Septicflesh – Modern Primitive (Nuclear Blast)

Wednesday, 18th May 2022
Rating: 9 / 10

The evolution of Greek act Septicflesh since their start in the 1990’s has been fascinating to watch. Purveyors of an atmospheric brand of symphonic death metal, natural comfort and ability to express their sound in a wide array of colors has allowed the quartet to incorporate exotic instrumentation and proper orchestration against the natural electric proceedings. Their eleventh studio album Modern Primitive happens to be their debut with Nuclear Blast – years in the making to develop these nine tracks as fluid and dynamically engaging as possible.

Titanic riffs of monumental girth sit against the Filmharmonic Orchestra of Prague work, providing grandiose moments of sonic propulsion only to turn on a dime in tranquil alteration before the Egyptian-like chanting or savage growls take “Hierophant” into that early highlight for the front half of the record. Intertwining female clean vocals and male narrative sequences amidst the normal crushing heaviness that the band delivers gives everyone a chance to process this material without sonic fatigue. The band can be relentless as they can be atmospheric or doomy, making you feel like you are on a time travel journey to ancient lands with the thunderous triplets and shape shifting parts for “Neuromancer” and “Psychohistory”. The attacking nature of tempos as well as the natural attention to the deepest detail allows for intense headphones dissection song to song – Septicflesh brilliant at the counterpoint blasting to doom ambiance, placing the right emphasis on blending things together for ideal consumption and continual exposure through subsequent playbacks. By the time the concluding salvo “A Dreadful Muse” ends dramatically, most will feel energized from a solid front to back outing that at 38 minutes feels like the perfect vinyl-length experience.

Modern Primitive continues to showcase Septicflesh as leaders of this atmospheric, exotic death metal movement that truly embraces orchestration, children choirs, and narrative elements not as ornaments, but an integral part of the framework that carries out these ideas in full glory. This album will keep their faithful following appeased, and probably bring more people (into metal and otherwise) into the fold.

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