Rotting Christ - The Heretics review



Reviewer:
N/A

253 users:
7.99
Band: Rotting Christ
Album: The Heretics
Release date: February 2019


01. In The Name Of God
02. Ветры злые (Vetry Zlye) [feat. Irina Zybina]
03. Heaven & Hell & Fire
04. Hallowed Be Thy Name
05. Dies Irae
06. ΠΙΣΤΕΥΩ (I Believe)
07. Fire, God And Fear
08. كلاﻡ ﺍلكﻭﻥ (The Voice Of The Universe)
09. The New Messiah
10. The Raven
11. The Sons Of Hell [deluxe edition bonus]


In the review of Rituals, I expressed my expectation wishful thinking that Rotting Christ would move towards a darker direction closer to tracks like "Cine Iubeşte Şi Lasă" and/or "Ze Nigmar". They didn't.

Let me be clear: I don't expect Rotting Christ to innovate after thirty years in the business; that would be ridiculous and even unfair. Originality and innovation not only in metal but in music in general is very hard to come by and only the naïve have such high hopes from already established acts. But for a band to replicate themselves the way these Greeks have been doing since Aealo is really rare. I mean, if Sakis was responsible for the Earth's recycling programme, our planet would be saved.

That said, Rotting Christ have a very original sound and style and no one else sounds like them. Their supreme melodies, their epic build-ups and their sombre atmospheric soundscapes are unique and this is an immense achievement of theirs. No other band can emotionally prepare you for a battle of the dark forces like they do with their music. My complaints for lack of originality have nothing to do with their sound but with the songwriting; the songs are not much more than a mix-and-match of stuff they have already done before, a riff here, a solo there, a bridge a little further down the road, a bunch of already sang lyrics almost everywhere. You can get away with something like that if you do it with restraint but if you keep doing it for four albums in a row it feels like mockery.

Longtime fans can play a game trying to pinpoint which part of which song is taken from which other older song but I've realised I am now officially done with that game. The initial version of this review had countless examples but I decided to ditch that part because it was getting extremely long and pointless. Had I discovered Rotting Christ with The Heretics, I would have been delighted because it has indeed great moments but I've already heard almost all of them before since I grew up with this band and I've been there since Passage To Arcturo. It seems that the effort to fulfil an unnecessary obligation of releasing a new full-length every three years since 2004 has eventually led to stagnation. I am sorry, but repeating the word "fire" to death does not make a record fiery.

To end this, I will quote three lines of lyrics that are heard in the song "Πιστεύω (I Believe)" and which are taken from The Saviours Of God by Nikos Kazantzakis, one of the greatest Greek authors. You can read it in full here and it is well worth your time. This song's lyrics along with the sublime "The Raven" and "The Sons Of Hell", which is a bonus track (!) bathing in mid-90s Rotting Christ nostalgia, made my spine tingle and left me wondering what this album could and should have been. I'd mention "Ветры злые (Vetry Zlye)" as well as a standout track but I'm sure you are familiar with "Welcome To Hel" already.

"Ερχόμαστε από μια σκοτεινή άβυσσο (We come from a dark abyss)
Καταλήγουμε σε μια σκοτεινή άβυσσο (We end up in a dark abyss)
Το μεταξύ φωτεινό διάστημα το λέμε ζωή (We call the luminous interval, life)"


 



Written on 12.03.2019 by I was into this music when you were still in diapers.


Comments

Comments: 26   Visited by: 262 users
12.03.2019 - 10:23
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Green metal
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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12.03.2019 - 10:35
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by RaduP on 12.03.2019 at 10:23

Green metal

Nefarious has coined the term "Environmental Black Metal"
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12.03.2019 - 12:37
Discordant666
Must have been over 10 years ago I last heard them. Don't remember them sounding this atmospheric, but I like it! Pleasant suprise for me
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http://enigmaticalofficial.bandcamp.com/
^Cosmic Black Metal Electronica^
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12.03.2019 - 12:45
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Discordant666 on 12.03.2019 at 12:37

Must have been over 10 years ago I last heard them. Don't remember them sounding this atmospheric, but I like it! Pleasant suprise for me

Well they've been sounding pretty much the same for the past 10 years anyway
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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12.03.2019 - 14:17
Starvynth
i c deaf people
"If Sakis was responsible for the Earth's recycling programme, our planet would be saved."
That is true, but to survive in Saki's world, we would have to eat plastic waste and our own feces again and again and again.
A healthy and balanced diet looks somewhat different.

