For 18 years now Greek ROTTING CHRIST have been wandering the Metal scene and they definitely are among the biggest band this country ever has spawned. Since their beginnings as Grindcore band in 1987 the band has come a long way and via quite brutal Black Metal they nowadays have found their very own niche in the Gothic-tinged Black Metal, which is exquisitely filled once more by their eighth album “Sanctus Diavolos”.
After the small let-down “Khronos“ in 2000 they returned to old quality two years later with “Genesis” and many fans expectantly looked towards Greece for the new epos and the Greeks do not disappear at all, but rather continue to build on their very own sound, which is borne by Sakis’ characteristic voice and the original riffing.
The opener “Visions Of A Blind Order“ sets out with a blood curdling scream, followed by fast blastbeats before turning towards mid-paced double bass with Sakis’ spoken vocals and then returning to the heaviness of before, very intense opener. And after that we get a double blow that will make you see black. “Thy Wings Thy Horns Thy Sin“ is the first future classic, very unusual structure with an operatic women’s choir, partly very hymnic, a strong mix of coldness and a warm, orchestral atmosphere, before “Athanati Este” rotates around a very distinct riff, with evoking, Greek vocals, slow-paced, brooding, incredibly intense!
“Tyrannical“ starts quite Industrial-like, before turning into a ROTTING CHRIST-typical brooding track and “Serve In Heaven“ induces some Thrash into the very epic atmosphere and once more utilizes these eerie opera choirs in the background. And the closing duo “Doctrine“ and „Sanctus Diavolos“ closes the album off on a high, atmospheric, heavy, dramatic, strong, wrapping up an album that firmly establishes the band in the spearhead of this musical direction!
Even though they have stayed pretty close to their style, they still continued to evolve a lot, remaining a band that more or less re-invents itself without losing its roots, which for itself already is something remarkable, but in the quality they offer us here has an absolute recommendation from yours truly! (Online May 22, 2005)