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SepticFlesh - A Fallen Temple (Reissue)

A Fallen Temple (Reissue)
by Daniel Fox at 24 January 2014, 12:57 AM

A much-needed reissue, this period of SEPTICFLESH's discography is unfortunately overlooked and underrated. Originally released in 1998, "A Fallen Temple" marked a significant step away from the bombastic sounds of Death and Black Metal; although some of those vibes were still present on the 1998 release, the album took to an almost completely gothic metal sound. A greater emphasis was put on clean vocals and keyboards arrangements; melodic patterns themselves were less so horror and 'black' oriented, than they were sorrowful and mournful.

"Brotherhood of the Fallen Knights" strives forth as a pounding track that balances guttural, Glen Benton-like growls with eerie clean vocals nearing the atmospheric and emotion-invoking guitar leads that almost sound 'sad'. Already, this band is reminding me of OPETH. "The Eldest Cosmonaut" cements this album's venture into unknown, if not stranger territories; a through-and-through Gothic Metal track that experiments even a little on the side of industrial. Even the guitar riffs sound alienated and pumped through a chorus pedal, completely changing the way I would have previously listened to this band. Although no-doubt one of the oddities on this record, with no small heed paid to the unusual vocal patterns, the female voice especially is beautiful on this track, which turns out into more of a mind journey than a traditionally-arranged song would evoke.

Hence, I was completely floored upon hearing "Temple of the Lost Race" due to a return to the familiar territory of Death Metal, characterized by heavy riffage and brutal and fast drum patterns. The track balances this with beautiful lead-guitar work, and grandiose, doom-like passage that pay head to acts like PARADISE LOST. Some of these brutal characteristics are carried on into the short-but-savage "Erebus", which, in parts, comes off as a classic EMPEROR track. Spacey keyboard and guitar passages are balanced by heavy, steam-rolling riffage, and smatterings of epic, yet slightly evil-sounding symphonic arrangements.

I personally am appreciative of album reissues; while some may act as a new source of income for a record company or band, they are no doubt effective in drawing in new listeners and possibly new fans to the band and the genre, and what a better choice for reissue than at one of the peaks of a band's career? Although parts of this album were too avant-garde even for my tastes, which are self-proclaimed as adventurous, I can still appreciate the successful ambition that this band has strived to achieve with such a piece.

4 Star Rating

1. Brotherhood of the Fallen Knights
2. The Eldest Cosmonaut
3. Marble Smiling Face
4. Underworld Act 1
5. Temple of the Lost Race
6. The Crypt
7. Setting of the Two Suns
8. Erebus
9. Underworld Act 2
10. The Eldest Cosmonaut (dark mix)
11. The Last Time (Paradise Lost cover)
12. Underworld Act 3
13. Finale
14. The Eldest Cosmonaut (single version)
Sotiris Vayenas – Guitars, Vocals, Keyboards
Spiros "Seth" Antoniou – Vocals, Bass
Christos Antoniou – Guitars, Orchestrations, Samples
Kostas Savvidis – Drums
Record Label: Season Of Mist


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