To be honest, I don't even mind RC's continuous repetition anymore, I just wished they wrote more outstanding songs.
Nowadays, the highlights are so rare that even a recent best of compilation would sound like... ...well, just like any of their albums of the last 12 years.
I think that's the biggest flaw of today's Rotting Christ.

Well-grounded and spot-on review, by the way!
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12.03.2019 - 15:13
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Starvynth on 12.03.2019 at 14:17

To be honest, I don't even mind RC's continuous repetition anymore, I just wished they wrote more outstanding songs.
Nowadays, the highlights are so rare that even a recent best of compilation would sound like... ...well, just like any of their albums of the last 12 years.
I think that's the biggest flaw of today's Rotting Christ.

I can't really disagree. For me, Theogonia was outstanding but the songwriting has indeed deteriorated since Aealo and I would have preferred two albums instead of four in the last decade. Oh well, at least the band still slays live and they are always great to watch.

Written by Starvynth on 12.03.2019 at 14:17

Well-grounded and spot-on review, by the way!

Thank you
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12.03.2019 - 15:39
s_t_s
Well this is only my second Rotting Christ album after Rituals so that as a newbie I cannot spot much resemblance to earlier work. I like this album a lot but like Rituals even better. It has some very intense songs such as Apage Satana !
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12.03.2019 - 19:22
Malignar
They lost me from Aealo onward. This is a slight bit better, but still nothing I would listen to more than once or twice. I still love Theogonia, it almost sounds like a different uninspired band today.
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12.03.2019 - 23:29
Lanthros
Id really like to hear something more in the vein of A Dead Poem.
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13.03.2019 - 00:33
OpethFlames
Had I discovered Rotting Christ with The Heretics, I would have been delighted because it has indeed great moments

This was me! I thought this album was great! I tracked down the 4 previous efforts by these guys after hearing this, can't wait to listen to them!
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13.03.2019 - 00:44
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by OpethFlames on 13.03.2019 at 00:33

Had I discovered Rotting Christ with The Heretics, I would have been delighted because it has indeed great moments

This was me! I thought this album was great! I tracked down the 4 previous efforts by these guys after hearing this, can't wait to listen to them!

I'm pleased you liked it and now you can start going backwards to listen to their real masterpieces (basically everything from Theogonia to Passage To Arcturo)
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13.03.2019 - 00:46
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by s_t_s on 12.03.2019 at 15:39

Well this is only my second Rotting Christ album after Rituals so that as a newbie I cannot spot much resemblance to earlier work. I like this album a lot but like Rituals even better. It has some very intense songs such as Apage Satana !

Rituals is better. And more diverse I dare say.
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13.03.2019 - 01:41
Starvynth
i c deaf people
Written by nikarg on 12.03.2019 at 15:13

Oh well, at least the band still slays live and they are always great to watch.

I happily confirm that.
I was quite lucky to catch them on their very first tour outside of Greece, they opened for Blasphemy in 1993.
I loved to see them live ever since, Sakis is one of the very few front men of a major 2nd wave black metal outfit I can stand. No arrogance, no stupid BM stereotypes, no childish gestures - just a nice guy having fun on stage.
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13.03.2019 - 02:53
sbgmetal
Good thing i don't listen to the lyrics, but even though i did like the album there is a lot of reused ideas even music wise, like some one said above i want something more like in the vein of A Dead Poem or Sleep of the Angels
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14.03.2019 - 21:14
kukac
Strange is the human being, if band sounds the same for 10 years...not sooo good, id others sound different - like in flames, dimmu, - - also not good - no criticism, just a thought
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14.03.2019 - 21:34
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by kukac on 14.03.2019 at 21:14

Strange is the human being, if band sounds the same for 10 years...not sooo good, id others sound different - like in flames, dimmu, - - also not good - no criticism, just a thought

I tried to make clear in all possible ways that the problem is not that the band sounds the same but that the songs are the same. To quote myself: "My complaints for lack of originality have nothing to do with their sound but with the songwriting; the songs are not much more than a mix-and-match of stuff they have already done before, a riff here, a solo there, a bridge a little further down the road, a bunch of already sang lyrics almost everywhere."

As for the second part of your comment, in my opinion what most people don't get is that metalheads have evolved and don't care anymore if the band changes direction as long as the music is good. In Flames and Dimmu Borgir are being criticized not because they have changed but because this change has come hand in hand with pretty bad songwriting.

