Greek metallers Rotting Christ have become a steady name in the list of Black Metal bands whose success just is unstoppable. I have seen many live shows and they never disappoint; same goes for their albums. Through the years they have created a unique and steady straight forward sound that characterizes their music and is easy to recognize when you’re a night out in your local metal pub and one of their songs is playing.
Having a unique sound like this is their success, but the band must be careful that it is not going to be their downfall as well. Too much repetition, staying in the safe zone and a lack of variation can at some point become a little boring.
With ‘The Heretics’ Rotting Christ is getting close to reaching that point; the ‘haven’t I heard this song before’ thought díd go through my mind when I first put the album on. Especially a song as Heaven and Hell and Fire relays for a hundred percent on the success of the bands well known formula, that it has been pulling off for more than ten years now.
Because of this fact I have been struggling a lot about what to write about The Heretics. The album itself is very well produced and each and every song is one big straightforward, and no bullshit, wall of sound. It makes me want to bang my head, scream along and smash things around me. There are some real great songs on it. Above mentioned Heaven and Hell and Fire might lack any form of originality, it stands solid as a rock, same as Fire God and Fear. My absolute favorite of the album though has to be The Raven. First of all, because how can anyone not love this master piece of Edgar Alan Poe, but second because it can be tricky to weave it into metal music, but they succeeded brilliantly. Hearing the spoken words combined with the music of Rotting Christ fits perfectly.
The theme for the album is what lifts the album up. Finding their inspiration in well known poets and philosophers that fit their anti-religion warfare is what I find greatest here. The band uses a lot of quotes (Thomas Paine, Friedrich Nietzsche, William Shakespeare, and so on) to make a statement. For me this works and I advise you all to keep the lyrics at hand while listening to the album.
To conclude I have not much more to say than I have already said: on itself, the album stands like a rock. It is well produced, strong and the songs will definitely have all heads banging when performed live. Nevertheless Rotting Christ has to be careful to not stick to the safe zone too much and start repeating themselves too much. For now, the album is a good summary of their past work the last decade(s) but in the future a little bit of exploring beyond the horizon wouldn’t harm them.
Review by: Ingrid
Release date: February 15th 2019
Record Label: Season of Mist
1. In The Name of God,,,
2. Ветры злые (Vetry Zlye)
3. Heaven and Hell and Fire
4. Hallowed Be Thy Name
5. Dies Irae
6. Πιστευω (I Believe)
7. Fire God and Fear
8.The Voice of the Universe
9. The New Messiah
10. The Raven (by Edgar Alan Poe)