Septic Flesh - _A Fallen Temple_
(Holy Records, 1998)
by: Pedro Azevedo (8 out of 10)
Would you rather have an album that smoothly flows without any abrupt changes, keeping the atmosphere and mood constant throughout its length, or one that presents strong changes every once in a while? If you chose the latter, this may interest you. Presented in a nice digipak, _A Fallen Temple_ is not Septic Flesh's new full-length album yet, even though it does contain plenty of new material. The changes I mentioned occur because there are three very different sets of material here: three new 'normal' Septic Flesh songs, two new long neo-classical songs (unrelated to what the band had done so far) and a re-recording of their 1991 EP _Temple of the Lost Race_. The new Septic Flesh songs are more melodic than before, with some mellow guitar leads and more clean vocals (even though the death vox aren't gone yet). The result is good, but not outstanding. "The Eldest Cosmonaut" (and especially its so-called "dark version") stands out as the best of those songs, mainly because of Natalie Rassoulis' superb vocal contribution. A brilliant voice, powerful and confident. She only returns for the two neo-classical songs, which, as one might expect, are rather strange -- reminded me of Arcturus' _La Masquerade Infernale_ minus the metallic elements and with Natalie's vocals making them much more interesting. The baritone voice they used annoyed me intensely, though. After the three new songs and the first neo-classical piece arrives the re-recorded material. Faster, stronger death metal, to which plenty of keyboard enhancements seem to be added (I never listened to the original versions), the result having turned out very enjoyable. In fact, except for "The Eldest Cosmonaut", I liked this section better than the first. Part two of the neo-classical piece then arrives, followed by the "dark version" of "The Eldest Cosmonaut" that I mentioned before (more death vox and a more somber sound). _A Fallen Temple_ is thus an interesting album, and above all very varied.

(article published 7/6/1998)

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