Rotting Christ - The Heretics
Season Of Mist
Epic Blackened Metal
10 songs (43'38")
Release year: 2019
Rotting Christ, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Alex
Major event

People in general, and writers (if I can call myself one) in particular, are prone to exaggeration. It is just a natural, and simplest, thing to do to call something “the fastest/loudest/best/insert your own epithet” ever. I am going to go out on the limb then and call two things Greek Rotting Christ are “the most ever”. They are probably the band that has undergone the most transformation in their storied career (well, we can add Therion here as well, only Christofer Johnson just totally lost me with Beloved Antichrist). From raw black metal to gothic musings to dark epic storytelling – the Greeks still continue to evolve. Next, rhythmic structures are important to a lot of bands, but, as of late, rhythms basically define Rotting Christ to larger extent than any other band I can think of.

Whatever Rotting Christ are the best at, I was certainly happy The Heretics was a comeback (for me anyway) after a mild dip that was overly symphonic, but not stirring enough, Κατά τον δαίμονα εαυτού and then almost there, but not quite, Rituals. The Heretics is that monumental effort Rituals could have been, but didn’t quite manage throughout. Simple on the surface, driven by simple stingy manly riffs and thunderous impeccably produced drums (a feature on just about any recent Rotting Christ album), with its short, to the point, not bloated songs The Heretics picks the topic of human non-conformity and describes it with unpretentious lyrics replete with famous classical quotes from numerous authors from Dostoevsky to Nietzsche to Twain to Edgar Alan Poe. If there is a textbook definition of a devastating riff In the Name of God, Dies Irae or The Voice of the Universe can have their picture placed right next to it. Towering voice, clean backing choirs (sometimes using female singers, as in Vetri zlie) create a wholly reverential atmosphere.

As foundational as drumming is on The Heretics, it is rather interesting to follow how it varies song to song. On Hallowed Be Thy Name it is a dark procession, evil and uplifting at the same time, and the bell sound is an absolute winner here. Πιστεύω is blastbeat driven exaltation, fastest Rotting Christ has been in a while, and there is somewhere an adventurous Pentecostal preacher, speaking in tongues, who might sometimes use this in a sermon. Closer The Raven is triumphant narration in the style of late day Immortal or I. Double bass onto blast propels melodic tremolo with a hint of folksiness on the Russian titled Vetri zlie (Angry Winds). To all those younger black metal bands who want to sound mysterious, Vetri zlie does it well, and puts on the enigma for real. Finally, Heaven and Hell and Fire takes the syncopated cadence of dub-sag-ta-ke and weaves guitar vines over its characteristic patterns. More solos pop out elsewhere, but the album’s melodies are simple, reserved and very accessible.

Somewhere around Fire, God and Fear and The Voice of the Universe this rebellious repentance and mocking self-flagellation grow tired for a brief moment, but gospely The New Messiah and monumental The Raven bring a strong end, so the impression still remains that there is no weak song on the album, which is probably true, but In the Name of God through Πιστεύω this is absolutely breathtaking. If you equivocate dark and epic with booming and powerful The Heretics is can’t miss.

Killing Songs :
In the Name of God, Vetri Zlie, Heaven and Hell and Fire, Hallowed Be Thy Name, Dies Irae
Alex quoted 92 / 100
Other albums by Rotting Christ that we have reviewed:
Rotting Christ - Rituals reviewed by Alex and quoted 80 / 100
Rotting Christ - A Dead Poem reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
Rotting Christ - Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy reviewed by Alex and quoted 75 / 100
Rotting Christ - Thy Mighty Contract reviewed by Tony and quoted 93 / 100
Rotting Christ - Aealo reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 100
To see all 9 reviews click here
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