The Bottom Line
Rotting Christ show why, yet again, they are an incredibly diverse metal act with a progressive album blending together different styles.
- Impeccable musicianship.
- A diverse album drawing upon many different influences.
- Strong songwriting.
- Rotting Christ again drift away from their black metal roots.
- Released February 23, 2010 by Season of Mist Records.
- The tenth full-length album from Rotting Christ.
- Rotting Christ hail from Greece and have been around since 1987.
Guide Review - Rotting Christ - 'Aealo'
Greece’s long running, premier black metal band Rotting Christ return with their tenth full-length. Aealo shows Rotting Christ drifting away once more from their black metal roots. Rotting Christ began as a pure, raw black metal act around the time that the Norwegian second wave of black metal was exploding as an artistic force.
After a couple of full-lengths playing in the style, Rotting Christ morphed into a Gothic metal band, but have since returned to their roots with their last couple of albums, most notably the monstrous Sanctus Diavolos and Theogonia, released in 2004 and 2007, respectively.
Both of those albums are quite strong, and have garnered Rotting Christ considerable recognition outside of Europe, culminating in recent tours of the United States.
Aealo, an album brimming with Greek nationalistic overtones and nods to ancient Hellenic culture, shows Rotting Christ once again drifting away from the harsher tones of black metal. A strong progressive element is present on Aealo, along with melodic touches appearing in the form of clean female vocals from a Greek choir from the Ipiros region.
The guitar work from founding member Sakis Tolis and second guitarist Giorgos Bokos is especially strong, with a nice combination of riffs, solos, and melodies. The pacing is generally slow to mid-paced, although a few blasts make appearances, and serves to showcase the guitars and, most especially, the clean vocals from the choir. The choir work is very strong, providing a traditional context for the album and a unique source of melody.
Further adding to the album’s progressive elements is a guest appearance from Greek- American vocal performance artist Diamanda Galas, providing vocals for a cover of her “Orders From The Dead.” It is unclear, however, if the vocals are from an original recording by Galas, or are a new recording for the album.
In addition to the strong songwriting, as would be expected from this veteran act, the musicianship and production are first rate on a very professional sounding album. In short, Aealo pretty much has everything that one could ask for in the burgeoning genre of progressive black metal, and is very highly recommended.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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