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Septicflesh Posts Fifth Studio Update On "The Great Mass"

Greek act Septicflesh will be releasing "The Great Mass" on April 18th, 2011. The band has now checked in with a fifth studio report, which was conducted by Hard Rock Mag editor Sven Letourneur. The studio report can be read below, or you can check out Metalunderground.com's review of the new album here.

Sven: You left Peter Tägtgren work alone for a few days, how long did he work on the mix? Did he send you some tests regularly or just one final pre-mix to have your opinion before applying your changes? When you heard the first results of the mixing done by Peter, what was your opinion about it? Were there a lot of things to be changed? Is the final result close to what you had in your minds?

Sotiris (guitars / vocals): After a period of 5 days, Peter presented us his first pre-mix of the songs. It was his suggestion for the "skeleton" of the album, focusing on drums-bass-guitars. In this pre-mix, there were no vocals, as he wanted to focus on them after the decisions about the basic sound field were taken. On this mix the orchestral parts had a more general balance. That didn't work for all the songs as on the new album we experimented with different structures, using different combinations of instruments and dynamics from song to song. On the other hand, when we listened to it, we were very pleased, as the guitars were sharp and extremely heavy and the grooves of the bass and drums were sounding so damn powerful. Our suggestions were mostly focused on the orchestral parts, as it was obvious that the metal instruments were exactly as we wanted them to be.

Sven: After some remarks, Peter did a second mix with all your ideas taken into account. How did you feel when hearing this second test? Did you feel you were close to the perfect result? Is there a third mix already done?

Fotis (drums): Yes, there is a third mix already... The good thing about Peter is that even if he is who he is and has so many years of experience, he is always open to any suggestions and ideas. We had a great time working together and I believe that both sides are happy with the result of this album.

Sotiris: The second mix was focused on the balance between the vocals and the other instruments. It was an important and difficult phase, as besides the characteristic growling vocals of Seth and my dark melodic vocals, we used two different female singers (a soprano and a mezzo-soprano) and a boy soprano, not to mention a full choir. When we listened to the second pre-mix, we felt we were getting closer to what we wanted, but there was still work ahead of us, concerning the orchestral parts. We wanted to miss nothing from the performance and emotion of the various classical instruments. There are so many different musical layers on the new album... Much more than on "Communion"! It was a very difficult task to keep the right balance between all the different elements, while retaining a huge death metal sound. And that was exactly our aim. Peter heard the material over and over, giving attention to our suggestions, even about the small details of the songs. So he continued presenting to us different mixes of the songs until we were completely satisfied. We are grateful for his patience and his hard work for the album. He managed to surpass our expectations. We are extremely pleased from the final result.

Sven: Now that you recorded everything by yourselves in your own studio, would you consider for a future album to even take care of the mixing after more experience?

Fotis: To be honest, mixing an album that combines aggressive death metal with extreme blast-beats and at the same time melodies that come not only from guitars but also from a full orchestra and a choir, is something really hard that needs a lot of guts... Peter Tägtgren had the guts and patience to mix this album and make it sound so powerful. It takes years of experience to mix something so difficult.

Sven: What about mastering? You told me you were going to do it at the Abyss Studio too? Who will take care of it?

Fotis: Peter's associate, Jonas, who is doing most of the mastering that goes out from the Abyss studio. I like the fact that that we can master the album in the same studio where we mixed it, because I'm sure we won't lose the sound approach of our final mix.

The previously posted fourth studio update is also available here.

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