Septic Flesh - _The Ophidian Wheel_
(Holy Records, 1997)
by: Drew Snow (8 out of 10)
Now with their third full-length album, Septic Flesh have taken their atmospheric, avant-garde brand of death metal to new heights, while, perhaps unfortunately, not abandoning their harsher roots: they just don't fit in with this type of music anymore. To me, Septic Flesh never quite did the brutal death metal thing very well, brutality was never their thing; creativity, melody and atmosphere was where it was at with SF, and nothing has changed. _TOW_ contains some awesome material, mostly in the form of mid-paced, clean melodies with of course the usual guttural vocals and keyboard accompaniment. Unfortunately, sprinkled between these parts are sections of forced, uninspired brutal death, which would be absolutely fine, if it didn't seem thrown in just to contrast the more laid back moments. New to the Septic Flesh fold is Nathalie, and although the appearance of her female vocals may seem a bit dubious to some, she's a welcome addition, and her beautiful vocals complement many of the songs perfectly. Overall, another fine effort from Septic Flesh, with some new dimensions and upholding of the old ones; just skip the unnecessary parts.

(article published 13/5/1997)

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