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Esoteric Extreme Metal - 83%

Aurora Rider, December 13th, 2018

After ''Genesis'', anyone's expectations from Rotting Christ would be rather poor, since the aforementioned album was very good. This made it challenging for this band to write and compose new music that would not sound conventional or similar to their past records. Apparently Sakis' imagination and artistic vision were far greater than most expected, with ''Sanctus Diavolos'' ending up being a great esoteric yet extreme musical offering. Unfortunately, it fails to achieve a really high score due to some downsides.

The album starts dynamically without any introduction or a significant atmosphere. "Visions of A Blind Order" is a rather poor track which only reveals the bad mixing and mastering that stand out throughout "Sanctus Diavolos". After this initial disappointment, however, everything gets much better instantly. The rifts are clever and catchy, the vocals are better than ever and the bass and drums are absolutely well-written. In addition, the power this record emits is unparalleled, with "Tyranical" and "Athanatoi Este" hitting you in the face like a hammer of a hellish demon.

But, what makes this album special? It is the new elements the band introduced, of course. Symphonic passages, amazing keyboard melodies and some entertaining Greek lyrics for all curious foreigners. It is in fact these same elements that give this album essence, as well as a separate identity. Blend in plenty of great solos and a very interesting amd experimental (yet boring after some point) finale and there you have it. "Sanctus Diavolos".

It is for sure a very good album. If only it was for a better production and a more clever way to start and finish it, this one would definitely vastly overcome its older brother, "Genesis". Well, no matter what, we are now left with a bittersweet taste, knowing that with some more caution "Sanctus Diavolos" could be a timeless masterpiece.