes for the title track with its children’s choir and Vayenas’ intermittent cleans harking back to the Gothic drapery of “Self Eater”. After the fury of “Psychohistory”, “A Dreadful Muse” closes the album in the stately manner of BEHEMOTH’s “Oh Father, O Satan, O Sun!” but with less melodrama and more epic melody and punch, condensing what could have been an eight-minute slog into a rousing four-minute finale.

After setting the bar about as high as it could with the audacity and sheer grandiosity of the Infernus Sinfonica MMXIX show, SEPTICFLESH doesn’t exactly scale things back on Modern Primitive. But the band does play it smart by honing its already expansive sound and managing its ambitions. Resisting the temptation to take things to new extremes might not have been easy – especially with all of the idle time the pandemic presented – but Modern Primitive triumphs because of the band’s “restraint”, relatively speaking of course.

4.5 Out Of 5.0


Please log in to view RANTS

Username: 
Password: 

Message: 
 
 

 





 Recent Reviews
JACK STARR’S BURNING STARR Souls Of The Innocent
HAUNT Windows Of Your Heart
PHIL LYNOTT Songs For While I’m Away/THIN LIZZY The Boys Are Back In Town [Live]
FOREIGNER In The Woodlands, TX With Photos!
OCEANS OF SLUMBER In Houston, TX With Photos!
SINNER Brotherhood
ORIGIN Chaosmos
CLASSLESS ACT Welcome To The Show
MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP Universal
SUFFOCATION, ATHEIST, CONTRARIAN, SOREPTION In Los Angeles With Photos!
DOWNSET Maintain
PROJECT RESURRECT False Reality
DEF LEPPARD Diamond Star Halos
TED NUGENT Detroit Muscle
KREATOR Hate Über Alles
DESTRUCTION, NERVOSA, SUNLORD, VX36 In Los Angeles With Photos!
ASTRONOID Radiant Bloom
EMISSARY The Wretched Masquerade
TESTAMENT, EXODUS And DEATH ANGEL In Portland, OR With Photos!
HYPOCRISY, CARACH ANGREN, THE AGONIST, HIDEOUS DIVINITY In Los Angeles, CA With Photos!
DECAPITATED Cancer Culture
GWAR The New Dark Ages
SEPTICFLESH Modern Primitive
CHUCK WRIGHT Chuck Wright’s Sheltering Sky
MARK TREMONTI Mark Tremonti Sings Frank Sinatra
BON JOVI In Austin, TX With Photos!
SOLAR FLARE Solar Flare
ARCH ENEMY, BEHEMOTH, NAPALM DEATH, UNTO OTHERS In Portland, OR With Photos!





HOME | MAGAZINE | DOWNLOADS | CONTESTS | STORE | HELP/POLICIES

©2022 KNAC.COM. All Rights Reserved.    Link to us    Advertise with us    Privacy policy
 Latest News