Courage. That's a word that comes to mind when listening to Septic Flesh' latest, "A Fallen Temple". They certainly stay off the trodden path, perhaps even too much so. Let me elaborate.

Basically, "A Fallen Temple" is two mini CDs in one; over half of it contains new tracks, whereas the rest features a re-recorded version of the classic "Temple of the Lost Race" demo, no longer available in its original form. These original demo tracks are pretty much in the traditional Septic Flesh vein - really well done, cool tracks, with good guitar work and the sense of magic that accompanied most of the tracks on their first two 'real' albums.

The new tracks, however, are a completely different kettle of fish. Some of them are logical exponents of tracks on "The Ophidean Wheel" - good stuff with added soprano vocals, though less complex than their earlier work. But several tracks - I refer to "The Underworld Act 1" and "The Underworld Act 2" here - perhaps take Septic Flesh off on too different a tangent. What we have here is semi-operaic music with vocals almost like a radio play. Courageous, like I said, but too much for me.

Perhaps "A Fallen Temple" ought to have been a more traditional Septic Flesh CD, with a different CD to follow later, quite like Samael's "Passage" redone with classical instruments only. Two widely different styles of music on one CD is perhaps just a smidgen too much. Nonetheless, "A Fallen Temple" demands nothing but respect and should prove quite satisfying for the listener who's in for an unorthodox aural voyage of discovery.



Written August 1998


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