Monday, 22 February 2016

Rotting Christ - "Rituals" (Album Review)

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 12/02/2016
Label: Season of Mist


The sound of the record is focused and tight- also a little drier than their previous studio record, I think. The production is still lavish and well put together, with lots of overdubs, multi tracked vocals, choral effects and what have you. The melding of styles makes for a truly dark album and a rather bleak listen.  Ultimately, there is a lot going in this record- as per for the band. The hidden depths will show themselves with repeated listens. On first listen (or third, as this is) this is an excellent addition to a unique band's discography. Expect to return to it again and again, for music of this quality will not get boring! 


“Rituals” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. In Nomine Dei Nostri
2.
זה נגמר (Ze Nigmar)
3.
λθ Κύριε (Elthe Kyrie)
4. Les Litanies De Satan (Les Fleurs Du Mal)
5.
παγε Σατανά (Apage Satana)
6. Του Θάνατου (Tou Thanatou)
7. For A Voice Like Thunder
8. Konx Om Pax
9.
देवदेवं (Devadevam)
10. The Four Horsemen
11. Lok'tar Ogar (bonus track vinyl)

The Review:

Two years and one live record on from the absolutely storming “Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy” Rotting Christ return with their latest studio record. The band's sound, as noted in previous reviews and no doubt by previous reviewers is hard to pigeonhole; elements of black metal, death metal and symphonic metal coalesce into a truly unique sound. Listen to the opener “In Nomine Dei Nostri” for a fine example of their approach. Like many bands with two brothers involved (AC/DC, Obituary, early Deicide, early Sepultura and so on) the band have carved their own niche and are sticking with it.

The sound of the record is focused and tight- also a little drier than their previous studio record, I think. The production is still lavish and well put together, with lots of overdubs, multi tracked vocals, choral effects and what have you. The melding of styles makes for a truly dark album and a rather bleak listen. Tracks such as “Elthe Kyrie” utilise time changes to good effect, voice-overs abound (which I cannot understand) and the drums have double kicks going almost all the time with the snare switching the pace at will. These elements are all present and correct on “Apage Satana” (complete with the choral style of vocals familiar to long time listeners).

“Les Litanies De Satan” is particularly savage to start and continues in French for the opening verse! Again, the use of slow riffs/fast beats and vice versa marks this as prime Rotting Christ territory. As the album progresses into its latter half with a brace of tracks over six minutes in length the scope widens somewhat. Rolling rhythms are employed and, although the tracks are longer, a more straight forward feel takes hold. To be fair, “Komx Om Pax” is not exactly easy listening and employs blasts, but I found these two songs weirdly accessible.

As the record enters the home straight, things lighten a little for “Devadevam” and those elements of Type O Negative that I usually hear when listening to the band are present in the insistent chanting. Certainly, the band share a sense of drama and lush production- if not the same sonic template. “Tou Thanatou” is a burst of speed and utilises dynamic build ups. “The Four Horsemen” is not a cover, I can assure you, but is instead a fine piece of dramatic music- bass slides underpinning a strangely slow track for the band.

Ultimately, there is a lot going in this record- as per for the band. The hidden depths will show themselves with repeated listens. On first listen (or third, as this is) this is an excellent addition to a unique band's discography. Expect to return to it again and again, for music of this quality will not get boring!

“Rituals” is available here


Band info: official || facebook

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