My HeadBangers, welcome from Athens, Greece, the Greek Symphonic Death Metal Band:
“Infernus Sinfonica MMXIX”
OMFG my HeadBangers, listen to that voice, those growl vocals, I could listen to him all day. I’m falling quick….
“The Vampire from Nazareth”
What do you think of that? These guys are killing me and it’s Christmas, what better gift could you ask for, music never dies or goes away. It’s always here when you need it, anytime and any day. Let’s look at some bio on this band from the land of warriors.
Septicflesh were formed in Athens in March 1990 by Sotiris Vayenas (guitar), Spiros Antoniou (bass and vocals), and Christos Antoniou (guitars). They released a debut EP, Temple of the Lost Race in December with Black Power Records, 1991. The band recorded their first full-length album, Mystic Places of Dawn, in April 1994 at the Storm studio with the co-production of Magus Wampyr Daoloth (who had been the keyboardist for Rotting Christ), released by Holy Records. They started working on a new album for 1995 and named it Esoptron. It was produced by Septic Flesh and George Zacharopoulos, recorded and mixed at Storm Studios in March – April 1995, mastered by Sonic Contact (France), and released by Holy Records.
It was released in June 1995, a dark opus with deep ancient Hellenic musical influences and themes dealing with philosophy and the occult. Two years later, “Ophidian Wheel” was released. Female operatic vocals were added to the formula, with the recruit of Natalie Rassoulis. The neo-classical experimentations gained ground, adding a more theatrical dimension to the band’s sound.
The group split up in October 2003, and after the breakup, its members moved on to different or existing projects: Chris Antoniou continued involvement with Chaostar, which he formed in 1998, and Katsionis played guitar for Nightfall and keyboards for Firewind. TheDevilWorx formed a year after Septic Flesh’s disbanding, and featured some members from Septic Flesh’s original line-up. In March 2007, guitarist Sotiris Vayenas revealed his plans for a new solo project called Aenaos.
The next chapter of SEPTICFLESH (with the two words merged together from now on) begun in 2008, as the band signed with French label Season of Mist and released the classic now, “Communion”. The album was recorded once again at Fredman studios in Sweden, with Fredrik Nordstrom as producer. Music-wise, it was a bold step forwards, as the band having ensured the collaboration of the Filmharmonic Orchestra of Prague, decided to fully integrate orchestra to its music. Christos Antoniou, having obtained a Master degree in concert music from the London College of Music, was the obvious choice to take care of the classical arrangements.
“Portrait of a Headless Man”
In 2011 “The Great Mass” followed. This time, the band collaborated with Peter Tägtgren for the production. The songs were heavy and at the same time highly technical and experimental, as the orchestra was used in a more unconventional way, affecting the structure of the songs. The overall result was a Grand dark metal “soundtrack”.
In 2014 the band released “Titan” with Logan Mader as producer. The title of the album pretty much sums up its character. Primordial, menacing and majestic. Besides the steady collaboration with the Filmharmonic Orchestra of Prague, the band utilized for the first time the Children Choir of Prague, adding an eerie tone to the songs.
After an extended period that the band toured all around the world, a change in the line-up occurred, as Kerim “Krimh” Lechner joined the band, taking the position of the drummer. Months of hard work and experimentation followed, resulting to the 10 compositions of the new album “Codex Omega”. Lyrically and musically, “Codex Omega” is by far the most infernal release of Septicflesh to date. The album was produced by another highly acclaimed metal producer, Jens Bogren. Besides the orchestral side represented once again by the Filmharmonic Orchestra of Prague, the band utilized traditional instruments as Oud and Duduk and also a 12 string electro-acoustic guitar, enchasing the mystical atmosphere of the compositions. Of course as always “Codex Omega” is dominated by the relentless death guitar riffing and the pale melodies that are the trademark of Septicflesh.
The band signed with one of the world’s leading record labels, Nuclear Blast records.
The Band comments; “SEPTICFLESH has always been a hard working band looking to the future while keeping traditional elements and utilizing a modern and dark feel to our music. We needed someone who would understand this and we are happy to have found our new home with Nuclear Blast. In the meantime, our latest album “Codex Omega” continues to gain ground worldwide. We will keep touring in support of it and prepare for the conquests set before us!”
Septicflesh performed with an 140 set piece Orchestra / Choir / Children choir on 2nd of February 2019, at the Metropolitan Theater of Mexico City in front of 3200 maniacs. The show was recorded and was released through Season of Mist in July 2020 as the band’s first official live album, titled Infernus Sinfonica MMXIX, in audio and video format.
Let’s meet the band (FINALLY!!!!)
From left to right:
Christos Antoniou – Lead Guitar, Orchestrations (1990-2003, 2007-present)
Sotiris Vayenas – Rhythm Guitar, Clean Vocals, Keyboards (1990-2003, 2007-present)
Spiros “Seth Siro Anton” Antoniou – Lead Vocals, Bass (1990-2003, 2007-present)
Kerim “Krimh” Lechner – Drums (2014-present)
And then live from WACKEN OPEN AIR 2019
I can seriously say that this band, who has been around for roughly 30 years, totally have their shit together. I say that with the utmost respect and awe, just watching them play, especially with the orchestra, not one missed beat, like a perfectly ran machine. “Seth Siro Anton”, is in total control of that stage. Sure he has been doing it for a long time you might say. Well let me tell you I am mesmerized by this man. I don’t care if he has been doing it for 30 years or 3 years. Listen to that voice, 30 years of those rough and raw vocals, listen to him. How can anyone not be riveted to him? Look how he handles the audience, he is in total control of them, not one eye would not be on him. I would give anything to have been there. That’s what good about doing this blog, I may not get to be there and you may not get to be there, but, here today we are there. What great video, the whole performance, thank you UTube for this. What would we do without you?? I watched the whole thing, and again I can’t take my eyes off these guys, it’s just perfectly executed, I love it, and the hair, sorry guys you know me, the longer the better. They are moshing that hair, pass the Advil guys. Oh and one more thing is their wardrobe, it’s not flashy, but it has that metal edge to it without it being over done I love it.
I just can’t get enough of these guys. This is how I am choosing to spend my Christmas Eve, with SepticFlesh, and I can’t think of a better way. I guess my Christmas present to you and myself is this band. They have left me with something that can never be taken away. Their music, their story and now they will always be a part of me. Thank you for your music and your strength. It has been a pleasure to bring this band to my HeadBangers. Listen with your ears, watch with your eyes and feel every beat with your heart. You have just witness one of the best bands I have heard. Bring us more SepticFlesh, we are waiting…..
That’s it for this week my HeadBangers. Join me next week for another band and another song. In the meantime don’t stand to close to the fire if you can’t handle the burn…..