Around for well over 27 years now, Septic Flesh are legendary through their intense music and deep dark imagery. The new stuff retains the classic maddening driven intensity adding in enough creative nuance to be beyond relevant nearing top echelon among contemporary european thrash bands releasing new material. As a second generation death metal band, Septic Flesh were early during that wave, which defined the cutting edge back then and what is considered the founding genre of every thing darker today. Peering into the abyss of ground down damnation, Septic Flesh reach in and capture the torment of souls, eating their essence for breakfast.
After charting new places with opener Dante's Inferno, #2 on the list 3rd Testament exemplifies the band in full power, easily switching from blast beat to death grind. Portrait Of A Headless man which follows is a bit symphonic with all the keys and strings, yet not nearly as bad as it reappears as an album closer later on. I thought I mighta even head a flute in there, but coulda been the band fuckin' w/ me. Subliminal is a forte of the band, as evidenced by the arabian modal undertones of Martyr. They are Greek so it's not a big stretch to reach into that culture nearby. A slower number, it expands giving the band a chance to show off some of their timing skills, settling into a classic metal groove while shifting gears between west coast early 80's and a middle eastern feel. As another middle tempo standout, Dark Arts makes a case for more symphonic passages under a roaring wall of melodic feedback.
Preferences are for the slash and burn take no prisoner numbers, say Faceless Queen, or the black leanings of religious hatred encrusted The Gospels Of Fear or the powerchord stomp of Trinity. Through the band show the skill of experience while crafting a somewhat fulfilling album. Even the soundtrack throwaway Dark Testament somehow seems ok. In smaller doses the marching band stuff mighta been better. The album artwork is pretty cool, definitely. Replace some of the half-asses Codex Omega could have got close to an 8 or a 9, as is, I'd give it a 7.