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Rotting Christ – Aealo

rotting christ – aealo


If there ever was an album in the last couple of years that so completely embraced its theme, why, ‘Aealo’ would be it. Though the latest efforts by Keep of Kalessin and Nile would score a very close second, it’s Rotting Christ who emerge victorious. This writer is bad with numbers so he can’t vouch for ‘Aealo’’s place in these blaspheming Greek’s epic discography, however, what’s beyond certain is how this newest will leave you trembling. No bullshit, if ‘Aealo’ be a concept piece, then it’s concept of the highest order. To set its über-Greek mood there’s even a weird female chorus doing ethnic sounds on almost every song. It’s an exotic world music touch that lends no small amount of drama to the rousing musical fare within.

Now for the songs themselves; coming from a black metal band previously fixated on annihilating all vestiges of Christendom (aren’t they all?), ‘Aealo’ is a whole new frontier. Judging by the martial spirit coursing through each song, the blood-soaked glory days of ye ancient warfare is the band’s subject and boy, does this album bring the listener places! The ride begins with the title track where the fore-mentioned chorus enchants our ears before Mr. Sakis Tolis and his mates are a-gruntin’ and riffing. Please bear in mind that black metal may have been this foursome’s bread and butter since forever, yet this ‘Aealo’ hardly qualifies as metal of the blacked variety; consider it a cinematic feat without the visuals. Strange, huh? From its atmosphere to the guitar and percussion driven melodies that paints each boiling number, ‘Aealo’ transports you to an arcane world riven by carnage and the laughter of cruel deities.

Once the first song is done inspiring goosebumps, the soaring ‘Eon Aenaos’ arrives to showcase Tolis’ muffled grunts and the majestic guitar licks from Giorgos Bokos. Since this passes off as Extreme Metal, there’s blastbeats galore that still fits snugly into whatever narrative the band are peddling. Keep in mind ‘Aealo’ is best savored as a complete package, from first note to last. Despite its universal charms, the choicest stand alone morsels are the hair raising ‘Fire Death and Fear’ and the two-hit combo pf ‘Nekron Iahes…’ followed by ‘…Pir Threonti.’ Increasing our delight, much pestilence befalls your accursed speakers at the anthemic ‘Thou Art Lord’ until the spine tingling creepiness of ‘Orders From the Dead’ marks the closing of the curtains on this breathtaking spectacle. The bottom line is Rotting Christ have just presented the world a masterpiece.

Season of Mist

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