By Dr. Abner Mality

If you are looking for truly symphonic extreme metal, start your search with Greece’s Septicflesh. This is a band that doesn’t allow budget or imagination to hold them back in their quest to produce enormous widescreen metal with orchestra and choir fully integrated. Many bands have attempted this merger of metal and classical music, but very few understand the dynamics necessary.

If you don’t care for anything pompous or symphonic in your metal, avoid this like the plague. You won’t be able to escape thundering horns, sinister strings or choir vocals here. However, if you’re intrigued by the merger, then dive in! One good things about the tracks on “Titan” is that they are all pretty compact, with no ponderous epics. A lot of the tracks here come in at less than five minutes. Septicflesh have not succumbed to the desire to produce ten minute plus tunes. Therefore we get short and to the point cuts like “Burn”, “Order of Dracul” and “Dogma”. But though those songs are compact they are each loaded with full symphonic sound.  “Burn” in particular merges blast beat metal with sinuous strings in a very skillful way,

Ultimately, it is kind of exhausting and challenging to listen to. And some of the tunes like the longer “Prometheus” and “Confessions of a Serial Killer” didn’t make that big of an impression on me. One thing I would have liked to hear more overall are the unique clean vocals of Sotiris Annunaki V…his nasal tones just sound really cool to me. But on “Titan” we get a lot more of the death grunts of Seth Siro Anton. Which are fine, but a lot better when alternated with Sotiris.

The perfect Septicflesh album in my mind will always be “Cpmmunion” but “Titan” doesn’t come up far behind and still stands as an outstanding example of how to do symphonic metal with class.