1. Science (04:21) 2. Chaostar (05:08) 3. Radioactive (03:05) 4. Little Music Box (05:27) 5. Revolution (04:04) 6. Nephilim Sons (05:13) 7. DNA (03:16) 8. Telescope (04:17) 9. Last Stop to Nowhere (05:34) 10. Dictatorship of the Mediocre (04:13) 11. Android (05:50) 12. Arctic Circle (04:31) 13. Age of New Messiahs (04:16)
'Septic Flesh has always been a band I have lots of time for, being widely underestimated by the metal masses yet through the years proving to be one of the most consistently good bands out there. Their style can’t be easily classified, as they have had a tendency to write their music in intriguing fashion, subtly evolving from album to album. Therein lies most of their appeal to me, since each and every record of theirs is a different yet equally surreal experience.
Perhaps the most significant stylistic departure for them came at the moment they released “Revolution DNA”. From the doom/death/black with neoclassical influences of their first few records, “Revolution DNA” deviates into a modern dark metal of sorts which works quite well and would become, after scaling up their aggression levels in later efforts, the staple of their sound for the new century.
Now, when we talk about dark metal, there’s always the impression that there must be some avant-garde elements that will make the album in question not a straightforward affair. Patently not the case here, would you imagine that? The inherent brutality and the strong atmospheric, Mediterranean touch of Septic Flesh are just as evident as ever here. New indeed in the songwriting are the somewhat gothic sense of dynamics, the direct song structures and the more frequent use of clean vocals. The overall result makes this record a very pleasant listen, full of evil, catchy tunes that get stuck to your head for a long time.
At the core of the band’s sound is the excellent guitar work that they never fail to deliver. Christos and Sotiris make up a very enterprising guitar pair, able to conjure more than a few excellent riffs and memorable leads. The way they alternate their heavy chugging parts with intoxicating, mystic melodies is pretty amazing. Combined with the crafty keyboard melodies and samples that underline each and every song, the guitars go a long way to recreate the evil vibe typical of Septic Flesh’s sound of previous chapters.
This trait is quite evident in the eerily sinister songs like “Chaostar”, the unbearably catchy “Little music box”, “Nephilim sons”, “Telescope” or “Android”. Strong atmospheric work on all of these, full of nuances and ominous undertones. The band’s penchant for the epic is satisfied occasionally throughout the record, in tracks like the sumptuous opener “Science”, “Revolution”, “Arctic circle” or “Age of new messiahs”. “Radioactive” and “DNA” on the other hand are mostly pure, raw energy affairs, fast and dynamic. There are only two songs that are below par from the rest, “Last stop to nowhere” and “Dictatorship of the mediocre”, the former being fairly soporific and the latter surprisingly annoying.
The rhythm section of Spiros and Akis provides a solid backbone to the songs without being what you’d call spectacular. The production though, fits like the proverbial glove. A Studio Fredman job and a very good one at that from Mr. Nordström. So impressive that Septic Flesh has kept on coming back. Every instrument can be heard with proper clarity and bone crushing power.
The vocal work of Spiros and Sotiris is one of the high points of the album. Spiros possesses one of the most inhuman, fearsomely low and powerful death growls I’ve ever heard! Fuck me; I was blown away when I finally watched Septic Flesh live a few weeks ago. This guy is no studio cookie monster, he does it live in an even more impressive manner. While he’s not at his meanest grunting self in “Revolution DNA”, his charismatic, clear and well timed delivery is spot on. On the other hand, Sotiris has a semi-clean vox that comes across as venomous, epic and interesting, adding variety to the songs. The choruses and lyrics deserve accolades too, being top notch equally.
For Septic Flesh, “Revolution DNA” is pretty much a turning point, a foray into a new, unexplored soundscape and a successful one the way I see it. This could have easily turned into a gay-fest of Halfordian proportions, but the fact that it didn’t clearly shows these guys have always known what they’re about. Had they employed just a teeny bit more of their death elements, “Revolution DNA” could have turned out to be pretty much perfect. They would eventually do so in both the brilliant follow ups “Sumerian daemons” and last years’ magnificent “Communion”. For a sign of things to come, ladies and gentlemen, this record is one to be seriously listened to. The path of the flesh, as the band likes to say, can never be completely explored!'