ROTTING CHRIST is a band that has been hit or miss for me, to be honest. I know, I KNOW, I’m a fool, but I just know what I like. And I also know that everybody, and I do mean EVERYBODY, raved over 2016’s Rituals. I get it, I really do, but for me it really didn’t blow my skirt up or anything. But Holy Satan’s Hellfire can we discuss this new album The Heretics (out now, Season of Mist)? You wanna talk about a grand slam fucking home run, well here it is!! Not since The Satanist from BEHEMOTH has something grabbed me simultaneously by the throat and by the balls the way this album has.
Let’s dig in, shall we? From the very beginning, this is an album that demands your attention, starting with opener “In the Name of God.” It rolls in like a thunderstorm, with lightning and Hellfire to boot. “Vetrye Zlye” straddles the line between Black Metal and Death Metal, something this band does all too well, while “Heaven and Hell and Fire” moves forth with an ominous riff and chilling tone, coupled with some dark chanting. Guitarist/vocalist Sakis Tolis really unleashes the beast on this track, making it an instant favorite. “Hallowed Be Thy Name” is slow, deliberate, and menacing, much like when the killer in a slasher movie has his victim cornered in an alley and can take his sweet time getting there to carve them up.
The blunt force trauma of “Dies Irae” will hit you in the solar plexus while uplifting you to new Satanic heights, and I guarantee you this is one you’ll keep coming back to, as I have done again and again. “I Believe” pretty much lays waste to everything in its path like a flamethrower in wartime, and then “Fire God and Fear” comes along and not only beats the shit out of you sonically, but also proves to be the best song on this fucking album. It beats you upside your goddamn head when it needs to, and the guitar solo is amazing in its ferocity and overall tone. “The Voice of Universe” is another song that sounds like the marching orders for this regime, so man the battle stations, people!
“The New Messiah” perfectly encompasses that balance of heaviness with melody that a lot of bands try (and fail) to capture, thus making it another standout on an album full of them. Closing the disc is “The Raven”, which rivals “Fire God and Fear” as far as a candidate for my Song of the Year. I know it’s early, but these two have really hit me hard. So where are we? Oh yeah, I fucking LOVE this new ROTTING CHRIST album, and I will shout it from the rooftops and/or mountaintops all the live long day. The Heretics is available now wherever you buy your music, so I suggest you go out there and do that. Immediately if not sooner. P.S. Katy Irizarry RULES HARD!!
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM