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Oh yes - 85%

Aurora Rider, December 13th, 2018

With Rotting Christ having played from Grindcore to Atmosphetic Gothic Metal, I bet noone was sure about what to expect after the experimental "Sanctus Diavolos". Apparently, the band decided to follow an aggressive Melodic Death Metal path. Of course, they included many other elements in as well and as an outcome of musical maturity, ''Theogonia'' proved to be one of Rotting Christ's best releases ever.

This is an album that makes you want to headbang from the very first minute. The vocals of Sakis have gained much depth and his vocal strenghth, together with the insane rifts and solos create a very solid, primitive and enjoyable sound. All the songs bear a fighting aura and songwriting is very clever, despite the repetitions in several rifts. Of course, it is the folk elements and some non-english lyrics that grant this record its exotic identity and make the listener travel to foreign cultures through the music. Especially in songs like "Threnody" or "Nemecic", where images of ancient forgotten cities and oriental tales are brought to mind. Meanwhile, we need to mention that Themis finally seems to have become a good drummer, with drum lines offering a powerful background rhythm to every song.

So, everything sounds good, you'll think. Well, no matter how much I love "Theogonia", I have to talk about its downside as well. The problem with this album is that many songs sound similar and at times it gets tiring. Yes, the lyrics are very well-written and the traditional instruments work as a bonus. But, musically talking, everything is literally so fast and energetic, I really felt it needed one or two slower or maybe more subtle songs. Maybe an interlude? This, of course, may be no big deal to anyone who wants to mosh 'till death, but what I am saying is this record lacks some variety.

Don't get me wrong, "Theogonia" is an amazing album which combines high quality Extreme Metal with myths, ancient stories and traditional influences here and there. In addition, mixing and mastering are better than ever this time and contribute to a crystallic and even stunning sound. Definitely a highlight of Rotting Christ's discography, but also a record that could get over 90% if it was composed based on more ideas. Plus I have to complain about the lame cover artwork once again.