Rotting Christ - Theogonia
Season Of Mist
Epic Blackened Metal
10 songs (42:40)
Release year: 2007
Rotting Christ, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

Greece: source of ouzo, restaurants that smash plates and rubbish films about weddings. Yet if you dig a little deeper, past the Eurovision song entries and the burgeoning Power Metal scene, you’ll discover a fetid heap of Black Metal bands that draw upon their ancient cultures to take the genre in a variety of ways. The likes of Septicflesh and Naer Mataron are doing great things, but it’s Rotting Christ that must take the prize as kings of the scene, not only because they were formed at least three years before the others, but also because their music grips like few others can. After starting out as a Grind unit in the demo days, word reached Sakis and drummer brother Thelis of the terror that was Black Metal, and the duo promptly became the band that we know and love.

Considering that Rotting Christ were formed in 1987, it’s amazing the lack of respect shown to them as members of the second wave of Black Metal. 1994’s Non Serviam, recently re-released with the excellent Passage To Arcturo EP, is a bona fide classic, and whatever you think of the band’s late nineties’ stray into Gothic territory, few could listen to Theogonia and refrain from throwing horns, headbanging, and other such activities. Simply put, Theogonia rules; it is the band’s best album since Non Serviam, a powerhouse of epic chants, war drums and twisty-turny riffing that will have the most cynical of Blackheads singing along with tears in their eyes.

The moment that the album kicks in with Χαος Γενετο - The Sign Of Prime Creation it’s obvious that Rotting Christ are driven, fuelled by a fire that’s been absent for a while. Ethnic elements that were previously kept firmly in the background are here revelled in, but never to the point of detracting from the music or becoming annoying, always judged perfectly. Chanting, wailing, folk instrumentation and a masterly usage of keyboards combine to form an album that although chock-full of melodic riffing keeps the Black Metal bite and is prepared to use it – Helios Hyperion’s powerful attack a good example. Songs such as Enuma Elish have an epic atmosphere that is even more stunning when you consider that it was achieved without over the top Prog flourishes or lengthy meanderings, the longest track on Theogonia being just over five minutes. Both musicianship and production are excellent throughout the album, especially the guitars and drums, both of which are little short of jaw-droppingly good.

Although this is Black Metal, there are clear references to the slick Gothic period of the band. Fans of both will find much to like (such as the opening to Phobos’ Synagogue, which unites the older and newer sounds perfectly) and newcomers looking for the perfect place to start with Rotting Christ’s discography (now nine albums wide) will enjoy this tremendously. Thrilling, anthemic cuts such as Nemecic (the sound of a vast army marching towards battle that sums up Ancient Greece far better than 300 could) and the title track (finishing the album with near cinematic vision and hinting at future, even better glories) are little short of stunning. This is genius, right here, working its way through the Metal underground and receiving little to nothing for it. Rotting Christ should be bigger than Trivium, and until the day that the band gets the rewards it deserves the faithful few will have to quietly enjoy Theogonia for what it is: a damn good album.

Killing Songs :
The Sign Of Prime Creation, Keravnos Kirvernitos, Enuma Elish, Helios Hyperion, Nemecic, He The Aethyr, Threnody
Goat quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Rotting Christ that we have reviewed:
Rotting Christ - The Heretics reviewed by Alex and quoted 92 / 100
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
To see all 9 reviews click here
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