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Fifth full length by the Greeks and published by Century Media. Sleep of the Angels saw Rotting Christ display a sophisticated proposal, miles away from their harsh black metal roots. The album was produced by Samael’s Xy, and this factor took its toll; the distortion in the guitars gives a sound really heavy yet very clear, reminding immediately the sound in the latest Therion albums. The genius of George (Georgios Tolias) behind the keyboards is undeniable, and confirms Rotting Christ like one of the sublime masters of the atmosphere, simply one of the best bands worldwide in this aspect.
Since the initial Cold Colours, you can perceive a touch of delicacy surrounding this opus, a great incursion in the realm of gothic metal, however lacking the penetrating darkness of other bands; Sleep of the Angels has in this regard, a lot in common with Moonspell, especially with the absolutely grandiose and fine SIN/Pecado.
Waldemar Sorychta contributes with some tremendous guitar solos on Victoriatus and You my Flesh, a sign of the direction taken by the album throughout its 41 minutes. The tempo changes in the aforementioned You My Flesh are extraordinary, not due to their technical quality, but because they give an ostentatious structure to it, and in addition with lyrics of great quality: could we expect less from Greek authors?
The World Made End is the most aggressive point in the album, with fast drumming yet without a single blast beat, and with fast rhythmic riffs which won’t stop during its 2:59 minutes.
The anthem which gives its name to the album is a hidden treasure, one of the best creations in the whole Rotting Christ discography, bearing lyrics that once again stand out on their own: “Fear can take my soul, just like the odor of death, changes me as a whole, makes me hold my breath...”
Sleep of the Angels is one hell o an album that takes a look into a direction developed further in their next work Khronos. You could say that this sound is in general more accessible due to its cleanliness and clarity, but not because of the compositions, which are deeply complex, proof of the maturity and great creative moment of the band. It’s no secret that Rotting Christ is to a certain degree a really under estimated act though, but that’s no reason to deny their worth. Simply one of the best black/gothic bands in the world.
Whoever wants to know how the sleep of the angels sound, just need to close their eyes and let Rotting Christ show it.
Originally submitted to (http://www.metalicos.com) on July 21st, 2008.