Septicflesh - Communion [Season of Mist - 2008]Strings/ classical elements and metal have always been difficult bed-fellows with often the strings been used as a gimmick with little sonic understanding of how or where to use them, or the metal elements are too underplayed losing their power. Communion is one of the better more consistent and well rounded mix of these two dramatic and sonic powers.
The Strings, choirs etc are used here with a really understanding for there dramatics, atmosphere and power, there never over used or just throw in for good measure. This is a perfectly oiled metallic machine that darts through Black Metal, Death Metal, prog metal, gothic metal and more harmonic metal fields with the classical elements working to strengthen, power-up and build cinematic edge. Theres a nice mix of riff pace and sonic variation present through out with the singer managing guttural blacked growls, whispered horror and all the way down to tuneful, heroic yet still powerful clear singing. The symphonic elements used are supplied by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Prague and go from dark powerful banks of sawing cinematic strings, doomy brass power, descending blacked choirs, to sinister building more complex and atmospheric mix of strings, brass and choir. The tracks are kept short and sharp with the nine track album lasting just shy of 40 minutes, With each track been packed full of memorable, powerful and chugging riff craft and perfectly woven classical power and blacken grace- making it very difficult to choose highlights here.
With out doubt one of the Metal albums of this year managing to sound fresh, atmospheric yet still true to its metal roots. With its appeal been wide ranging with-in all faiths of metals church and I can also see this appealing to soundtrack fans too. Roger Batty