Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Dark and deep, but lacks energy - 67%

Aurora Rider, February 25th, 2019

There were two elements which made up ''Kατά Τον Δαίμονα Εαυτού''. The first one was the unparalleled power which was the outcome of aggressive vocals and drums, the classic Rotting Christ rifts and some incredible solos. The second one was the haunting dark atmosphere. With ''Rituals'', instead of evolving in both ways, the band decided to use the second element only and create a record that sounds deep and sinister but lacks energy.

It is true, there are no more fast rifts, not many solos and no aggressive warsongs. There is a kind of concept here which has to do with... well rituals. From all over the world once again, but unforrtunately the bestiality and power are gone. Everything sounds repetitive and conventional, although there are some clever ideas here and there, like the use of Sanskrit for ''Devadevam'' and an interesting cover of ''The Four Horsemen'' by Aphrodite's Child. Despite these ideas, however, and the incredible atmosphere some songs create, there is little to admire in the rest of the music. The old good Rotting Christ guitar lines have been replaced by recycled patterns that make the tracks sound boring and similar to each other. Moreover, drumming lacks intelligence and innovation and there are only a few bass lines that seem to be enjoyable and catchy.

Sakis' vocals are the good part. Alongside chants, whispers, and multiple singing styles, they help the album gain variety and the listener travel to different cultures through the music. This lean towards the folk and the occult themes is something that the Tolis brothers have shown interest in from as early as ''Theogonia''. It has for sure been enjoyable in the past, but this time I just think they exaggerated with all these experimentations. It is sad, but in the end they lead to nothing at all. The most typical example is ''Άπαγε Σατανά''. Τhis song sounds like an endless introduction to something that eventually never came up. Maybe a good idea but definitely a bad outcome. I was actually wondering what some songs would sound like, if the band had worked more cautiously with some of these aforementioned ideas.

There are exceptions, of course, and songs that stand out as gems (Ἐλθὲ kύριε). All in all, the band's experience and musical identity kind of save ''Rituals'' from being mediocre and make the album good. But that's all, just good. We are talking about no masterpiece nor trash. I'm pretty sure there are people out there who will lobe it, but musically talking, this is no big deal considering the abilities and past releases of the mighty Rotting Christ.