Morningstar Rising: Christos Antoniou from Septicflesh

Septicflesh Titan promotional photo

At the Hartford, CT stop of the “In the Minds of Evil North American” Tour, Ghost cult scribe Tim Ledin was able to sit down with Christos Antoniou, lead guitarist, songwriter, and composer of Septicflesh to chat about a great many things. This past June, Titan (Season of Mist) came out, and it is pretty much a titan, it’s a huge follow up to the last one, The Great Mass (also Season of Mist). Titan was highly anticipated in the press, and has landed on many 2014year-end lists, including a respectable spot in Ghost Cult’s Album of The Year Countdown. In this first installment of in this series, Tim asked about the critical and commercial buzz facing the band, as well as the response from fans about this crucial release in the bands long career.

…It looks that it will be our most successful album. From the press, from our fans, all the feedback, all the responses is really enthusiastic! Up until now we have done four or five (magazine) covers in Norway, France and Belgium, even Album of the Month. As I said, it looks it is going to be our “Titanic” work, we are very proud about and it is our most mature work. It is a big challenge for us, for the next album that will be after Titan. But, you know, we said the same for Communion, how would we overpass Communion? But we did with The Great Mass. Then we had the same concerns with The Great Mass, but again, we did it. Because we are really focused when we write music. We want to create something with originality, something fresh. We are always searching for something fresh in the elements.”


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As with any release from a top tier band, the hype machine goes into to overdrive at some labels. Season of Mist has a label of mainly veteran metal bands, and they know how to promote their roster creatively. We asked him about the possibility of a new promo video, since Septicflesh is such a theatrical, visually stunning, and creative act:

We will be touring Europe in March. Before this, we will create for only the second time a video clip. I do not know which song yet, we have to discuss this when we have the time to decide which song. We have reached the time that we have to make a video clip.”

 

Although our chat was wide-ranging, and covered a lot of other topics, you could say Christos’ attitude, and the entire band, is one of gratitude at this stage of their career:

I want to thank all of our American fans that have supported the band all of these years. Even in the years we split from 2000 to 2007. We will always be loyal to them. We will always try to create something with artistic color and create something fresh. This is our main target for Septicflesh.”

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Septicflesh on Facebook

 

TIM LEDIN

The Official Ghost Cult Writers Albums of the Year Top 50: 30-21

The countdown to the Official Ghost Cult Magazine Album of the Year for 2014 continues. Please consume and enjoy the results of our 2014 Writers’ Poll. We hope it will introduce you to some of the incredible works of art you may have missed that we have had the immense pleasure of listening to and writing about this year.

In our third installment we bring you albums 30 through to 21

Casualties_of_Cool-400x40030. CASUALTIES OF COOL – Casualties Of Cool (Pledge/HevyDevy)

“Casualties of Cool is an intriguing experiment from a man who excels in making left-field music. Go in expecting massive a prog-metal exercise will only lead to disappointment, but having an open mind will result in a rewarding experience” DAN SWINHOE 8/10 Full review here

 

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29. ANATHEMA – Distant Satellites (KScope)

“One of our world’s most understated bands, despite the plaudits they get, Anathema have once again showcased their knack for penning both forward thinking and emotionally driven music which oozes real human character and sentimentality”. CHRIS TIPPELL 9/10 Full review here

Down-IV-part-2-album-cover-400x40028. DOWN – IV (Part II) (Down Records)

“When we look back on this part of their career, we will likely understand that these are less like regular EPs that other bands release, and much more like a mini-opus, in pieces. Down clearly realizes their collective vision, no matter who is in the lineup, every time”. KEITH ‘KEEFY’ CHACHKES 9.5/10 Full review here

 

Vallenfyre-Splinters-400x40027. VALLENFYRE – Splinters (Century Media)

“Sadistic and aggressive with endless moments of bleak reflection Splinters is a leviathan unleashed upon unsuspecting listeners and a release surely destined to grace many year end lists” ROSS BAKER 9/10 Full review here

