SEPTIC FLESH - "THE OPHIDIAN WHEEL" (HOLY RECORDS)
Produced better than ever before is Septic Flesh' third album, "Ophidian Wheel". Their keyboardist, lacking on their second effort "Esoptron", has returned home to roost, meaning that the neo-classical element is back. On top of that, a soprano has been drawn in to enhance the variety in several songs, which must be said is an experiment well succeeded. Indeed, they leave behind their labelmates Nightfall and soar up right to the snowclad top of Mount Olympus. Although the CD boasts a triplet of pseudo-classical ditties in the forms of "Tartarus", "Microcosmos" and "Enchantment", which could be considered slightly superfluous (though they take up no more than five minutes of the whole CD), the whole is definitely a masterpiece. Especially the soprano's haunting voice transforms a song like "Shamanic Rite" to an experience of true aural ecstasy.
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Written September 1997
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