SepticFlesh – The Great Mass

By Laura Wiebe

I arrived late to SepticFlesh appreciation so I have only a vague sense of how the band’s newest album compares to those that came before. That said, the epic drama propelling each song forward doesn’t sound at all out of place. And standing on its own merits, The Great Mass does its title proud. The arrangements are huge, rich orchestral and choral sections melding with the full weight of darkly distorted melodies and a battery of percussive riffs. A brief acoustic accent or clean male vocal line only emphasize the sheer power of the whole, and short classical interludes simply underscore the cinematic imagery the entire record evokes. Despite this depth, and even moments of catchiness, The Great Mass doesn’t stay with me long after the final track, “Therianthropy,” dies away, but in the moment each song offers to be deliciously, mind-numbingly immersive, and I’m quite willing to let myself drown in the experience.

(Season of Mist)

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.