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Kata Ton Daimona Part II - 78%

OvSane, March 3rd, 2016

Despite my affinity with black metal, I got really late into Rotting Christ. Upon listening to their 2013 release, Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy, I was immediately pulled into a dark world with an unsettling atmosphere that urged me to realize the genius of this band. Eventually this discovery led to me listening to hymns such as "Sanctus Diavolos" and "He, the Aethyr" that astounded me with a ritualistic air despite its simplicity. I was pumped up for Rituals in particular, when "Elthe Kyrie" was first streamed. When Season of Mist released the entire album on YouTube, however, let's just say the ritual felt short of a chanted verse or a thirteenth cloak.

From what I understand, Rituals is supposed to be a compilation of poems, litanies, biblical phrases, and greek hymns, all with that dark atmosphere and the Rotting Christ overdrive, so the alleged shortcomings of the songs in terms of composition should be understandable. The band starts the album right, however, with a statement that they are indeed Rotting Christ and their lyrics pay homage to Satan in most songs. The album starts out with Sakis and other "cult members" aggressively chanting praises to various antithetic deities. Immediately, you will be pulled into a ritualistic atmosphere.

From here, the flow is sort of strange to say the most, but unrelenting in its primordial, culturally influenced feel. There are real, primal emotions put into the songs, and the guests vocalists do a great job making their respective tracks frightening and eerie. The way songs such as "Tou Thanatou" and "Les Litanies de Satan" are composed makes me think that they are sequels of some of the previous tracks, which might make people think RC are running out of ideas. The album ends in a high note, however, as they cover a song from an older Greek band that tells of the coming of the Four Horsemen. Despite the simplicity in the riff work and composition for most of the songs, the album does what it is supposed to do in Rotting Christ fashion. Rotting Christ have delivered another solid, albeit less powerful piece of art.

To sum the album up, it could be considered a B-Side or disc two of their previous album, Kata Ton Daimona. There is no visible improvement nor deviation from then, but it remains enjoyable to an extent. The tracks that really stand out however would be "Elthe Kyrie", "Ze Nigmar", their cover of Aphrodite's Child's "The Four Horsemen" and my least liked song "Apage Satana". Rotting Christ fans may be disappointed, but the album could work as a gateway to the true masters of dark metal. Rotting Christ has yet to lose their touch with despite this album's shortcomings.