Sede Vacante – Conium

Sede Vacante
Label: Scarlet Records
Out: October 21st, 2022
Playing time: 51:01

Finland and Greece have a long tradition in Symphonic Metal. In Sede Vacante, musicians from both countries have come together to form a new band. Although, the band is not that new anymore. It was founded in 2015 by guitarist and composer Michael Tiko. At that time under the banner of Symphonic Gothic Metal. In November 2016, the debut album “Skies Infernal” was released. It came as it often does. The mastermind was re-inspired, the line-up changed, the sound became heavier. And with Scarlet Records, a new label was also found. You can hear the effects of these changes on “Conium”. And obviously it won’t take six years until the successor. The band is already working on the third album.

Of course, an album of this genre starts with an intro. But in my opinion, “Furia” is one of the better ones. Less sound gimmicks, but more melody. It seems more like a classical overture, which seamlessly moves into the first regular song “Mistaken”. And that’s when Sede Vacante really get going. Hard riffs underlaid with orchestral parts. Singer Stephanie Mazor impresses with a powerful voice. “Dead New World” is the first highlight of the album. The guitars bang, underpinned by keyboards which, untypical of the genre, do not spread a cheesy Symphonic atmosphere. Again, the vocals are the standout. “Conium” is another very good song. The musicians keep the heaviness, the Double Bass drives, and the choruses encourage you to sing along. Stephanie can be heard in a duet with guitarist Michael Tiko. After some industrial sounds, “Raindrops” seems hard, but very melodic. In the case of the Rolling Stones cover “Paint It Black”, opinions will certainly differ. While Stones purists probably won’t find much to like about this version, I think the song is a successful new recording. The original is clearly recognisable, but the song still sounds very different. I find the vocal performance absolutely outstanding. After this first calm point, “Melancholy Bled” provides a bit more power again. The synths sound a bit funky here. And Sede Vacante again show their qualities with catchy and easy-to-sing-along choruses. “Walk On A Lie” starts with an orchestral introduction before the Double Bass drives again. The vocals seem a bit calmer, but no less powerful. Instead, “The Bride” is a real banger with heavy riffs. In some vocal passages, however, the tempo is slowed down a bit. “Wheel Of Misfortune” then moves a bit in the direction of mainstream and is thus suitable for airplay. The musicians reserved the ballad for the end. In “Tattoo” Stephanie Mazor is first accompanied only by piano and strings. Later, when the rhythm section kicks in, the sound becomes more powerful. A beautiful (power) ballad.

It’s really fun to listen to “Conium”. The album gets better with every play-through. Fortunately, Sede Vacante do not serve the usual clichés of Symphonic Metal. This should also encourage lovers of other metal genres to listen. The figurehead is of course singer Stephanie Mazor, who does not torture the listener with convulsive attempts to warble in the highest notes. On the contrary, her rocking voice is extremely pleasant.

Sede Vacante – Dead New World (Official Video):


Stephanie Mazor – Vocals
Michael Tiko – Guitar, Vocals, Synths
Nick Gkogkomitros – Bass
Jannis K – Drums

Track list:

  • Furia
  • Mistaken
  • Dead New World
  • Conium
  • Raindrops
  • Paint It Black
  • Melancholy Bled
  • Walk On A Lie
  • The Bride
  • Wheel Of Misfortune
  • Tattoo
  • 9/10
    Album - 9/10
  • 8/10
    Cover-Art - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Songwriting - 8/10