Rotting Christ

Chaostar – Anomima Review

Chaostar – Anomima Review

“Christos Antoniou is a busy guy, classically trained musician and composer, he’s probably more commonly associated with the likes of Septicflesh. Album after album they’ve brought something huge, dramatic and tasty to the table and if you’re like me you’ve ravenously gobbled up every last scrap and looked around for seconds. Well here they are… what you may or may not know is that Christos has a side-project called Chaostar, born round the time Septicflesh released The Eldest Cosmonaut. While their core sound definitely captures some of what makes Septicflesh great, it’s also enough set apart that it’s an entirely different animal.” Join Madam X as she’s dragged kicking and screaming out of the mosh pit and unceremoniously dumped into the world of baroque style classical music… will she come out unscathed on the other side?

Atrocity – Okkult Review

Atrocity – Okkult Review

“Yes, Atrocity have indeed lived up to their name and not in the way one hopes for in death metal, technical, melodic or otherwise. They’re the band that brought out the very un-metal Werk 80 consisting of ‘metalled up’ covers of 80’s pop songs. Oh and wait for it they didn’t stop there, 11 years down the line they doubled the atrocity with the release of Werk 80 II (a double album offering) – I have to ask why?” Steel Druhm joins Madam X in asking why a death metal band chose to make their name doing novelty covers of 80s pop hits, but hey, who are we to judge? Now they’re doing real death metal again and Madam X kinda digs it.

Rotting Christ – Κατά τον Δαίμονον Εαυτού Review

Rotting Christ – Κατά τον Δαίμονον Εαυτού Review

“I’m always enchanted by a band or album that pushes me to think outside the box, compelling me at 2 am to seek out the translation of an old Romanian curse, making me read up on Voodoo and at the same time the i’m knee deep in the teachings of Aleister Crowley – now that’s what metal’s about [Mister Crowley, won’t you write for my blog? – Steel Druhm]! Aleister Crowley wrote ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law’ and I’m pleased Greek icons Rotting Christ decided to use this credo as the basis for their 11th full-length release Κατά τον Δαίμονον Εαυτού (meaning ‘Do what thou wilt’).” Mister Crowley and Madam X are like two peas in a devil pod, so join her as she discusses the new opus from Greek black/death act Rotting Christ and all things sacrilicious.

Septic Flesh – The Great Mass Review

Septic Flesh – The Great Mass Review

Yet another highly anticipated 2011 release is upon us! This is the eighth crusade by the Greek masters of blackened death Septic Flesh and they brought a few new tricks with them as they refine their crazed classical music meets brutality approach. 2008’s Communion was hailed as a highly creative accomplishment and The Great Mass is a continuation and enlargement of that sound and concept. Taking their basic blackened death style and merging it with performances from the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and a full choir, Septic Flesh have now become a full blown orchestral/symphonic death metal juggernaut. With a full orchestra involved, this is obviously going to be a bigger, more bombastic album and its hardly easy listening. While they traffic in the same over-the-top, dramatic theatrics as Therion, they manage to keep things much more linear (and therefore much more listenable). While bands like Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir have long employed symphonic orchestration to accent their sound, Septic Flesh have now embedded it into their core and made it an integral part of their make up and identity.

The Bridal Procession – Astronomical Dimensions Review

The Bridal Procession – Astronomical Dimensions Review

The Bridal Procession are a death metal band with orchestral stylings from Paris, France. If you go to their Last.fm page, the first thing you see on there is someone writing “Behemoth 2.0.” What’s funny about this was exactly my response when I heard the introduction of this album, which has an Egyptian sounding orchestral introduction followed up with a vocal introduction that was ripped straight off from “Slaves Shall Serve” (a track from Behemoth’s Demigod, if you’re not familiar). This did not raise my expectations very high, to be totally honest. And, because of that I never had time to get disappointed by the mediocrity, and more frankly, unoriginality that followed.

Nightfall – Astron Black and the Thirty Tyrants Review

Nightfall – Astron Black and the Thirty Tyrants Review

Now here’s a bird of a different color and what an odd duck it is! Astron Black and the Thirty Tyrants (a grand title) is the eighth platter from long running Greek black/death/doom/gothic/kitchensink act Nightfall. Along with their better known contemporaries Rotting Christ and Septic Flesh, these Spartans have evolved, devolved and transmogrified into different animals over their long existence and their current incarnation is very interesting indeed. Although they defy easy categorization, the focus lies somewhere between black and gothic metal but with traces of everything else tossed in with reckless abandon. The end product is at times confusing, pretty damn cool and not really like anything else out there right now.

Rotting Christ – Aealo Review

Rotting Christ – Aealo Review

There aren’t many bands that can claim something that Rotting Christ can claim: they have more buzz around the band now than they have ever had, and this is their 10th album. Now the hardcore, or the old school fans, will claim that they’re not nearly as good as they were “back in the day,” but I think the band has done a lot of development since the “old days” and really planted themselves firmly on the border of modern, mainstream metal. I mean, even their label is calling them just “dark metal” now, though I think there are some things that still hold them in the black metal category. Aealo is the follow up to the band’s 2007 masterpiece Theogonia, a record which lit their fanbase aflame and which saw the band broadening their appeal to new fans all over the world. It is fair to say that Rotting Christ has continued on the heels of Theogonia with Aealo, because the majority of the stylistic themes which ran through the previous album and made it great remain.