SEPTICFLESH – CODEX OMEGA
You ever eat one of those “fat” sandwiches that the kids are always ranting and raving about? You know, a sandwich that is then topped with cheese sticks and onion rings and chicken fingers and a roast rack of lamb and a whole bunch of other stuff? No matter how good all the ingredients are, the never quite mesh like you would like.
That is my long-winded way of describing the current state of symphonic death metal. Metal is awesome. Metal goes very well with an orchestra. And yet when they are combined they never truly merge into one sound. At one moment you’re listening to metal, and then orchestra, and then metal again, and so on. It’s still quite enjoyable, but I’ve yet to listen to a symphonic death metal album that truly highlighted what the genre could be.
UNTIL NOW!!!!! Ladies and gents, I have no hesitation in saying that Codex Omega is the greatest symphonic death metal album of all-time (and I’ve listened to upwards of, like, 5 albums in the genre). The orchestra complements the metal, and the metal complements the orchestra. The music is overwhelmingly heavy, but with a deft touch of emotion brought on by the symphonic elements..
The opening four tracks to the record are so amazing that inevitably the rest of the album can’t quite to live up to them (especially at the end when the band introduces their less-than-impressive clean vocals), but even the album’s weakest points are worth listening to. There have been some great symphonic death metal albums in recent years (Fleshgod Apocalypse in 2016, Carach Angren this year), but they can’t hold a candle to what Septicflesh have done here.
“Dante’s Inferno”, “Portrait of a Headless Man”, “Martyr”