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Few bands in the Mediterranean area have achieved the legendary status that Rotting Christ has. A controversial band, due to its name, having sparked comments from the likes of Dave Mustaine. Rotting Christ have undergone a series of changes from their inception back in 1987, and are still one of the longest running bands in the extreme metal genre. Their evolution reaches a peak on their 2004 masterpiece 'Sanctus Diavolos'.
From the very beginning of the album, 'Visions of a Blind Order' pummels you with it's brutal drumming and abstract melody. The vocals are what Sakis has gotten us used to in the past years, and the solo is incredibly reminiscent of 80's heavy metal with tappings and all.
The benedictine chants become more and more commonplace in Rotting Christ's music with this album, having taken over most if not all of the chorus of the second track, along with a wonderfully typical black metal tremolo riff.
Then there comes my personal overall favorite song from the band, an absolute jewel of melody that gives me goosebumps every time i give it a listen: 'Athanati Este'. The guitar is just right in your face from the very beginning and continues to be, while Sakis' chants haunt through the whole song coupled with eerie traditional Greek rhythms. Definitely not a typical black metal song which makes it stand the test of time so thoroughly.
The band also seems to have not lost all of its once prominent industrial overtone, however only in rhythm and not in instrumentation, something very obvious on 'Tyrannical' with very intense drumming.
Perhaps the best ending track in black metal history is the title track itself, 'Sanctus Diavolos' where the chants in the chorus finally seem to reach fruition. The solo comes at just the right point, a fact we've gotten used to from Rotting Christ. The mystical feel this song gives off is unlike anything i have ever experienced.
An album that surpasses all of its predecessors by a far, 'Sanctus Diavolos' is just a grand example of determination that has driven and continues to drive the Greek juggernaut, Rotting Christ. My reason for awarding a perfect 100 is the mix of melody and brutality that spawned this record, together with great lyricism and excellent vocal performance from a band that has always been ahead of its time.