In February of last year, the Greek, symphonic, blackened death metal masters, Septicflesh, undertook their most ambitious endeavor yet.
On their studio albums the band conducts these grand, orchestral pieces, courtesy of the classically schooled Christos Antoniou. A perfectly balanced marriage of the inherent pomp of black metal with the grandeur of classical music. In a live situation, however, even though on stage the band is still a mighty beast to behold, they generally need to rely on digital tapes to reproduce those symphonic parts, since you simply can’t bring an entire orchestra with you on the tour bus.
For ‘Infernus Sinfonica MMXIX’ they tried to find an answer to that. Obviously, they did not bring a whole orchestra on tour, but instead they set up an unique performance in a very particular venue: the Metropolitan Theater in Mexico City where they performed together with the Symphonic Experience Orchestra, the Enharmonia Vocalis Choir and the National University of Mexico’s Childen and Youth Choir.
South American audiences are known for their very enthousiastic attitude on metal gigs and this shows through here as well, even when all of them are standing in this stylish old movie theater, instead of crawling over each other in a muddy mosh pit. Something that the band and particularly front man Spiros, is feeding of with full abandon.
Septicflesh went to great length to do their elaborate compositions full justice with this fully fledged orchestra and choirs. This is as close to a faithful on stage rendition of their studio recordings as you could possibly get.
The setting here is fantastic with actual stone statues and pillars flanking the stage instead of your regular fake stage props. Especially, when the camera zooms out to take the full venue in the lens, the sight is truly spectacular. Personally, I would have maybe liked a bit more inventiveness when it comes to the closeup shots and the editing, but now I’m nitpicking.
For the setlist they’ve chosen a balanced selection that covers the highlights from their latest four records, starting with their quickening ‘comeback’ album, ‘Communion’, since it was there in 2008 that they really took their symphonic pomp to new heights. With every record after that building further on that.
It is unlikely that there will be a repetition of this undertaking anytime soon, so this ‘Infernus Sinfonica MMXIX’ stands testament to an unique performance from an unique set of musicians.
Release Date: July 31th, 2020
Label: Season of Mist
- Portrait of a Headless Man
- The Pyramid God
- The Enemy of Truth
- The Vampire from Nazareth
- Dogma of Prometheus
- Lovecraft’s Death
- Dante’s Inferno
- A Great Mass of Death
- Dark Art