I have to admit that it’s a bit strange to read that Septicflesh played their last show in Athens 4 years ago. On top of that one of their founding members, Sotiris Vayenas, can’t follow the band on extended tours and plays with them only in their home town. So, we had good reasons to visit Fuzz club on that Saturday night.


Lloth was the first band on stage for the evening and I was pleased to see that the fans had already filled most of the venue because it’s very common to ignore the supporting groups here. A band with a very interesting back story. They were created back in 1995 by Tristessa and shortly (after a demo tape) they changed their name to Astarte. Tristessa chose to use that name again in 2003 with a new line-up for some live shows, but the band was put again on hold for a very long time. It was 2013 when they were reunited in order to record an album, but the illness of Tristessa held back their plans. Unfortunately, this excellent musician passed away some months ago and the rest of the band decided to honor her memory by keeping on playing and recording. With her husband, Nicolas Sic Maiis, on vocals they delivered excellent melodic death metal as it was taught by the pioneers of the Swedish stage. Within the little time that they had, they played songs from their upcoming first album including the ones that have been released online as video clips, “I (Dead Inside)” and “Athanati (Immortal)” dedicated to the memory of Tristessa. Check them out and remember their name.


Next in line was Where Everything Begun, or W.E.B., one of the best Greek bands out there. They had to perform with one guitar, due to an injury of their leader Sakis Darkface, prohibiting him to play for at least a month. He just performed the vocals and a session guitarist was called to fill the gap. Sadly, the sound was terrible. We could hardly listen to the guitar, a problem that kept going until the end of their show. Too bad because their atmospheric black/death metal is amazing and songs like “For Bidens”, “Eligos” and “Blessed Blood” lose their dynamic without the proper sound. They chose a new song from their upcoming release to finish their performance and judging by that it will be another killer album.


After half an hour of waiting, Septicflesh decided to come on stage. The crowd was now bigger, the ones that were late started to push the way forward like orcs, the younger fans chose to watch the gig through the camera of their phones and the classic true metal stench combined with smoke made an ideal environment for a live concert. We heard the intro and the quartet took their spots on the stage. They started with “War In Heaven” and their new drummer, Kerim “Krimh” Lechner from Austria, proved that he deserved the seat behind the drum kit. First disappointment the absence of Sotiris Vayenas. Founding member, composer and excellent singer, he is responsible for the clean vocals on some of their songs. Septicflesh later said that he couldn’t be here due to a very serious health issue, something that they chose not to announce before the show. Second disappointment, the same problem with the guitars. Luckily, it was fixed on the third song and remained like that until the end. Their set was based on their last album, “Titan”, from which they played 7 songs. But their performance was mediocre, not to say something worse. The reasons? First of all, the setlist. From their first 6 albums they played only 1 song, “Unbeliever” from the amazing “Sumerian Daemons” with Seth changing (or forgetting) the original lyrics. I really can’t understand why they left out all their history and disappointed all their oldest fans who listen to them from their beginning.


Second, too much prerecorded parts. At some point it’s logical, because they can’t bring the symphonic orchestra of Prague but at some point it seemed ridiculous because they tried to play every last sound of their albums. Especially in a song that the fans were eager to listen, “Anubis”, the prerecorded parts were messed up with a result of listening some incomprehensible noises. Yes, ladies and gentlemen. That bad. Third, Seth and his “performance”. The bass that he held was just for show. I mean that he didn’t play it in most of each song. He was just waving his hands all the time. If you don’t feel like playing, hire a session bassist and focus on the vocals. And of course all the irritating “let’s go Athens, are you ready, on the count of 3, 1…2…3…go, louder, come on, all together, I sail louder, I can’t hear you” etc. The music of Septicflesh is imperial, atmospheric, dark and when is played live it must reproduce that feeling. When you have a guy that can’t let go of the microphone and acts like he is playing AOR, I’m sorry but this gets rather boring. Fourth and last, the total running time of their show. The songs alone were 1 hour and 10 minutes long. Combined with the long pauses between them, they hardly made it to 1 hour and 30 minutes. It’s a shame.


Last but not least, I have to mention that I am a huge fan of Septicflesh. They are excellent musicians, they have recorded masterpieces and are one of the most impressive bands worldwide. But their live shows suck. The way they perform brings me headache and boredom. Sorry guys, this was the last time.

George Terzakis

Setlist: War In Heaven, Communion, Order Of The Dracul, A Great Mass Of Death, Burn, Pyramid God, Titan, Prototype, The Vampire From Nazareth, Unbeliever, Dogma, Lovecraft’s Death, Persepolis, Anubis, Prometheus