Rotting Christ, Septic Flesh and Nightfall are the elder statesmen of the Greek extreme metal scene. They all experienced various amounts of praise and success, but they managed to cause quite a stir with their mixture of extreme metal and Mediterranean influences. Rotting Christ managed to captivate me with their Theogonia album. Last year Sakis Tolis and his henchmen released a new record, entitled Aealo. Let’s see what it’s made of.
Aealo isn’t a massive departure of what the band have done on Theogonia. Compact songs revolving around memorable guitar riffs, ritual chanting and the trademark barks of Sakis Tolis still form the basis of the recognizable Rotting Christ sound. The main differences with the previous album, are the greater emphasis on traditional chanting and other supporting atmospheric elements.
Despite the harsh character of Aealo, the music has a warm kind of melancholy flowing through it. This is shared by other bands from countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, such as Orphaned Land, Moonspell and the aforementioned Septic Flesh. Another great feature of Aealo are memorable songs like Eon Aeanos, Demonon Vrosis, Noctis Vera, Pir Threontai and Thou Art Lord.
The massive and organic sound of Aealo supports the music very well. It basically acts as the glue between the metal and the atmospheric parts. It also gives the material a lot of additional punch.
Aealo is another fine addition to the ongoing Rotting Christ discography. It boasts an arsenal of very memorable songs with an atmosphere to die for. Listening to Aealo is like descending into Hades straight down to the Elysium. Great stuff!
Written by Raymond Westland