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Rotting Christ - Rituals Award winner

Rotting Christ
Rituals
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 02 March 2016, 1:15 PM

When Black Metal Greek pioneers, ROTTING CHRIST, are about to release a new album, obviously the underground scene becomes extremely anxious. It's due to the evolution that is present in each album of the band since the earlier age from "Thy Mighty Contract". And with "Rituals", they are giving a step ahead once more.

We could say that "Rituals" is what its name means: a collection of transcendental and esoteric hymns of obscure and forgotten rituals. It's the clear sensation you have when the music is played. In a more strict sense, we could say that "Rituals" is a sequence from the style we heard on "Κατά τον δαίμονα εαυτού", but with better arrangements, and the final result is way better. The vocals on the are really wonderful, having the particular voice of Sakis, but with some guests giving a different taste on the songs; the guitars are great, with distorted and climatic riffs and some good and melodic solos (where George appears in very good shape), and the rhythmic session is compact, heavy and with a good technique (Themis is doing a fine work on his drums once more). And the final result is excellent.

The sonority of "Rituals" is excellent. Sakis once more produced the album, but this time, he had Jens Brogen working with him on mixing and mastering, so the final result is a sound quality that mixes a level of clarity extremely good, with that harsh and raw outfit that an extreme Metal band must have. To be honest, this is one of the best sound qualities a Black Metal band can have.
The guests: George Zacharopoulos (aka Magus Wampyr Daoloth, from NECROMANTIA, and former member from ROTTING CHRIST and THOU ART LORD) on vocals on "In Nomine Dei Nostri", the female singer Danai Katsameni (from National Helenic Theater) on "Ἐλθὲ κύριε (Elthe Kyrie)", Vorph (from SAMAEL) on vocals on "Les Litanies de Satan (Les Fleurs du Mal)", Nick Holmes (from PARADISE LOST and BLOODBATH) on "For a Voice Like Thunder", and Kathir (a Singaporean musician that plays on ABYSSAL VORTEX, RUDRA, THE WANDERING ASCETIC e ZUSHAKON) on additional vocals on "देवदेवं (Devadevam)". There are others on choirs and percussion, but these are the most important to name.

"Rituals" is a perfect album in musical sense, every track is a precious jewel, but I dare to point to the sinister and heavy "In Nomine Dei Nostri" (a real ritualistic song, made with excellent guitars, especially the leads. But as well, the choirs and vocals are perfect), the abrasive and enigmatic tempos heard on "Ἐλθὲ κύριε (Elthe Kyrie)" (and with a fine work from bass and drums, along with excellent inserts of female voices), the incredible aggressive and mystical atmosphere presented on "Les Litanies de Satan (Les Fleurs du Mal)", the massive attack of esoteric and abrasive guitar riffs of "Του θάνατου (Tou Thanatou)" (along with perfect choirs), the slow and bitter horror presented on "For a Voice Like Thunder" (again fine vocals, for the contrast between Sakis and Nick Holmes voices is something inspiring), the introspective and chaotic "Konx om Pax" (very good work on rhythmic session again, but these Gregorian-like chants are really incredible, giving an dense atmosphere to the songs, along with fine leads from George), and the terror tale made music called "The Four Horsemen" (with some inserts that comes from an Old Progressive band from Greece, APHRODITE'S CHILD, that has a song with the same name).

ROTTING CHRIST does not follow, they lead. So "Rituals" is another masterpiece, but it demands patience, because one single listening isn't enough to understand it fully.

But as well, Non Serviam!

Originality: 9
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. In Nomine Dei Nostri
2. זה נגמר (Ze Nigmar)
3. Ἐλθὲ κύριε (Elthe Kyrie)
4. Les Litanies de Satan (Les Fleurs du Mal)
5. Ἄπαγε Σατανά (Apage Satana)
6. Του θάνατου (Tou Thanatou) (NIKOS XYLOURIS cover)
7. For a Voice Like Thunder
8. Konx om Pax
9. देवदेवं (Devadevam)
10. The Four Horsemen (APHRODITE’S CHILD cover)
Lineup:
Sakis Tolis - Guitars, Vocals, Bass
George Emmanuel - Lead Guitar
Themis Tolis - Drums
Record Label: Season Of Mist
     


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Edited 07 July 2020
 

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