Sound — 8
Septic Flesh have always been something of a force of the underground, and are titans in the Greek metal scene, yet next to no one even knows who they are. Don't be fooled by the name; this isn't yet another gore-obsessed br00tal death metal band. Throughout their career, they've been death metal which manages to remain melodic and, at times, symphonic. In Communion, they have gone all-out on the symphonic elements of their sound, but they have also thrown in a massive number of top class riffs and some absolutely brilliant grooves. The classical elements, performed by an 80 piece orchestra and 30 piece choir, were composed by guitarist Christos Antoniou, and complement the ferocious riffing and drumming perfectly, without encroaching on the massive sound the band makes by themselves. Stand-out moments might be the pounding opener Lovecraft's Death, the epic melodies of Anubis, the brilliantly original drum and orchestra interludes of Tower of Babel, or the neck-snapping Sangreal. However, a couple of songs do lag a little; I regularly skip Persepolis, which drags and meanders around, and the title track is somewhat repetitive and predictable considering the calibre of this album. Sunlight Moonlight also goes too far on the melodic side, and has no real edge I give the sound an 8, purely on the basis of the very occasional lag in quality. And a lack of solos. Why! The only solo on the CD was performed on Babel's gate, courtesy of a guest appearance by Marios Iliopoulos; this is a great shame, as in the past the guitarists of Septic Flesh have shown themselves to be perfectly capable of great and memorable leads.
Lyrics — 9
Communion is a loose concept album about ancient mythology, and the lyrics fit the ambience of the album well. The vocal team of Spiros "Seth" Antoniou (bass and harsh vocals) and Christos Antoniou (guitar and clean vocals) reflect the duality of the album's brutal-melodic approach well. Seth has a hell of a set of pipes on him, and careful layering makes it sound like a whole gang is roaring down the mic at any one point. Seth's vocal melodies are instantly recognizable and even (gasp) catchy. No real fault here at all; Seth can get a little monotonous, but the sheer power of his roars (I wouldn't even call them growls) more than makes up for it.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, Septic Flesh (oddly spelt Septicflesh on the CD) have topped themselves here; I can't think of a CD of this kind which so much as comes close to what they have achieved. Though not all the songs are perfect, the album is powerful, catchy, memorable, groovy, headbangable, varied, intelligent. I can't think of enough adjectives to properly do the album justice. If this were stolen, I would weep bitterly. And then I'd buy it again twice.