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Album Reviews : Rotting Christ – Aealo

By on April 11, 2010

Rotting Christ AealoJust when a particular sub-genre appears to have reached its limits, invariably someone will step up to the plate and raise the bar.  If you’re expecting Rotting Christ‘s tenth studio album, Aealo, to be anything like Kronos or Triarchy of the Lost Lovers, be prepared to be shocked – Aealo is a step up from those aforementioned albums.

Most certainly Rotting Christ have risen above labels, and having said that, Aealo cannot be labelled a black metal album or even a gothic metal album per se – in fact it can’t be labelled anything else but a Rotting Christ album, having defined their unique sound.

While still keeping with its black metal foundations, Aealo ventures into unchartered waters with some traditional Greek music undertones, particularly in the tracks Aealo, dub-sa?-ta-ke.

Fear not, Rotting Christ have not ventured into folk metal territory (and no, they haven’t wimped out like Sepultura did with Roots), as these undertones are more an embellishment that appear here and there in selected tracks rather than being a dominating influence over the whole album.

The lyrics, while mostly in the past have been written in English, Aealo has some lyrics in Greek, most notably in song Demonon Vrosis and in the title track. Seeing any language other than English appearing in the lyrics of any metal release is a breath of fresh air.

From the hauntingly beautiful Pleiades choir at the intro (which reprises at intervals throughout the album), together with the marching beat of the drums and the full-steam-ahead charge of the guitars, the music does more than just invoke images of Ancient Greece – it creates a feeling of experiencing it, be it the Delphic Oracle or the Battle of Thermopylae – especially when the volume is cranked up loud enough for the neighbours to hear.

Overall, Aealo is probably Rotting Christ’s best release to date, and certainly their most definitive. There is a digipak version of the album which contains a bonus DVD. The bonus DVD features a ‘making of Aealo’ and a live performance at the With Full Force festival 2008 in Löbnitz, Germany. 10/10

Band: Rotting Christ
Album: Aealo
Year: 2010
Genre: Melodic Black Metal
Origin: Greece
Label: Season of Mist/Riot

Tracklisting:

1. Aealo
2. Eon Aenaos
3.  Demonon Vrosis
4. Noctis Era <-Reviewer’s Choice
5. Dub-Sa?-Ta-Ke <-Reviewer’s Choice
6. Fire, Death and Fear
7. Nekron Iahes…
8. …Pir Threontai <-Reviewer’s Choice
9. Thou Art Lord
10. Santa Muerte
11. Orders From The Dead (Diamanda Galas cover)

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.