“The Vampire from Nazareth”
In 2008, Grecian death-metal quartet Septicflesh made a triumphant hiatus-ending return with Communion, an album that marked a new symphonic direction on the back of guitarist Christos Antoniou’s classical studies.
The Great Mass is the group’s second post-reunion effort, and it continues this direction with more of Antoniou’s marvelous arrangements. Orchestral and guitar-based hooks lead the way, but there’s plenty of double-kick and blast beats, unearthly growls, and lightning-fast picking. The album also is greatly strengthened by its secondary elements: mid-tempo riffs, Gothic singing, tom-heavy drum pounding, and brooding cinematic motifs.