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They have recently released their eighth full-lenght "The Great Mass", now we have the huge pleasure to talking with the Greek Septicflesh.
Welcome to Aristocrazia Webzine, how are you? How do you feel after the release of your latest work?
Sotiris Anunnaki V: I feel great. Also the reaction from the people and also the magazines is fantastic.
Usually our interviews starting with some biographical mention, can you tell us how did Septicflesh born and reveal something about the history of the band?
We are a Greek metal band and we are on the scene for quite a long time as we were formed in 1990. We recently released our eighth full length album called "The Great Mass", from the French label Season Of Mist.
Starting from the debut "Mystic Places Of Dawn" until the last "The Great Mass", your sound has been constantly changing. It was a natural evolutionary process, or there was something that at some point did you take this path?
We are a band that loves to experiment with ideas, always trying new things. You can say that we have restless minds and that is a factor pushes us to evolve and not to rest in past achievements.
How did your song born? Do you work separately at the songwriting, or do you develope from the beginning common ideas?
Each member of the band is also a composer. So at first we start by gathering ideas individually and at some point we present them to each other. Then there is a phase of interaction and continuous change. At the end, we have the complete product of a transformation that occurred from the alchemical interaction of our minds.
"The Great Mass" can be considered the heir of the "Communion" sound? In your opinion, what are the points of convergence and instead in what they are totally spaced?
The common element of the new album with "Communion", is that the symphonic parts are an integral part of our sound. However, "The Great Mass" is definitely not "Communion" part two. There is more diversity and intensity in "The Great Mass". Everything is taken to the next level and now "Communion" seems as something simple in comparison. "The Great Mass" is the combination of the most powerful elements developed through out all our carrier until now, while it opens also new doors for further evolution.
In the review I stated that in "The Great Mass" has been found the perfect balance between extreme metal and symphonic music, what are the fees about which you have managed to develop this delicate balance?
It was our intention to retain a balanced result, as besides exploring symphonic and soundtrack soundscapes, we are always an extreme metal band at heart. During the creational process, we made a lot of choices concerning the arrangements of the songs. There was a lot of hard work and nothing was left in chance. Also Peter Tagtgren did an amazing work on the mix of the album and the overall sound that is clear and fucking powerful.
It's impossible not to notice that in some parts of the album, "Oceans Of Grey" for example, stands out clearly a component with gothic aspects. This is perhaps the result of a more intimate sophistication in the group?
We never composed songs having in mind a specific musical style. Instead, we try to focus on our emotions and how to properly present them to the listener. "Oceans Of Grey" is a very emotional song and we felt that it would be better to have a more melodic and melancholic orientation.
What were the greatest source of inspiration for "The Great Mass", both musical and intellectual level?
Mind, body and soul. In other words, the trinity…
After a masterpiece like "Communion" had great expectations for this new job and, at least as far as I'm concerned, have been amply rewarded. During the manufacturing process of the album which were your goals? Are you totally satisfied of the finished product?
The result is exactly what we wanted. We are also very pleased from the performance of the Filharmonic Orchestra Of Prague and all the other artist that were involved for the materialization of "The Great Mass".
In the booklet of "The Great Mass" I noticed that each track is defined as a "psalm" which are given an interpretation and the lyrics are very examined and treated. What is the conductor line of the album on a conceptual level?
Each song deals with a different subject. I tried to prepare the listener for the theme of each song with a prologue composed mostly from appropriate questions. In the bigger picture, I envisioned them as different psalms belonging to the same greater mystical liturgy, the Great Mass…
I particularly liked the beautiful lyrics of "Apocalypse" and "Therianthropy", the latter based on the duality of the human soul. Who among you is responsible for the drafting of lyrics and from what resulting the reflections and visions that make them?
The lyrics are my responsibility. It is a deep esoteric trip on things that intrigue me. Further, I always try to combine the emotions and sounds with fitting meaning that has a value for me. But, I don’t intend to preach my opinions, just to express them in my own way.
If I don't wrong the beautiful artwork was created by Spiros/Seth Siro, what was important for this album establishing a strong connection between iconography, music and lyrics?
Exactly. In fact we consider Septicflesh as a wider artistic experiment, rather just a musical experiment. Seth has developed a unique artistic visual style and we are fortunate to have him as a member of the band and his artwork reflects this deeper connection to the music and lyrics.
You are the spearhead of a scene that in recent times is surprising me more and more (I think for example to band like Profane Prayer, Transcending Bizarre?, Sorrows Path and Unholy Ritual). What is the relationship you have with the bands of your countrymen? What are, in your opinion, the requirements that a metal band should have today?
Identity, proper skill, a lot of work, strong emotions and strong will. As Chris and Fotis besides playing in Septicflesh, are owners of the Devasoundz studios in Athens (that by the way we also used for the recordings of "The Great Mass") a lot of Greek bands come to record, so there is an ongoing interaction and relation.
Also in the review I made a bit strong simile to say that it is absolutely reductive listening an album like "The Great Mass" only in mp3, even if it's a stretch to talk much of the music. What do you think of modern means of sharing of Internet? What is your opinion about the fact that many people now feel free to embezzle all the music in a so blatant manner?
The purpose of music is to touch the soul of the listener, it doesn't matter what means are used to make this possible.
You will make a tour to promote "The Great Mass"? There are dates already confirmed? We will have the opportunity to see you here in Italy?
Straight ahead there is a USA tour with Children of Bodom, Devin Townsend and Obscura. Then there are plans to join Samael for their European tour but I don’t have the full details yet. Let’s hope that Italy is also included.
The interview is over, thanks for your availability and, handing me once again congratulate for the wonderful "The Great Mass", I leave you the word for a final message to our readers.
Thank you for your support. Keep the dark flame burning!