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A brutal poem - 96%

black_reviewer, January 14th, 2010

Rotting Christ came out of the sunny and hot Greece twenty years ago in order to position themselves like one of the best bands in the history of black metal. Throughout their nine studio albums, the band has never failed in terms of quality which makes them deserve the respect from the entire scene worldwide. Not a single album of theirs sounds similar to another.

Their latest work so far saw the light in 2007 with the name Theogonia, and displayed the inclusion of some ethnic melodies, belonging to the dry lands around the Mediterranean and also a professional choir making its renditions in Greek language. Sakis, the mastermind behind this brutal poem, took over the composition, production, mixing and mastering of the album, in other words he did everything.

The sophisticated and refined darkness deliveries that we got accustomed to in Khronos and Sanctus Diavolos, virtually disappear here, in order to give room to something more than a nostalgic glance to the past, because the band finds great inspiration in the speed and hostility from its early days. The constant blast beats and vertiginous tempo changes are back in the recipe. The sound is crystal clear yet brutal like a vision of the very Erebus.

The album opens with Χαοσ Γενετο (The Sign of Prime Creation), displaying a majestic black-metal-to-the-bone riff, which gives place for a delicious rhythmic section where Sakis voice comes in. Just like in the latest efforts of the band, Sakis throat finds itself way up front in the mix, maybe because the riffs are not so obvious (in order to understands this, you can refer to albums like A Dead Poem and Sleep of the Angels, where the primacy of technical and heavy riffs positioned the vocals in an almost second level).

In terms of lyrics, Theogonia deals with the Greek creationist myth, but the Enuma Elish (Mesopotamian version of creation) is also explored; add to this a couple references to the horned one and you’ll have a pretty much complete idea.

In Theogonia you will find everything, hyper heavy rhythmic guitars covered by tremolo riffs with an enormous hook, quality melodic passages like in Threnody, or the already mentioned ethnic sounds, being Nemecic the best example.

After two decades the band seems to be not exhausted at all, and on the contrary it keeps getting better with the years. Ever since the Khronos album in 2000, Rotting Christ has been escalating vigorously putting out masterpiece after masterpiece, without the need of neither changing style nor experimenting with anything; the formula has been pure honesty. Their next album begins to be recorded in two months from now so, we can officially become anxious.

Originally submitted to (http://www.metalicos.com) on June 15th, 2009.