Review Summary: Just before the big reincarnation.
Rotting Christs vocalist Sakis Tolis said this in an interview with Decibel magazine : ”Especially with the three last albums, the band has been reincarnated, and this is not something that happened accidentally!” This statement pretty much sums up Rotting Christs career from 1999 to 2007 when they released their best album to date, Theogonia, just after releasing four mediocre albums. Sanctus Diavolos was their last “irrelevant” release before the started to become a really consistent band which their 2013 release Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy really shows us. What Sakis said becomes obvious when comparing Sanctus Diavolos to Theogonia.
The objective rating here on Sputnik suggests that Sanctus Diavolos is an excellent release and almost on par with their best, which is a big lie. While this album isn’t that impressive in a 2013 perspective where RC have just recently released three crushing albums, as stated, Sanctus Diavolos does work at least decently well on its own. It is better than the previous three releases but that isn’t really much to brag about.
Sanctus Diavolos is a quite lazily written album. A lot of the songs tend to blend together and RC’s gimmicks to create a “Greece-feeling “such as choirs aren’t really that interestingly used here. The atmosphere overall does, besides its flaws, work very well. It’s a very evil album in tone and that is Sanctus Diavolos strength. The vocals are way weaker here than in better releases by the band which is also disappointing because his vocals has been absolutely crushing from time to time (latest and first releases).
One of the better tracks from this album is Tyrannical which is also one of the more different. At least it’s the most memorable. It is a very groovy song with, unfortunately, a lot of chugging. The atmosphere is once again great but the song overall lacks power. The song is a bit too long and it takes forever until the chorus arrives which is the coolest part of the song but that part too really lacks impact. A lot of songs have this certain problem of draging a bit too long. This is mainly due to the fact that the vocals almost sound like whispers. The entire album has attitude and a grim feeling which is good but it is brought down by the fact the entire album feels weak. It really shows that Rotting Christ tried to create some kind of aggression with this release but they don’t fully succeed. The lyrics are, however, great as usual from Rotting Christ. This album has moments but that is also the problem. It only has “moments”. It’s a very inconsistent release with only few very good tracks. All the tracks are of course somewhat worthwhile since RC has at least some standard in their music but it’s a very disappointing release considering its overrating and the fact that it is placed just before their masterpiece. Sanctus Diavolos is a enjoyable release for any Rotting Christs fan but it's still far from being one of their best.