Also no criticism, just a thought
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14.03.2019 - 23:00
Daniell
_爱情_
They've been recording the same album since Theogonia.
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15.03.2019 - 13:57
Mercurial
Written by Daniell on 14.03.2019 at 23:00

They've been recording the same album since Theogonia.

Like most bands then, they stick to a formula throughout most of their career. I don't really care about Rotting Christ, I just don't get why this meme gets applied to Rotting Christ when 95% of doom and thrash and probably 50%+ of black and death metal is the same.
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15.03.2019 - 14:22
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by Mercurial on 15.03.2019 at 13:57

Written by Daniell on 14.03.2019 at 23:00

They've been recording the same album since Theogonia.

Like most bands then, they stick to a formula throughout most of their career. I don't really care about Rotting Christ, I just don't get why this meme gets applied to Rotting Christ when 95% of doom and thrash and probably 50%+ of black and death metal is the same.

You are right. But even though many other bands do the same, my point still stands. They've been recording the same album since Theogonia.
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15.03.2019 - 15:20
s_t_s
Written by Starvynth on 13.03.2019 at 01:41

Written by nikarg on 12.03.2019 at 15:13

Oh well, at least the band still slays live and they are always great to watch.

I happily confirm that.
I was quite lucky to catch them on their very first tour outside of Greece, they opened for Blasphemy in 1993.
I loved to see them live ever since, Sakis is one of the very few front men of a major 2nd wave black metal outfit I can stand. No arrogance, no stupid BM stereotypes, no childish gestures - just a nice guy having fun on stage.


Will hopefully manage to see them in October with Moonspell, another band I have recently fallen in love with.
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15.03.2019 - 15:41
Starvynth
i c deaf people
Written by s_t_s on 15.03.2019 at 15:20

Will hopefully manage to see them in October with Moonspell, another band I have recently fallen in love with.



Wiped Moonspell off my map in 1998 and I still believe that Sin / Pecado was one of the biggest letdowns, ever...
But as long as they're playing at least some bits and pieces of Wolfheart, Irreligious and 1755, this could be a nice package.
Trying to catch them in Bochum, 25th of Oct.
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15.03.2019 - 16:09
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Starvynth on 15.03.2019 at 15:41

Written by s_t_s on 15.03.2019 at 15:20

Will hopefully manage to see them in October with Moonspell, another band I have recently fallen in love with.



Wiped Moonspell off my map in 1998 and I still believe that Sin / Pecado was one of the biggest letdowns, ever...
But as long as they're playing at least some bits and pieces of Wolfheart, Irreligious and 1755, this could be a nice package.
Trying to catch them in Bochum, 25th of Oct.

When i saw them they only played stuff from wolfheart and irreligious. It was great.
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15.03.2019 - 16:14
Starvynth
i c deaf people
Written by RaduP on 15.03.2019 at 16:09

When i saw them they only played stuff from wolfheart and irreligious. It was great.

Seriously? When was that?
Wow - me very jealous...
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15.03.2019 - 20:26
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Starvynth on 15.03.2019 at 16:14

Seriously? When was that?
Wow - me very jealous...

2015 I think, at Rockstadt Extreme Fest in Romania
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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15.03.2019 - 21:38
Danroush
I understand the point being made by nikarg here, but I do feel this still has enough merit to be viewed as a strong album.

Yes it doesn't blow you away, but about 2-3 casual listens in (I mostly listen to music during work so I'm typically not 100% focused, meaning I need to listen a good couple of times to get a feel and a couple more to really judge), I'm definitely enjoying the new songs and whilst there is certainly similarity, I feel there could be a teensy bit of exaggeration being made for the sake of an interesting review.

Edit: Listened a bit more thoroughly now. I will note that I might be able to look on this more favourably due to a lack of other bands with a similar sound in terms of mixing extreme and melodic in this way (Septicflesh would be the closest, and Fleshgod Apocalypse a distant runner-up), but if anyone wants to flood me with suggestions that make this album more boring by comparison, please go ahead!

Also there certainly is heavy use of the word fire!
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18.06.2019 - 08:09
Absinthe
Yeah, the repetition is out of control when it comes to the riffs, but I too have sort of come to just accept it. It really is amazing though, and sometimes Themis must just look at Sakis and think "not again..."

I actually find 'The Heretics' to be quite a disappointing album, despite some good songs here and there. It's very melodic and soft, with an almost gothic metal feel. Compared with savage epics like 'Rituals' and 'Kata ton...' it really feels very safe and commercial.

Despite Sakis yelling "fire" every few minutes, there isn't much fire going on. 'Rituals' kills this.
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