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Original and bold, though flawed - 78%

BloodIronBeer, April 14th, 2007

Rotting Christ is a band I'm not really familiar with, and they've always been eclipsed by other things I had to listen to. I had heard that there were elements of Greek folk music in this album, and that was enough to get me to give Rotting Christ a serious listen for the first time.

To get the bad out of the way: undertones of the gothic persuasion lurk, and though tolerable, it's still not something I enjoy. There are certainly moments and riffs that are black metal, but as a whole, it has too much melodic death metal and gothic to call it black metal. Obviously, this album not being black metal is not a bad thing, it's simply that I was expecting it to be. Last but not least, this album is lacking aggression for the style. More speed alone would do this album good.

Now, there are a lot of good things I can say too. For one, there are a number of things that make this album quite distinct. Evil chants in Greek, a fitting and well done lyrical theme, and dark, lead driven riffs are part of this. Somber Hellenic sounding keyboards lay a great backdrop, especially when accompanied by aforementioned chants in Greek. One side of my family is Greek, and I've heard the language a lot in my life, but I didn't know it could sound so evil! It's strange how it sounds arcane and eldritch when put into these chants - it's simply awesome.

The scales used in Greek folk music are found mostly in Nemecic, Threnody, and Enuma Elish. Again, it is bizarre how it manages to come off as so dark, especially Enuma Elish. Well written, and dynamic songs that are a true homage to ancient Hellenic ways.

So, it could do with more aggression, and less gothic overtones, but it wins lots of praise for originality, character and thoughtful expression.