Septicflesh have long orchestrated death metal’s primitive origins. Since debut album, Mystic Places of Dawn, through new album, Codex Omega, the Greeks have excelled at the marriage of dark, intense death metal with film scores. While the idea wasn’t Septicflesh’s, the Athens-based quartet have, along with a select few, perfected it. To wit, they’ve removed the simulation–i.e., synths, MIDI–to operate with real orchestras with horrifyingly and epic results.
On Codex Omega (Prosthetic), Septicflesh returned to the Czech Republic for a fourth time, employing the services of the FILMharmonic Orchestra to realize the vision of primary composer Christos Antoniou. Throughout Codex Omega, FILMharmonic Orchestra’s strings, brass, and percussion elevate Antoniou’s scary motifs.
We cornered Antoniou to ask him about soundtracks or scores that have and continue to influence Septicflesh. While we were bummed to not see Basil Poledouris, John Williams, and Bernard Herrmann on Antoniou’s list, his choices make perfect sense in Septicflesh’s horror-prone world.
5. Wojciech Kilar “Dracula”
Simplicity at its finest. Straightforward and primitive orchestration that will haunt you. Romanticism and lyricism can’t be described. Minimal approach even in his suspenseful creations, building a slow ongoing mood full of spiritualism. Each theme is perfectly placed. Mina’s innocence to the menacing Vlad is under the same emotional denominator.
4. Christopher Young “Hellraiser”
Another big influence for us, especially in our first period. Amazing score that captures the scenario perfectly. Probably the best horror main theme ever and the atmosphere is so tense, so electrified that it doesn’t let you breathe. Horror, fear and desire is everywhere.
3. Elliot Goldenthal “Interview with a Vampire”
George Fenton was commissioned to compose the music but his score was rejected by the producers. Eliot Goldenthal was hired and he had only three weeks to create this masterpiece! Incredible work. From the first notes I was so impressed from this score, especially for the use of harpsichord and the avant-garde elements. The main theme is the hymn to the vampires. The radical changes, from complex textures to a folk gypsy dance, are unique.
2. Jerry Goldsmith “The Omen”
Darkest soundtrack ever. I was student in England when I heard “Omen” and I was really shocked. Evil, satanic, spooky and on the other hand gentle themes that introduce the ambassador’s family before the ‘demonic storm’. Goldsmith’s choral writing is monumental. The lyrics are so brutal, sung by the singers. And his effects from the orchestra create a demonic ritual that is impossible to not grab you. Goldsmith won his only Oscar for “Omen”.
1. Hans Zimmer “Batman Trilogy”
“Batman”’s music has influenced Septicflesh more than any other soundtrack. The ‘baroque’ color and the simple main theme played a major role in our music. It has everything: dark, electronic, elegant and tragic themes that create an imposing atmosphere. Zimmer’s cello writing is one of a kind, suggesting the human approach of “Batman”. Also the motivational element is so strong on this soundtrack, as I said huge influence for us.
** Septicflesh’s new album, Codex Omega, is out now on Prosthetic Records. The orchestral death metal masterpiece is available on CD and LP by clicking HERE.