Greece's SepticFlesh emerged in the early '90s with a visceral and uncompromising sound that looked as much to the cavernous halls of doom metal for inspiration as it did the icy vistas of black and death metal.
The band's style has evolved over the years, taking on elements of neo-classical and symphonic metal, a theatrical and brutal approach that they perfected in the 2000s on stand-out LPs Sumerian Demons (2003), The Great Mass (2011), and Codex Omega (2017).
Formed in Athens in the early '90s by Sotiris Vayenas (guitar), Spiros Antoniou (bass and vocals), and Christos Antoniou (guitars), the band quickly released a debut EP, Temple of the Lost Race, in 1991. Their first official full-length, Mystic Places of Dawn, followed in 1994. From there the band released a handful of albums, notably taking on a female soprano vocalist (Natalie Rassoulis) for the recording of 1997's Ophidian Wheel and 1998's A Fallen Temple, both of which saw the group moving toward a more symphonic style of death metal. In 1999, the band was able to snag the services of legendary producer Fredrik Nordström (Opeth, At the Gates) for that year's Revolution DNA. With a number of albums receiving positive responses and a handful of successful tours, Septic Flesh soon signed to Hammerheart, which released their next album, Sumerian Daemons, in 2003.
Although the band's star was on the rise, things were not what they seemed, and Septic Flesh decided to call it a day later that year. Christos went off to focus on work with Chaostar, late-arriving keyboardist Bob Katsionis worked with Nightfall, and Sotiris started a solo project under the moniker Aenaos. But, as with most bands, a little time and space were all that was needed, and in 2007 Septic Flesh announced a reunion appearance at that year's Metal Healing Festival in their native Greece. The band soon signed a new deal with French label Season of Mist, and released its seventh album, Communion, in 2008. The new-look Septic Flesh, rounded out by Fotis Benardo on drums, also featured an 80-musician/32-vocalist orchestra and choir. The Great Mass (2011) and Titan (2014) were similarly ambitious affairs that utilized the talents of the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, and Codex Omega (2017), the band's tenth studio long-player, was produced by extreme metal specialist Jens Bogren (Opeth, Dimmu Borgir). In 2020 the band released the epic and fully orchestrated live LP and concert film Infernus Sinfonica Mmxix. ~ Chris True, Rovi