unnamed-4-14Perhaps the biggest Greek metal band ever Rotting Christ are back with their 13th studio album entitled The Heretics which shows once again that they have entered steady phase in their career, the beginning of which was marked by 2007’s Theogonia. Said release rejuvenated their career and infused large doses of ethnic elements into their sound, and the development of that formula was seen ever since. Their previous album 2016’s Rituals was maybe a bit too heavily leaned on tribal elements and chanting, taking a wee bit from metal strike of the songs, so it is obvious from the first listen of The Heretics that Mr. Sakis Tolis and his cohort took great care of this and tried to remedy it as much as they could. As I have stated, Rotting Christ have entered so to say ‘’safe’’ phase of their career – after years of changing and releasing different sounding albums under the same moniker now they are in a place where they are developing the same formula, and one can be pretty sure how their new albums will sound. That thing is a reason for debate among the fans, and while one fraction accuse them of repeating themselves the other one can say that they have forged the original sound of their own and they have every right to use it. I am with the latter, it is true that Rotting Christ sound a bit safe nowadays but on the other hand they have created their own niche. The Heretics firmly reassures this statement and continues the journey of the legendary group on this trail, and for this time Sakis has decided to write about the theme of various heretics throughout the mankind’s history. The music is, as I have stated, in similar ritualistic vein as Rituals with a lot of chanting and choirs – maybe even in the same amount as Sakis’ vocals – but with stronger emphasis on metal riffs and melodies. This is the place where the biggest flaw of the album lies, as some moments sound dangerously close to older songs… as if we are listening to regurgitated tracks from the past in the new clothing. I think that Sakis should really pay attention to this, as I have heard a lot of people complaining about this fact. On the other hand, The Heretics carries unmistakable grandiose Rotting Christ atmosphere and it simply engulfs the listener in its atmospheric world so it really should be listened as a whole. I know that it was the case with me, as first couple of listening sessions somewhat disappointed me due to mentioned flaws but with the passing of time The Heretics showed its cohesive nature. So for this time, Rotting Christ are still on the first line of battle but I really feel that they should pay attention to mentioned spots in the future…

  • Season of Mist CD
  • Slobodan Trifunovic (7)


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