Rotting Christ
Pro Xristoy

35 years. Existence and longevity come from quality and excellence. Releasing album after album with diabolical precision has been the Rotting Christ ethic throughout their career, since 1988 when they were a Grindcore band and then transitioning to Black Metal in the early 90s with 1993’s Thy Mighty Contract, they have forged and put together a compendium for their staccato, razor-sharp approach to the Black Metal genre in those early days of the movement.

With groundbreaking albums including Non Serviam, A Triachy of Lost Lovers, A Dead Poem and Sleep of the Angels in the 90s, while the early 2000s ushered in a bit more Gothic Metal approach added to their Black Metal mixing bowl with Khronos (which is where they came under my radar).

Throughout the years of their existence, they have proven themselves and need absolutely no introduction at all. I got to see them in 2019 and they fucking killed, opening with “666” and going into “In Yumen Xibalba”… holy fucking shit! But I digress.

It was the Rituals album that ushered in a bit of a new sound for them, fueled by World Music beats and Banshee screamed female vocals from Diamanda Galás, making that album a more complex offering from the straightforward Black Metal of their previous releases. With The Heretics they continued with that sound, an amalgamation of Black and Gothic Metal that was an aural experience to behold.

35 years… Where does 2024 find Rotting Christ? With the absolutely magnificent Pro Xristoy. A culmination of mind-bending riffs from the blistering catalog that they have built. Beginning with the spoken intro of the title track weaving seamlessly into “the Apostate” riding a riff structure that reminds me of “Nemesis”, a flowing river full of corpses in a blackened hellscape, the main riff drawing you in with it’s vicious complexity. This slithering riff continues on into the next track “Like Father, Like Son”. These two tracks set the tone of the album perfectly, showcasing the Gothic Metal side of their Black Metal attack; mighty riffs delivered with malevolent focus. This is where Rotting Christ shines like Lucifer, they can lock into this groove that lulls you into a black cloak of near serenity before hitting your very soul with pounding drums sounding like the hooves of war horses.

“The Sixth Day” begins slowly with these ungodly perfect harmonies that would echo well within the walls of hell. The way Rotting Christ builds the tension in a song is like a suspense writer fucking with you and making you expect one thing only to get another.  Evoking the memory of “Κατά τον δαίμονα του εαυτού” staccato riffing gives way to “La Lettera del Diavalo” which is where this goddamn masterpiece picks up speed and then just starts hammering away, coupled with soaring female vocals coaxing a tiny bit of civility from the barbarism.

“The Farewell” and “Pix Lax Dax” set the stage for the rest of the album perfectly mixing blistering speed with rich, thick harmonies and soaring vocals, the music carrying you through the story of the album perfectly melding brutality and beauty in the darkness. The last three tracks: “Pretty World, Pretty Dies”, the immense, Godliness of “Yggdrasil” and the earth-moving heaviness of  closing track  “Saoirse”. These are ten tracks of raging, Grecian Black Metal with a haunting and beautiful black heart. 35 years of brutality wrapped in a cloak of triumph as Pro Xristoy ends and you hit play again.

With Pro Xristoy Rotting Christ have summoned every diabolical riff and slaying beat that their career has produced and culminated it into a pummeling, brilliant Gothic Black Metal attack on the senses. To say that I love this album is an understatement, I urge you, constant reader, to pre-order it. You will not be sorry.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jeremy Beck
March 25th, 2024

Comments

  1. Commented by: LongDeadGod

    I slept on this band for many many years until I saw them on the Devastation on the Nation tour with Borknagar. Such a killer band and clearly I made mistakes.


  2. Commented by: Erik T

    I was meant to go to that before covid nuked it, then never went to the rescheduled one- really wanted to see RC and Borknagar


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