Often in the world of heavy metal we claim, rightfully so, that the truly great records of the genre require multiple listens in order to be absorbed by the listener and become even more enjoyable. This is absolutely the case with ‘Rituals’, an album that is dark even by Rotting Christ standards, and seems to be made for individual listening sessions with headphones and the booklet ready to be consulted.

I will try to give you an idea of what to expect. ‘Rituals’ definitely has the best production of all Rotting Christ records so far. It is of course heavy, atmospheric, ritualistic and with a 100% personal and characteristic sound. More precisely, even though the multicultural and polyglot elements from ‘Kata Ton Daimona Eautoy’’ remain, as is the case with the ancient Greek flavors of ‘Theogonia’ and ‘Aealo’, ‘Rituals’ carves a new path, lowering the tempos and emphasizing even more on the song’s vibe. ‘Elthe Kyrie’ is not representative of the album as a whole, which is truly varied: Riff after riff in ‘Ze Nigmar’, tribal mysticism in ‘Apage Satana’; a commanding Nick Holmes starts off ‘For A Voice Like Thunder’ and Sakis Tolis covers/destroys the hell out of ‘The Four Horsemen’ by Aphrodite’s Child. Each song has its own identity.

After hearing the album, we had the chance to sit down with Sakis and hear his comments on some of the tracks. When ‘Rituals’ comes out, do yourselves a favor and search the numerous symbolisms and hidden gems of the intensively detailed orchestration. Until then, get excited. You should be!

Romanos Terzis