Septicflesh, Modern Primitive (Nuclear Blast 2022)

The new album from Greek symphonic death metal band Septicflesh is Modern Primitive, their eleventh.

Beginning in 1990 with the slightly different name of Septic Flesh, the Greek death metal band released six albums in the next many years. Taking a break in 2003, they returned four years later as Septicflesh, and since then have been back to their founding premise, continuing and expanding the scope of the their dramatic music. Modern Primitive is Septicflesh’s first album in five years, following Codex Omega. The band is Seth Siro Anton (vocals and bass), Christos Antoniou (guitar), Sotiris Anunnaki V (clean vocals and guitar), Psychon (guitar), and Kerim “Krimh” Lechner (drums).

There are nine tracks on the new album. “The Collector” is an ominous beginning for Modern Primitive, with its frightening melody. Even the clean vocals are paired with a crackling dark side. Full, rich compositions, a hallmark of symphonic metal, are on display establishing a theatrical presence and framework, really, for the album. “Hierophant” is a storm rolling across the Adriatic with unstoppable menace. Growls and punishing percussion burn off any remaining illusion, plunging you into “Self-Eater,” a state where you cannot hide from yourself. These songs are tied together in the narrative and, by themselves, create a classical drama.

The album continues with elaborate constructions and emotive metal. Stand-out songs for me are “A Desert Throne” with its stabbing guitar and aggressive footing that the melody is laid over, and “Modern Primitives” because of its pervasive heaviness tag-teaming with royal flourishes. The final track is “A Dreadful Muse.” This song is among the most energetic of the entire bringing a strong finish to an excellent album. Once things got started there was no slowing this metal down. Recommended.

Modern Primitive is out now through Nuclear Blast Records in the usual variety of formats.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://septicflesh.bandcamp.com/album/modern-primitive

Website, https://www.septicflesh.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/septicfleshband

YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/user/Septicfleshoffcial

Nuclear Blast, https://shop.nuclearblast.com/en/shop/item/groups/51000.1.html?article_group_sort_type_handle=rank&custom_keywords=septicflesh

© Wayne Edwards

Septicflesh, Modern Primitive (Nuclear Blast 2022)

Ulthima, Symphony of the Night (Inverse Records 2021)

The first full-length album from Ulthima was ten years in the making and now everyone can hear it.

The band was started in Mexico in 2010 by founders Antonio Valdés (bass) and Ricardo Escobar (guitar). They moved to Finland, the story goes, to pursue music in the environment where so many bands and musicians they admired were from. That is quite a commitment strategy. The originators are joined by Ville Nummisalo (drums), Jon Welti (guitars), Niko Sutinen (keys), and Tuomas Antila (vocals) for the new album.

The music is symphonic metal, really. This arena can contain a large variety of styles ranging from the epic to the operatic. Ulthima makes use of Death Metal ideas and sensibilities and employs keys to create a symphonic surrounding. This has the effect of making the music turn toward the prog side and the technical precision is there as well. Melodic Death Metal is the closest label if we need one for this music, I would say.

The album has nine tracks that have their origins throughout the ten year time span of the band. Listening to them, it is not at all obvious which ones are older and which ones newer as they all have a polished and compositionally mature sound. All the songs are up-tempo and theatrical in a very high-energy sense. I particularly liked “Eternity” and the title track for their creativeness and ingenuity as well as the sharp execution of the score by the band. If you are in a symphonic metal mood, this one is a winner. Recommended.

Symphony of the Night makes its full appearance on Friday, March 19th from Inverse Records. In the US, Bandcamp is the easy way to get the CD or download.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://ulthima.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/ulthima

Label, https://www.facebook.com/inverserecords

Ulthima, Symphony of the Night (Inverse Records 2021)