ALBUM REVIEW: Rotting Christ, "The Heretics"



By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 15/02/2019
Label: Season of Mist


Rotting Christ have triumphed again; they have presented ten tracks of varied and fresh material. The band continues to incorporate unusual elements, both musical and vocal, into their work and continue to operate far beyond the scope if their contemporaries. This is an example of what black metal can be, with the talent.



“The Heretics” CD//DD//LP track listing:


1. In the Name of God (04:14)
2. Vetry Zlye (03:13)
3. Heaven and Hell and Fire (04:52)
4. Hallowed Be Thy Name (05:06)
5. Dies Irae (03:46)
6. I Believe (03:42)
7. Fire God and Fear (04:50)
8. The Voice of the Universe (05:23)
9. The New Messiah (03:07)
10. The Raven (05:23)



The Review:


Rotting Christ have quite the work rate and they return with another ten tracks of almost unclassifiable black metal. An album every three years in this style is an achievement- each record is dense and lushly textured with a lot of effort going into the production, music and instrumentation. If 2016's “Rituals” was a fairly straightforward affair, The Heretics” is somewhat more subtle.

The band's trademark quirks are present; they sound like no one else and combine everything from Venom to Type O Negativein their impressive aural assault. The opener “In The Name of God” sounds like Blind Guardianjamming with Accept by way of late period Emperor... and it works. The sound is once again incredibly impressive with lots of multi tracking, lots of sweeping instrumentation and vocals and a good deal of layering in the sound. Vetry Zlye brings an impressively cinematic feel to proceedings and at this point it is clear that the Sakis Brothers et al have done it again- created something powerful and unique.

This is black metal- but they sound like no one else who came before them and retain a unique approach- utilising whatever works in the setting of each song, whether that be female vocals, choral singing or blast beats. Or even all that and more.

The bands sound and the album's tone can be summed up by the title of “Heaven and Hell and Fire”. The vibe is one of occasional hope mixed in with a fair amount of darkness. It's not as bleak as “Rituals” and stands alone as another unique feeling record in their discography. Meanwhile, “Hallowed Be Thy Name” is not a Maiden cover, but instead is a funeral-like trudge through the darker sounds the band have at their disposal. It's dramatic stuff and is again cinematic in scope. 

“Dies Irae” is more familiar in that it employs some of the band's more common musical motifs- the shifts between blasting and slower tempos, choral vocals (again) and spoken word sections. The second half of the album kicks off with a spoken word intro- in Greek- and then it is heads down thrashing for “I Believe”, and more Greek spoken word. “Fire God and Fear” features an English spoken word intro and then the type of rolling riff that the band excels at- while using a tempo that was unexpected once the drums come in. The track is a great one- angry and righteous, spilling out the brimstone that the title promises and possessing excellent lead work down the back stretch.

The closing triumvirate of “The Time Has Come”, “The New Messiah” and “The Raven” is just as impactive. The former employs an almost industrial like feel, while the latter is epic in feel and scope. “The New Messiah” almost sounds like an outro- it relentlessly marches forward, but employs a few changes towards the end to build up to the album's closing beast. For me, “The Raven” is one of the best pieces of music on the record and exemplifies everything that Rotting Christdo best; it's unpredictable, eclectic and features the Poe poem of the same name. It really is a fantastic finisher.

Rotting Christ have triumphed again; they have presented ten tracks of varied and fresh material. The band continues to incorporate unusual elements, both musical and vocal, into their work and continue to operate far beyond the scope if their contemporaries. This is an example of what black metal can be, with the talent.



“The Heretics”is available HERE




Band info: bandcamp || facebook
Source: thesludgelord

ALBUM REVIEW: Rotting Christ, "The Heretics"