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Pre-listening Session for “Rituals” by Rotting Christ


Last Updated on 12:49 AM by Lilliana Tseka

On Wednesday Dec 16th, I had the pleasure of attending Rotting Christ’s event (the hearing of their new album two months earlier than its release) at Devadoundz Studios, where they recorded their latest effort, along with many other guys of the music press.

Despite Sakis’ delay, he joined the company of the press and while we were waiting for the studio’s manager to open the doors, he (Sakis) grabbed the chance and shared crazy stories full of laughter from Rotting Christ’s latest American Tour. That was the point when I realized that Sakis, apart form being one of the most prestigious artists of the field, is a totally down to earth persona, with intense sense of humor and self – sarcasm.

After squeezing ourselves into the studio’s control room, Sakis hit “the button of joy” for all the press to indulge in “Rituals” that sprang out fiercely from the speakers. Sakis as a matter of fact, left the room while the hearing session took place, as he is kind of “embarrassed” and feels awkward to listen to his music along with other people.

Even though I made some notes track – to – track, I prefer to present to you a more general impression, since a review about “Rituals” with just a single hearing seems improbable. It’s hard. It’s a hard record due to its introvert characteristics. I got the feeling that I would sink into abyss if I had listened to the record alone, and I guess that’s the feeling everybody had! Starting from the basics, the production is exceptional and way better than any other production Rotting Christ had, with many layers and rich structure. In musical levels, speeds are loosened up and limits touch the doom genre in some cases, without of course missing fast parts. Varied and impressive vocals (great job by Sakis’) dominate everything, war and epic riffs, ethnic Greek and foreign instruments chilling the atmosphere, Aramaic, ancient Greek and Indian, French, English lamentations and curses achieve exactly what the creator had in mind: To feel that every song is an initiation ceremony that throws you in a dark and distant world and helps you escape from the equally dark but crappy reality. This was the aim of Rotting Christ and certainly is a goal achieved by the “Rituals”. As icing on the cake served the album’s last track with its impressive and unrecognizable cover of “The Four Horsemen” of superb Aphrodite’s Child, adapted in a way that perfectly fits the atmosphere of the album and in my opinion makes it absolutely successful.

In summary, “Rituals” is an album made with the finest ingredients from the previous three masterpieces of the band (Theogonia, Aealo and Kata Ton Daimona Eaftou), even more dark and atmospheric and certainly, as we already discussed with Sakis during the mini “press conference” that followed the hearing, it is an album that completes the best way this circle this huge band. Personally I left the studio with the feeling that is a candidate for best ever Rotting Christ album, and if that is the case, I’ll see it for sure when I’ll listen to it again at the official release. Just two months of patience for all of us!

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