Notorious Greek metal warriors Rotting Christ return with the newest release “Rituals” promising a blazing collection of powerful songs filled with immense magical darkness. Channeling a wide array of obscure long forgotten myth, rites and extinct languages the band stylishly composes an inspiring mystical music journey that refuses to follow any standard music boundaries.
“In Nomine Dei Nostri” starts with the most sinister chanting reminiscent of ancient black masses held in obscure remote caves. When the tight guitar riffs take over, the atmosphere becomes more pungent and breathless in black metal fashion. While the drums keep a hammering steady fury the guitar solo and the chorus add layers of melodic harmonies.
On “Ze Nigmar” a subtle hypnotic state is embedded in the slower repeating super thick guitar riffs and the epic drums backbone. Folk instruments such as bagpipes provide the right pagan/primitive mood while the vocals add even more obscurity to the heavily mystical atmosphere.
“Elthe Kyrie” is the most coveted and mesmerizing track on this album. Flawlessly executed guitar riffs culminating in George Emmanuel’s majestic melodic guitar solo and a solemn epic rhythm that create a thick wall of distorted sound channel the grandeur of an ancient empire. The eerie feverish female vocals performed by actress Danai Katsameni evoke the mystical realm of ecstatic Bacchanalia and add a rare intensity to an already glorious piece of music that will leave the oblivious listener inevitably spellbound.
“Les Litanies de Satan (Les Fleurs du Mal)”, featuring guest vocalist Vorph from Samael, evokes a kaleidoscopic sophisticated occult ceremony. The poetic French lyrics gracefully layered on a heavy combo of powerful drumming and ravenous guitar riffs elegantly match the ominous asphyxiating atmosphere.
“For A Voice Like Thunder” is a dramatic track featuring a charismatic passionate performance by Paradise Lost’s vocalist Nick Holmes which spontaneously add a gothic texture. While groovy heavy guitar riffs build an intense metal theme the atmospheric narrated verses enhance the theatrical aspect of the song.
Traditional stubborn metalheads stuck in the realm of old school extreme metal might not fully comprehend the polychromatic musicality and harmonies lingering throughout “Rituals”. It would be a pity to miss the opportunity to taste and enjoy the multicultural piece of music that Rotting Christ has carefully crafted.