review published: 7/1/2015
Septa are an alternative metal band based in Ukraine. Drawing from an extremely wide variety of influences, Septa's second full-length album Destroyer is an interesting listen.
Impossible to pin down to one particular sub genre, Septa call upon metalcore, nu-metal, hardcore, and alternative rock to create a mosaic of sound. Opener "Destroyer, Pt. 1" gets things moving with a 90s chaotic hardcore sounding verse that opens up into a groovy metalcore chorus. They jump between components smoothly anchored by a diverse range of vocals. Featuring screamed vocals that recall that of Majority Rule or Zao, Mike Patton-esque clean wails, and just about everything in between, Destroyer gets off to a pretty fun start.
Leaning upon the band's hardcore influences, "Ruins On Ruins On Ruins" plays out at a slower pace. It relies heavily on variations of the same riff throughout the song, bogging the track down a bit, and by the time it hits a nu-metal breakdown, the song is already over. I feel like Septa could have done much more with this one.
"Destroyer, Pt. 2" finds the band getting back into their metalcore roots with a chugging riff and heavy backbeat. Midway through, the band drops into the background as the singer goes off on a strange tangent that is half nu-metal rage and half hardcore spoken word. It's impressive that Septa can pull from such a wide variety of sounds and still make it work.
In the center of the record is "I, Havoc," which serves as an interlude track. The song is keyboard centric with a nice, cleanly sung melody leading the way over the atmospheric track. It makes me think of "The Sinking Belle" from Sunn O))) and Boris' collaboration album, but with a programmed drum beat.
The second half of the album kicks off with "Destroyer Pts. 3 & 4." What I assume is Part 3 once again draws from Septa's metalcore sound, sprinkling flashes of nu-metal (early Sevendust comes to mind) before dropping out into a spoken word sample. When the band returns for Pt. 4, they have once again taken on a new form – this time as an alternative rock band. Here they call upon the more recent, mellower Deftones sound with the vocalist even making an attempt to channel Chino Moreno.
"Unmaker Omega" ventures into industrial territory with disjointed guitar parts and buzzing synth over a programmed beat. This is the one track that I could do without. Septa never sound completely comfortable in this form and the song drags on as a result.
Destroyer concludes with "Destroyer, Pt. 5," more of an outro track featuring some interesting vocal harmonies. It would have been cool to see Septa build upon this composition more, but as an endnote it works.
Nearly everything about Destroyer sounds good. Neither the clean nor the screamed vocals ever overpower band's performance. The overall mix is solid with a great sounding chunky bass tone, and aside from a few missteps, the song structures are completely fluid and listenable.
Bottom Line: I have no idea if Septa are incredibly original or completely derivative, but I don't really care because Destroyer is too interesting and unique to worry about that.
Track Listing: 01. Destroyer, Pt. 1 02. Ruins on Ruins on Ruins 03. Destroyer, Pt. 2 04. I, Havoc 05. Destroyer, Pts. 3 & 4 06. Unmaker Omega 07. Destroyer, Pt. 5