SEPTICFLESH: One Step Closer to Hell

Septicflesh 2017 interview

Greek symphonic extreme metal elite Septicflesh has released their tenth studio album titled Codex Omega on September 1st via Prosthetic Records (US) and Season of Mist (Europe). Heralded as the quartet’s “most infernal release” to date, the 2-CD record was produced by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Dimmu Borgir) and it consists of ten songs of “their trademark blend of mystical atmosphere, relentless death guitar riffing and pale melodies.

Rhythm guitarist, clean vocalist and keyboardist Sotiris Vayenas spoke for Prog Sphere about the new record, upcoming tour dates, and future.

Describe the vision propelling Codex Omega.

Sotiris V.: Codex Omega is a title given to the 3rd and last Testament. It is an admittance, a revelation, that all books including all religious bibles, are the products of human mind. Therefore also Satan and God are man’s creations and that is why they have human elements. It is not the other way around.

What made this the right time to pursue that vision?

Sotiris V.: Mankind is on the brink of self-annihilation. It is about time to take responsibility for its actions, stop blaming scapegoats or simply waiting for a divine intervention that will miraculously solve all problems.

Also, religion is definitely not making the world a peaceful place. A world without religion, a world of logic and self-responsibility would be a far better place to live.

Septicflesh - Codex Omega

Tell me about what you’re communicating with the album cover.

Sotiris V.: What you feed with energy in your mind, keeps growing, until finally starts to feed by itself, getting stronger and stronger in time, from something vague and powerless to something almost tangible and powerful. So be careful what you are feeding, because the “baby” at some point will be fully grown and take control.

The press release says that Codex Omega is by far your most infernal release.” What, in your opinion, contributed to that?

Sotiris V.: I agree. Not only there are some of the most infernal/antireligious lyrics I have ever written, as in “3rd Testament (Codex Omega)” for example, but when you listen to the songs, you are feeling one step closer to hell. This feeling is enhanced from some really dark melodic parts and of course there are a lot of razor sharp riffs that combined with the drumming bring the listener in the middle of an infernal warzone.

Provide some insight into the creative process for Codex Omega. Did your approach change comparing with 2014’s Titan?

Sotiris V.: The creative process was the same. As always, all members of Septicflesh contributed compositions. Initially, we start composing songs separately and at some point when we feel ready, we present our compositions to each other. And then interaction and feedback between us begins. All songs are worked and re-worked over and over, until we are satisfied from every small detail.

Speaking of creating, what does it look like when you work on a new Septicflesh song? How do you usually start shaping up a song?

Sotiris V.: First, Christos [Antoniou, guitars and orchestrations] brings orchestral parts recorded with samplers, to give us a first taste of his ideas and to help us figure out the appropriate guitars and rhythm section. All of the other members bring pre-recordings of their compositions with guitars and all other “metal” instruments and Chris then figures out if orchestra and choir are needed, or we give him a basic musical guideline with the melodies that we want to be played from the orchestra and he transcribes those lines to orchestra music sheet.  Actually, Christos has a Master’s degree in concert music and so he creates all the music sheets for the orchestra. So everything you hear on our records is composed solely by Septicflesh.

Septicflesh has been active for over 25 years, and you are considered as one of the prime symphonic death metal acts. What’s the future of the genre like, in your opinion?

Sotiris V.: It is a matter of imagination and skill, so as far as there are bands with those elements, the future of this subgenre will be good. When you have at your disposal many different instruments to express your emotions, there are a lot of options to be explored and that is something hopeful for the future. On the other hand, it is essential to know what you are doing and not just randomly throwing symphonic parts here and there, aiming to impress the audience.

You will be kicking off a South American tour in support of the new album in October, and you will be joined by Fleshgod Apocalypse. What are your expectations? Audiences in Latin America are absolutely crazy for metal.

Sotiris V.: Indeed. We’ve already received a lot of emails from fans in Latin America that are very anxious to witness this event. I am sure that it will be a great tour.

What are your plans when it comes to touring Europe?

Sotiris V.: It’s still early on, but at this point we are discussing different options. So I can’t give you any details right now, but surely there will be an extensive European tour.

With a career spanning almost 30 years, what are your goals as a band to achieve in the future?

Sotiris V.: Although many years have passed since we started this musical journey, we are still hungry for more and it seems our fans feel the same. We keep moving up, step by step, and we intend to continue to do so. Our next goal will be to top Codex Omega.

Codex Omega is out now; pre-order it here. For more news from Septicflesh visit their official website.

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