Originally written by Ryan Plunkett
It’s amazing how long Rotting Christ has been around and is still able to release some top-tier black metal. I thoroughly enjoyed their last album, Genesis, so I was eager to hear their latest endeavor. Definitely picking up where Genesis left off, Sanctus Diavolos combines those metal-grimace inducing riffs, with a lush sense of melody, and that epic, operatic feel that has just the right touch.
Having a name synonymous with black metal, Rotting Christ has almost always managed to deliver solid music. While most black metal bands employ the blast beat attack, one thing I’ve always enjoyed about Rotting Christ is they’re never afraid to slow it down, and in fact most of the material on here is about mid-tempo. This mid-tempo delivery helps with that gothic aura surrounding the music and it’s symphonic, with operatic elements. From the emotional “Sanctimonious” to the head-bang inducing of “Serve in Heaven,” there is just no shortage of variety within Sanctus Diavolos.
Although this is an above average release, for whatever reason it just did not hold as strong as I was hoping it would. I can see myself pulling this out from time to time, but by no means was it as good as I was hoping for. It becomes a bit hit and miss with tracks, where some are quite strong, but others still have that filler feel to them. I also thought the production on this album took a step back from what was offered on Genesis. It feels rather thin at times and sometimes a bit raw, when in fact I think this band benefits from a much clearer production. All-in-all, not a bad album and definitely worth checking out, but not nearly has good as I was hoping for.