• Septicflesh - Revolution DNA (1999) - Gothics lost in a dystopian space - 96% (06/03/15)

    Septicflesh - Revolution DNA (1999)

    Septicflesh was one of the most experimental extreme metal bands in the nineties along with Amorphis, Moonspell and Therion. Before the band adapted its slightly repetitive symphonic death metal sound, they had tried out many interesting experiments and this overlooked and underrated record is one of them. Less than two years ago, almost all old albums of the band were rereleased but this album here didn't get such a treatment for reasons which I ignore. I would suggest true fans to try and get their hands on the limited reissue by Holy Records with three bonus tracks which came out ten years ago and which has become a true collector's item. The additional songs fit well to the regular output as well.

    "Revolution DNA" is a logical follow-up to "A Fallen Temple" which had featured a few new tracks, some rerecorded material and a couple of purely symphonic and quite theatrical tunes. The new songs on that album had a clear penchant for gothic metal with a few psychedelic influences. The new album follows this path and recalls bands such as Moonspell, Paradise Lost and even Type 0 Negative. 

    "Science" opens with weird space sound effects and some electronic elements before a longing yet heavy riff somewhere between doom metal and melodic gothic metal kicks in. The verses feature almost spoken-word male growls that sound mellower than on the predecessor but which add a new dimension to the band's sound. The pre-chorus and chorus are dominated by melodic and slightly nasal clean male vocals. The refrain is in fact one of the catchiest on the entire album along with the epic and harmonious "Nephilim Sons" and recalls the great "Brotherhood of the Fallen Knights" from the previous output. 

    The second track "Chaostar" is more influenced by "The Eldest Cosmonaut" and focuses much more on the dystopian space sounds with a dominant base guitar, weird distorted guitar sounds, the dominant use of electronica and haunting spoken-word growls. The song is confusing at first contact, highly experimental and unpredictably weird but its dark atmosphere and the haunting clean guitar riffs add depth, intellect and soul to the song which would perfectly fit on the soundtrack of an independant science-fiction-horror movie. The elegiac "Last Step to Nowhere" would also be a strong candidate for such a score. 

    Early fans of the band should not worry though. Along with melodic gothic metal tracks and experimental space metal sound collages, the band still goes back to its early days with a few meaner, heavier and faster tracks fetauring powerful growls as in the short but efficient "Radioactive" or the almost industrial metal orientated stomper "Dictatorship of the Mediocre".

    The mixture of these three styles works amazingly on the album. It sounds coherent and structured yet experimental and refreshingly open-minded. The album has a haunting and almost progressive atmosphere that sucks you in right from the start and never lets you go. It's the kind of album where it's tough to pick any highlights or weaker tracks. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I highly suggest you to listen to this album in one single shoot to understand its magic and majesty. The record never gets boring over a running time of one hour or even seventy-three minutes if you have the limited reissue. Even though it's hard to compare this album to the compilation-like predecessor, I would call both albums essential releases of the band which are pretty much on the same level. In my opinion, this record might not be the very best gothic metal record ever released but it surely is a solid candidate for the podium and clearly among the ten most interesting releases of its genre.

    « Ensiferum - One Man Army (2015) - They need some serious help for their songwriting - 58% (05/03/15)Therion - Deggial (2000) - A little revolution in the symphonic metal genre - 87% (06/03/15) »
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