The Pitch: Greek black/blackened death metal legends Rotting Christ continue to deliver solid material even 30+ years into their career with The Heretics via Season of Mist. FFO:
What I Like: Rotting Christ has always struck me as a crowning example of how to harness a few simple elements to create something much grander than the sum of its parts. As with past albums, The Heretics doesn't strive to be the most technical or complex of artistic ventures; only to create something that engages the listener in a consistently potent manner. Compositions are relatively basic in nature, utilizing guitar riffs that most amateurs could master from a tab in minutes. But through a very concise layering of haunting chants, hypnotically repetitious hooks, and simple effects; I once again find myself undeniably entranced.
"Vetry Zlye" is perhaps one of their most beautiful songs to date; a word I would never have previously associate with the band. The soft female vocals, backing chants, and overall melodic progression of the track are truly epic. And if there remains any question as to whether Rotting Christ's simplistic approach is merely one of convenience or necessity, the excellent solo on "Fire God Fear" provides further evidence that, in turth, it's one of personal integrity. Rotting Christ know how to play their instruments, but true to their classic black metal roots never feel the need to prove themselves as musicians. Their songwriting seems to emerge very organically, and therefore egocentric flourishes only arise as they emerge naturally from the process.
Critiques: I could do without the spoken word parts. The hokey narration detracts from the overall atmosphere and really takes me out of an otherwise immersive experience.
The Verdict: Much like Rituals, The Heretics is an album that intrigues me in it's seemingly facile direction. Despite frequently leaning in favor of increasingly more technical and avantgarde bands, Rotting Christ continue to capture my heart and imagination album after album. There's something to be said about that.
Flight's Fav's: Vetry Zlye, Fire God and Fear , The New Messiah
- Review by FlightOfIcarus
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