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Septic Flesh - The Ophidian Wheel
Review: Septic Flesh create theatrical overextensions of reality through journeys into darkness like this work of simple, Greek-style black metal/rock augmented with keyboard cloudbanks and layers of vocal interplay. Unlike many attempting this style Septic Flesh have a legitimate handle on operating multiple pieces of a composition at the same time, creating seemingly oppositional structures with beauty in their coincident moments.
Not uncommonly a simple downstroke folk-strum riff in power chords will fall prey to a melody moving over its head, behind it, and suddenly twisting together with it for a sweet conclusion; the romantic intentions of this music obvious in the violence and passion with which structures form, consume, and self-destruct. All instrumentalism is superb, from the riffs reminiscent of later Therion flowing past our porthole to the willowy guitar solos, enmeshed in the motion of tones and melodies. Multi-vocalism occurs with coarse bass vocals overlapped with clean male chanting and sonorous clean female voices.
Flashes of rock-n-roll or ancient metal styles might cause the modern listener to cringe yet these traditions may be seen as the culmination of various and sundry traditions of romantic metal, looking for a hopeful voice in a modern time of significance -- a voice empowered enough to believe in mystical rather than causal ends to human existence.
Percussion, although simple, breaks from the designated areas of correlation to work in a more enlightened to compositional function as prophetic foreshadower. Appreciable ingenuity, labor, and prowess went into this release to make it palatable no matter what über-aesthetic conflicts it might direct against the modern listener.