Rotting Christ

Cemetery Lights – The Underworld Review

Cemetery Lights – The Underworld Review

“When I was younger, I didn’t care much about production. Usually, I would look past an album’s sound and simply focus on its riffs and songwriting. That’s changed in my time writing here, as I’ve listened to a lot more music and started to care more about how an album sounds. Even still, it’s rare to find an album whose production outright ruins it. Most of the time, awful production goes hand in hand with awful music.” Ruins to their memory.

Synteleia – Ending of the Unknown Path Review

Synteleia – Ending of the Unknown Path Review

“In recent years Greek black metal has become one of my favorite strains of the genre. To me, the scene excels because it rejects rote riffing and instead embraces a style that’s at once militant, melodic, and mystical. The Greek sound has existed for a while and often the bands that embody it are either older acts (Rotting Christ, Varathron) or have scene veterans in their ranks (Funeral Storm). In this regard, Synteleia are an anomaly.” Greek freaks.

Funeral Storm – Arcane Mysteries Review

Funeral Storm – Arcane Mysteries Review

“Mystical. Archaic. Melodic. Militant. Triumphant. All words that could be used to describe Greek black metal, and all reasons why albums like Macabre Omen‘s Gods of War – At War and Rotting Christ‘s mid-00s material hold a special place in my blackened heart. Funeral Storm aren’t technically a new name on the scene, though you’d be forgiven for never having heard of them given they’ve released virtually nothing other than a few splits since their 2002 formation.” Putting the Hell in Hellenic.

L’Acéphale – L’Acéphale Review

L’Acéphale – L’Acéphale Review

“Twenty-nineteen has, so far, been an interesting year for metal. Not including the fact that the infamous Lords of Chaos has finally hit the big screen. And it seems to be the catalyst for some interesting current events. Events brought on by weirdos that wish they were 1) Norwegian and 2) friends with Count Grishnakh. Churches of all denominations have been going up in flames around the world and one can only wonder how far this will go. Hell, as of this writing, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has gone up in smoke. And one can only wonder, with the nonstop success of the French scene, who is responsible.” Burning times.

Mystifier – Protogoni Mavri Magiki Dynasteia Review

Mystifier – Protogoni Mavri Magiki Dynasteia Review

“Mystifier are an ancient Brazilian black metal band and the latest to emerge from whatever dank place veteran bands who haven’t released a comeback album are hiding. Formed in 1989, their early releases were renowned for a style that combined the primitive extremity of Sarcófago with the ritualistic and otherworldly aura of Beherit. With this sound they produced such underground classics as 1992 debut Wicca and 1996’s The World Is So Good That Who Made It Doesn’t Live Here. Yet widespread popularity was not to be.” Wicked Mystic.

Vanum – Ageless Fire Review

Vanum – Ageless Fire Review

Vanum caught my attention with this gorgeous image of a violent geological process–a particular interest of mine–that is both legibly pictorial and pulling at the edges of abstraction. Tasteful typography and minimal framing compliments rather than competes with the painting. Interest piqued, I dug further and discovered this to be a project of K. Morgan and M. Rekevics of American black metal bands Ash Borer and Yellow Eyes, respectively, both of which I enjoy. Now firmly on the hook, my main question is: does the musical carpet match the visual drapes?” For lavas of fine art.

Rotting Christ – The Heretics Review

Rotting Christ – The Heretics Review

“I want to start off this review on a different foot. You see, in 2016 I reviewed Rituals by Greek black metal institution Rotting Christ, and I was not kind. As someone who jumped on board the Rotting bandwagon after 2007’s incredible Theogonia, I noticed Sakis Tolis, his brother Themis, and company repeating that grandiose, come-at-me-fucker battle-ready style with diminishing returns on every album after that. I called it out both in the review and its comments section that a change of course, or at least a needed spike of adrenaline, could do wonders for the band. Even more so, exploring different motifs and tempos, not to mention lyrical ideas, would also help. But after listening to The Heretics for a solid week, I realized I was wrong to call Rituals a boring album at the time, and I want to apologize for that…” Heresy is an ugly word.

Full House Brew Crew – Me Against You Review

Full House Brew Crew – Me Against You Review

“I’m gonna level with all you. I own a Godsmack album. OK, fuck… I own two. But it wasn’t my fault. Where (and when) I grew up, the internet was barely a thing and censorship was real. And I don’t mean the Denver/Snider/Zappa type of censoring (though that existed, too). In my religious hometown, music is sold in the next town over, at Walmart. Which meant there weren’t many options. It was a time when possessing censored versions of Korn, Staind, Godsmack, Slipknot, and (fuck me, again) Nickelback records was rebellious.” The Devil’s photograph!

Gnosis – The Offering of Seven Review

Gnosis – The Offering of Seven Review

“Way back in 2015, the great Al Kikuras gave a review of The Third Eye Gate, the debut album from Floridian black metal act Gnosis. In that review, he eloquently explained the tightrope balance of empathizing as a musician, how difficult it must be to watch someone rip an album you worked on diligently to shreds, as well as the hard work of being a reviewer doing said shredding. It’s a complete and utter duality that, as a fellow part-time musician, I can completely relate to. After all, it’s never fun to put your heart and soul into something, just to watch someone tear it to pieces. And with that, three years later, they return with The Offering of Seven and I am the man-cat to review it.” Art and punishment.

Phantom – Death Epic Review

Phantom – Death Epic Review

Phantom are plagued by the morbid. The macabre and grotesque are fused together in Death Epic, the spectral second record by this Danish four-piece. Death Epic — similar to Carach Angren, though less melodramatic — tells isolated stories of vengeful and malignant spirits tormenting the living, a ‘little book of horrors in audial form.’ Tales of car crashes, child murder, ghostly home invasions, and battlefield slaughter merge with ghastly reflections on life and the afterlife. All of this is framed within a peculiar black metal vehicle.” Boo-urns.