Rotting Christ - Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy
Label: Season of Mist
Reviewer: Manel Lilioth - 2013-05-27
Highlights: Most of the album is interesting
As the years pass this band is getting better and better. From the early days there was no doubt that ROTTING CHRIST were a truly unique band, but with their last two albums, “Theogonia” and “Aealo”, and now even more with the brand new“Κata Τον Daiuονa Εautοu” they are proving once again not only that they are an unstoppable force in the extreme Metal scene but also that they still have a lot to offer.
“Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy" A phrase in ancient Greek with an ambiguous meaning as it means “against my own demon” but also “act according to my own will” taken from the infamous Aleister Crowley on his writing of the Aeon of Horus. It might ring some bells to the fans of DOORS as it is inscribed in Jim Morrison’s tombstone. In 2013 it is also the title that Greek extreme Metallers ROTTING CHRIST have chosen for their eleventh album. Probably you will find this record by the alternate title “Do What Thou Wilt” which was added bySeason of Mist to give the record a decipherable title.
This ultimate veteran of evil-mindedness recording derives the listener to a deep Hades who may never come out of it, the black magic art played in this album is enchanting by incorporating such a native aspect into their sound, it solidified their originality and gave Rotting Christ a unique distinctive sound. Lets start our Greek journey with a heavy emphasis on bone-drilling percussion and chanted vocals perfectly showcase the band’s bombastically ritualistic side. The hair-raising whispered vocals and glutinous grind that opens the album, on “In Yumen / Xibalba”, sets a fittingly theatrical mood before diving into an operatic gallop and that velocity and temperament and takes you on an euphorically brutal, militaristic, sometimes manic journey of chanting lyrics, marching drum beats and quirky guitar work that erupts when you least expect it.
A black melodic material hit the second title “P’unchaw Kachun-Tuta kachum” where their true ritualistic dark side reveals under the catchy repetitive incantations to immerse the fete noir with pernicious Sakis unusual vocal. Just like before, we are treated to choirs that are not used to fill holes, but to intensify the already intense atmosphere the Greek convey, as portrayed in the almost sacral choir at the beginning of “Grandis Spiritus Diavolos”, and also the unusual influences are back, where the bagpipe brings in a very unique touch , onwards, the album settles nicely into a flow that’s easy on the ear, and one of the Tolis brother once again demonstrates his masterful songwriting, it’s produced and mixed exactly the way it deserves to be, and despite there being a hefty dose of double-bass and blast beats on the drums, it doesn’t overpower the guitar parts at all. The vocal layer sits somewhere in between the lead and rhythm sections, and serves its purpose of creating a ritualistic vibe, at the same time lending aggression to the melody. The eponym title “Kata Ton Daimon EayToy” a powerful folky vibe song where the scene of his inimitable interventions, does not obscure the precise drum set of Themis where I personally think the drums have always been an essential element of ROTTING CHRIST’s sound in a meanwhile this song has very varied materials from heavy guitar rhythm, complicated solo guitar riffs to dark piano to created dark atmosphere and closed by a flutes intervention. So does the tremor in the chest, and that’s never more effective than on the stunning “Cine iubeste si lasa” it was originally a traditional Romanian song which was then adapted and arranged by Greek musicians: the haunting vocals of Suzana Vougioukli and delicate piano of Eleni Vougioukli, set the Eastern European tenor, before Sakis’s baritone bark, gothic riffs and Themis’s pounding drums arrive to drive the mist-shrouded creepiness home. The band have taken a portion of the Vougiouklis’ rendition as the intro to their version, and presented a heavy metal interpretation of it. I must say I’m really impressed by this genius combination that won’t let them stigmatized by the same hymn for the whole album.
The differences now for the rest of the tracks are more expanded intellectual lyrics and multicultural myths: the voodoo lore “Iwa Voodoo” where the dark atmosphere is inundates, where there is no hope reclaimed on this dark path other than being always inspired compositions drenched vocals to add a strong presence from ritual dimension tend to take the guts. The Sumerian epic soundtrack “Gilgames” has more compact and hard-hitting tunes. The sacred Russian hymn “Rushalka” According to most traditions, the rusalki were fish-women, who lived at the bottom of rivers. In the middle of the night, they would walk out to the bank and dance in meadows. If they saw handsome men, they would fascinate them with songs and dancing, mesmerize them, and then lead them away to the river floor to their death just like ROTTING CHRIST did to me while listening to this masterpiece. I must not forget that I have noticed by seeing them honoring Old Persian poetry “Ahura mazda-anra Mainiu” a song have been increasingly pared back to their essentials, while retaining a sense of ceremonial grandeur.” Ch XS“the ritualistic fable where lyrically based on the book of revelation of Saint John the Divine, which also musically has this special and intense atmosphere,the production once more is strong, powerful and clear, aids the many different details the Greek duo is putting into its compositions. Finally we closed our tour by open the gates of hell and be “Welcome to hel” only on the vinyl and the digital box versions of the album. It comprises of some excellent guitar work and is definitely a worthy addition to an already solid album.
The artwork cover is professionally designed , simple, grim , two gargoyles facing each other in a deep darkness , no light to absorb the rage lives inner them by screaming “Kata Ton Daimon EayToy” that’s suits the main them and band’s logo perfectly.
I’m always enchanted by their work from 1988 till now, they can’t stop amazing me by pushes me to think outside the box, compelling me at 2 am to seek out the translation of an old Romanian curse, making me read up on Voodoo and knee deep in the teachings of Aleister Crowley. I think that’s what metal is about nightmarish visions conjured up in inventive ways secure the objective of each project that a band is working on. It seems we can be assured that ‘do what thou wilt’ will continue to ring loud in Rotting Christ’s sound and ethos.