Review Summary: With 'Theagonia' Rotting Christ have further evolved their style while keeping their trademark sound, a furious, aggressive yet enchanting album which makes you want to listen to it again and again.
Despite having a very blasphemous and controversial band name, Rotting Christ have released a very mature album here, including all the elements of their previous efforts and adding in a few interesting things to keep the album interesting, a grand effort that shows their technical prowess as well as their well constructed songs.
Rotting Christ :
Sakis - Guitars and Vocals
George - Guitars
Andreas - Bass
Themis - Drums
Rotting Christ are back with their tenth album, entitled "Theogonia". They might have evolved through the years but they still sound as hungry and involved in the metal scene as ever. For "Theogonia" Sakis is not only the sole songwriter, is now also the producer and mastering tech. Opener The Sign of Prime Creation is a perfect example of everything the album stands for, starting with atmospheric spoken word and eventually building up into a furious black metal assault, it already becomes clear that Rotting Christ have found a simply stunning style and atmosphere for this album.
The album continues in the same vein as the opener, a very fast tempo and demonic vocals from Sakis stand out, seriously, the vocalist can make himself sound truly evil, a very unique voice which fits the epic mood that Rotting Christ make throughout their compositions. The band play a furious mix of melodic black metal, gothic metal and death metal. They also add in some different and interesting sounds into their music, a choir and Greek instruments are the ones that are easiest to notice. All this together makes this album a very unique and enjoyable experience. Most of the songs go all out at a very quick and aggressive pace, but their are a few songs which are slightly slower, but they are still crushingly powerful. The drumming is very technical and fast, setting the pace in all the songs and inviting some serious head-banging; the guitarists show a good understanding of melody and aggression, they are heavy as hell but still quite melodic which gives the album a great atmosphere when the melody and aggression go toe-toe with Sakis' evil vocals and the haunting choir.
Rotting Christ didn’t stick to the same style as their previous albums, while it is definitely them they have added a lot of new elements, the choir makes the music sound very menacing and evil, yet still gives it a warm atmosphere, when Sakis sings against the choir it sounds truly excellent, the contrast is remarkable. Another thing which gives the album a unique feel is the Greek instruments and sound effects which give it that great atmosphere without taking away any of the aggressiveness. This isn’t your typical black metal release, it’s much more melodic and Rotting Christ aren’t afraid to experiment with new things.
This album isn't perfect though, although the guitarists throw down some great riffs they also throw down some forgettable ones, for example, the last track 'Therenody', on this track you get treated to some great choir effects and drumming but there isn't any special guitar work in particular, and while it's not particularly bad, it doesn't quite match up to the rest of the work on the album. Also, 'Enuma Elish', while being a great track in it's own right, doesn't really fit in with the rest of the album, it doesn't have much melody and almost has a cold industrial feel to it while the rest of the album has a warm engrossing atmosphere. Another small fault with the album is 'Rege Diabolicus', this isn't because it's a bad song, it's because it's too short! It has one of the most furious riffs on the album and excellent drumming, yet it only lasts three minutes (one minute is just spoken word!), this track really stands out and leaves you wanting, no, begging
With 'Theagonia' Rotting Christ have further evolved their style while keeping their trademark sound, a furious, aggressive yet enchanting album which makes you want to listen to it again and again.