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Once again we deal with a legendary band releasing their new album. This time around it’s Rotting Christ, the old breed of 90s Black metal that released genre masterpieces such as “Thy Mighty Contract” (1993), “Non Serviam” (1994), “Triarchy Of The Lost Lovers” (1996), went through a gothic metal (“A Dead Poem” (1997), “Sleep Of The Angels” (1999)) and industrial (“Khronos ΧΞΣ”) phase only to return to their roots fresher than ever with “Genesis” (2002), “Sanctus Diavolos” (2004) and of course one of their best “Theogonia” (2007) incorporating the Greek element in their music and lyrics. They did that again with “Aealo” which was a great album but a little less inspired compared to “Theogonia” because it seemed like a one-dimensional record musicwise. The band ultimately went through line-up changes with Vaggelis Karzis (bass) and George Emmanuel (guitar) replacing Andreas Lagios and George Bokos.

The new album “Κατα Τον Δαίμονα Εαυτού” expands the Aealo lyrical concept to more religions and places. It starts with the Mayans “In Yumen – Xibalba”, a doomy intro riff and then trademark Rotting Christ riffing ripping fast through the listener with a great chorus and a slower part with clean vocals chanting and ends like that. What a way to start the album! The next one “P’unchaw kachun – Tuta kachun” starts with blasts over staccato riffing only to turn into a more epic sounding track with a great melody after the chorus in Spanish. Moving on to “Grandis Spiritus Diavolos”, an amazingly epic song in the vein of “Phobos Synagogue” starts of chanting and then breaking some necks with its kickass riff and its amazing melody, making it one of my personal favorites of the record.

“Κατα Τον Δαίμονα Εαυτού” (quote of Socrates meaning “True To His Own Spirit” used later by Aleister Crowley as “Do What Thou Wilt” and written on Jim Morrison’s tombstone as it is) comes in as a trademark aggressive made for live performances song with its fast Black metal riff and one of the best melodies over the chorus and a top notch solo sending shivers up the spine. “Cine iubeşte şi lasă” (Ancient Romanian curse) is the most special song of the record, based for the first 2 minutes on piano and singing from a traditional Romanian singer, then you have Rotting Christ kicking in with a heavy riff including some ritual samples. “Iwa Voodoo” comes in with a groovy drum intro and in epic style bringing a really dark melody to the song and one of the best solos of the record. “Gilgames” starts off with a Norwegian styled riff, blasting your ears; a real killer for live shows as well with a great headbanging chorus and beautiful melodic dual soloing after that only to come back full speed. “Русалка” keeps up the tempo blasting once more lyricwise, dealing with Russian traditions. The epic riffing comes back with “Ahura Mazdā-Aŋra Mainiuu” going mostly groovy and epic-march-like rhythm including the trademark Rotting Christ leads and riffs. The final track “ΧΞΣ” is taken from the Book Of Revelations of Saint John written solely in Greek over a great epic Black metal riff throughout, making it probably the darkest song on the record with Sakis chanting the lyrics. Also the bonus track “Welcome To Hell” is such a amazing neckbreaker that I wonder why it didn’t make it to the record since it rocks.

Rotting Christ ultimately did it again releasing a top notch album somewhere between “Theogonia” and “Aealo” in terms of inspiration and freshness. The only con of this album is the repetition of some known patterns which didn’t bother me that much but could make a big difference if they keep repeating themselves in the future records. Till that day DO WHAT THOU WILT! \m/

Track List Line Up
01. In Yumen – Xibalba
02. P’unchaw kachun – Tuta kachun
03. Grandis Spiritus Diavolos
04. Κατά Τον Δαίμονα Εαυτού
05. Cine iubeşte şi lasă
06. Iwa Voodoo
07. Gilgameš
08. Русалка
09. Ahura Mazdā-Aŋra Mainiuu
10. ΧΞΣ (666)
Sakis Tolis – vocals/guitars
Vaggelis Karzis – bass
George Emmanuel – guitars
Themis Tolis – drums