 

agalloch-album-cover-400x40026. AGALLOCH – “The Serpent and the Sphere” (Profound Lore)

Like a massive-antlered stag glimpsed amidst a wintry landscape, breathtaking, elusive and hard to pin down, The Serpent and the Sphere looks set to continue their elegant and ever-evolving legacy JAMES CONWAY 9/10 Full review here

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25. THOU – Heathen (Gilead Media)

“A storm manifest as a piece of music, as devastating as it is awe-inspiring, Heathen is varied and compelling for the entire runtime”. TOM SAUNDERS 9/10 Full review here

Cover_1500X1500_RGB-16bit-400x40024. septicflesh – Titan (Season of Mist)

“Sharp, buzzing riffs and symphonic keys, strength and brutality amongst moments of pomp and beauty, bloody entertaining and another show of form” PAUL QUINN 8.5/10 Full review here

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23. PYRRHON – The Mother of Virtues (Relapse)

The Mother Of Virtues doesn’t just challenge what is “extreme”, but calls into question whether some of what is produced is actually even music. Completely and utterly impenetrable, and exceptional with it”. STEVE TOVEY 9.5/10 Full review here

Eyehategod-album-cover-400x40022. EYEHATEGOD – EyeHateGod (Housecore/Century Media)

“Eyehategod continue to age like a good whiskey, seeming to improve as time goes by, but by no means losing their sting”. CHRIS TIPPELL 9/10 Full review here

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21. ALCEST – Shelter (Prophecy)

“Shedding the last vestiges of metal, let-alone any lingering black metal leanings, a captivating and stunning piece of music poured straight from the heart”. JAMES CONWAY 9/10 Full review here

Ghost Cult Magazine Albums of the Year: 50-41

Ghost Cult Magazine Albums of the Year: 40-31

Septicflesh – Titan

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Being a fan of early Septicflesh, I’m keen on the Tim Bricheno-style emotive leads – less evident from their middle period onwards – and I fell away from the Greek ensemble after the bizarre, Big Top like noodlings of A FallenTemple (Holy) which verged on lunacy and alienated many. Though new full-length Titan (Season of Mist) displays much pomp and grandeur, the seamless blend of death metal and orchestral effects is a throwback to their salad days.

Opener ‘War in Heaven’ begins with the duelling of sharp, buzzing riffs and symphonic keys, and when both blastbeats and Seth Siro Anton‘s alarming growl kick in, it portrays the impending cataclysmic battle well. Its centre-point sees chopping rhythms augmented by complex drum patterns, and this explodes and ebbs in fiery fashion to the Gregorian coda. It is a powerful, dramatic beginning that sets the album’s tone. Elsewhere, the death brutality of ‘Burn’ and ‘Ground Zero’ are countermanded by softly intoned choruses, symphonic swells and a brief appearance from those mournful leads. The orchestra is here in force as horns, strings and bass drums decorate the mildly odd ‘Order of Dracul’ and ‘Confessions of a Serial Killer’, the former seeing a harpsichord also absorb the angry pace.

The drama and intense passion reaches a zenith in ‘Prometheus’ with the growling passages quieted by choral breaks reminiscent of ‘Carmina Burana’, whilst the centre break of flute and harp adds the power of emotion. This continues into the heavy-as-hell title track, with galloping strings and more Orff-style choruses augmenting the blistering power and a most addictive chant-a-long refrain. The euphoric closer ‘The First Immortal’ skirts with that kitsch “metal musical” trapdoor but this time retains its strength and brutality amongst the moments of pomp and beauty to create a meaningful and stirring end piece.

There can be few more divisive bands around than Septicflesh at present, but whichever side of the fence you’re on, you can’t deny they’re bloody entertaining. Those of us with a fondness for them can only breathe a sigh of relief at another show of form.

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8.5/10.0

 

PAUL QUINN