Album Review: Septage – Septic Worship

Album Review: Septage - Septic Worship
Reviewed by Sam Jones

When I saw Septage would finally release their first album, I was so happy for them. I’ve seen them release their first Eps to wild acclaim and now, with Septic Worship on the horizon, it’s time to pay good attention to what the band have in store for us. Formed in 2020 out of Copenhagen, Denmark, Septage are one of the numerous death metal projects that make up the sprawling Danish extreme metal community. With members also having a hand in Hyperdontia, Diabolizer, Taphos and Sulphurous, it’s safe to say Septage, though only now releasing their first album, are far from inexperienced. The band released their first EP, Septic Decadence, in 2020, which first drew me to the band; their heavy Carcass worship is what got me on board with their sound to begin with. The following year saw them unleash their Septisk Eradikasyon EP, with a Split and Compilation not far behind. Now, scheduled for a March 29th release date and via Me Saco Un Ojo Records, Septage are ready to show the world what they have to offer. Let’s tentatively approach this sickening record.

Most bands, when playing their first full length album to an audience, would want to make a firm statement as to who they are and why we should continue to listen. Nope. Septage open things up with a five second track. Right out of the gate, the band show us nothing is off the cards for Septage to try or implement. We’ve received a slew of Danish extreme metal bands lately but none so visceral and honest as Septage, through their earlier EP work, have become renowned for. Even when you think it’ll be a hot minute until the next rapid fire track comes on, their next piece barely eclipses a full minute so Septage show just how keenly they’re leaning into the Grindcore element of their soundscape. They’re going to throw you through a series of hoops and jumps, destroying any preconceived notions you had for this record, and they’re going to do it extremely quickly. There are fifteen tracks to low through and you’ll soon understand the band aren’t holding your hand for them, nor are they going to give you breathing room as they thrust you from one to the next.

It’s probably evident the band are drawing upon deep levels of Carcass worship, but not the melodic death metal kind. The record, very quickly, establishes itself as this putrid, miasmic force that’s absolutely reminiscent of early Carcass material. This is less Symphonies Of Sickness style, and more aligned with Reek Of Putrefaction; it truly is a modern take on Carcass’ most heinous and vile heraldry. The band’s Grindcore element is utterly ruthless and seeks not to hold anything back; this is reflected just as much in the songwriting too, for there is a minimal amount of fluff occurring throughout the record. The band know what they want, it’s played, then they move on to the next track before you get even a moment to re-centre yourself. All possible fat has been stripped from this release and while they’re clearly adept with speed, their steadier playing is just as crushing as the production has painted this record with a coat of sludge. It really is a disgusting, oozing work.

Album Review: Septage - Septic Worship

Speaking of which, I adore the choice of vocal delivery applied for this record. Septic Worship leans towards the rancidity of extreme metal not only through its riffs and songwriting, but the vocal depth too. Other than a small handful of bands, these are certainly amongst the most guttural, deepest vocals I’ve ever heard. Gone is any semblance to human comprehension as Septage provide vocals so low and nasty it’s like they’ve just shoved a microphone down lead vocalist Ugur Yildirim, and it’s that very gargling aesthetic the sound is picking up on for the vocals. Malik Çamlica and Tobias Bendixen each provide their own backing vocals, and these are more conventional to find in death metal, but it’s that primary delivery that’s going to enthral and astonish listeners. The fact Yildirim also plays drums, moving at these blast beat paces, whilst also performing vocals at the same time, is simply insane.

In the total vein of Grindcore records, Septic Worship really doesn’t overstay its welcome. There may be a full fifteen tracks to work with, but it needs saying that most of these don’t even exceed two minutes long. So while it may seem like the band are throwing a whole swathe of material your way, it’s really not the case. Owing to their innate speed and their insistence on holding nothing back through their varying songwriting elements, Septage make, what would otherwise be an hour long, if not more, record, an album that barely takes up your time. I imagine people may wish there to be more to play with but that’s not what Septage are going for; Septic Worship is unfiltered depravity. Many other acts might extend their albums and are going for a similar aesthetic and that’s all well and good, but Septage are leaning the other way. The band get in, get out, and leave you to pick yourselves up from the floor.

In conclusion, Septage’s first full length work takes what they’ve previously accomplished on their earliest releases and cranks it one level beyond. This is one vile, horrific album that does precisely what you think it’ll do just be looking at its cover art. A long run of tracks this may be, but due to the sheer speed and pace this record possesses you’ll find yourself moving from one song to the next with staggering intensity. This is a heavy album, a truly heavy work, the kind that will have you gawping at the crushing depths Septage are looking to descend to. Not for some time have I encountered such a seething, guttural vocal performance and it sells the band’s extremity so well. Moreover it’s the kind of record that only continues to pique my curiosity regarding Septage’s career. I’m really interested to see where the band go next from here, and what else from the Danish metal community the band may yet draw on for their next release.

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