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Sede Vacante – Conium

Sede Vacante – Conium

Sede Vacante - Conium

Sede Vacante translates as ’the time of the empty throne’ in Latin. It is a term for the state of a diocese while it is without a bishop. It is commonly used to refer to the vacancy left after a Pope dies or resigns. A group of musicians from Finland and Greece decided it would be cool to use the phrase as the name for their band.

The symphonic/progressive/gothic metal band have released their second album “Conium.” With the new album comes a new vocalist namely Stephanie Mazor. Her introduction appears after a short instrumental intro track ‘Furia’, which leads into ‘Mistaken.’ Here she gives us a taste of her powerful range, and it becomes clear that she was a good choice.

The mastermind behind the band is multi-instrumentalist Michael Tiko who was founder of the project in 2015. Working with the new line-up he has created a heavier and faster set of 11 tracks. Michael contributes guitar, vocals and synths, completing the line-up on bass and drums are Nick Gkogkomitros and Jannis K respectively.

The heavier elements present themselves in ‘Dead New World’ while retaining a symphonic feel. The driving riffs, towering vocals and interwoven synths will have you tapping an appendage of your choice for sure.

Sede Vacante – Dead New World (click here if the video does not play)

The vocals are shared between Stephanie and Michael in the catchy title track ‘Conium’. This particular song suits Stephanie’s range perfectly and Michael gets the opportunity to throw in a cheeky little guitar solo.

Conium is a genus of poisonous herbs, most notably hemlock. This adds an element of menace to the song. The lyrics contain the line “I was dragged on the trial and drank the conium.”

Sede Vacante – Conium (click here if the video does not play)

There is a further Greek involvement, as the album was produced and mixed by Fotis Benardo at Devasoundz Studios (Athens). It is also worth noting the stunning cover artwork by Dimitris Tzortzis.

‘Raindrops’ is another song that suits Stephanie’s voice. Again, the driving rhythm is laced with synths and her vocals ride powerfully and effortlessly over the top.

Sede Vacante – Raindrops (click here if the video does not play)

One track stands out from the rest, not least because it is a cover. Originally released 56 years ago, the Rolling Stones song ‘Paint it Black’ is instantly recognisable. I had to listen to the original to get a comparison and conclude that Sede Vancante’s revamp is much better. So much so that listening to the 1966 version now is somewhat painful. Stephanie’s sweet and sultry vocals and the orchestration lift the classic (if dated) track to a new level.

Photo credit: Angeliki Hristoff

The great tracks keep coming, fast paced and catchy. Some are heavier than others but there’s not a bad one among them. Comparisons can be made to various symphonic metal bands but the one that comes to mind more than most is Ad Infinitum.

One such track is the final one, ‘Tattoo.’ The slow and brooding pace gives Stephanie plenty of space to give her best. It’s one of my favourite songs on the album and it’s over too fast, leaving me wanting more.

Photo credit: Angeliki Hristoff

Sede Vacante are currently working on their third record, a concept-album based on Dante’s ‘Inferno.’ This is welcome news indeed. It won’t be the first time Dante’s work has been used but it is still intriguing. No release date has been announced but I will be on the lookout for it.

There’s nothing particularly new or radically different here, just a very good example of the genre. The music has a harder edge than some other symphonic metal bands. I hope they keep that part of their compositions but also continue to include some softer tracks because that works.

Track-list:

  1. Furia
  2. Mistaken
  3. Dead New World
  4. Conium
  5. Raindrops
  6. Paint it Black
  7. Melancholy Bled
  8. Walk on a Lie
  9. The Bride
  10. Wheel of Misfortune
  11. Tattoo

About the Author

Bob

I’m Bob, I hail from Robin Hood country (Nottinghamshire) in the UK. Rock and Metal music has played a big part in my life for many years. From playing guitar in local bands, to attending dozens of Festivals and countless concerts. I have been taking photos at gigs (whenever possible) for a number of years now, and as the camera gear has got better so have the photos. I continue to seek out new Bands and tend to prefer the more technical and heavy stuff these days. I live with my wife Sarah, who fortunately likes the heavy bands as well, and our cats who have to listen to it, whether they like it or not. Apart from gigs and photography (not just concerts) I also enjoy hill walking, films and discovering new beers (and drinking them).

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