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Pro Xristou Album Review: ROTTING CHRIST’s Unwavering Legacy Prevails”

Photo by © Chantik Photography

Pro Xristou Album Review Written By Tristan Cardinelli

Rotting Christ, the Greek pioneers of unapologetically anti-Christian black metal, have returned with their latest offering, “Pro Xristou” (Before Christ), challenging conventions and igniting controversy once again. With their distinct sound and fiercely provocative lyrics, Rotting Christ’s newest opus is sure to ruffle feathers. Yet, amidst the dissent, black metal enthusiasts are bound to embrace it wholeheartedly.

“Pro Xristou” sees the band continuing their trajectory, embracing clean, melodic baritone vocals infused with their distinctive signature Greek dialect, Benedictine chants, and a plethora of pinch harmonics. If you’ve found resonance in Rotting Christ’s later works like “Rituals” and “The Heretics,” this album will undoubtedly captivate you. The journey begins with the slow, atmospheric title track, setting the stage for what’s to come.

The Apostate” follows suit, blending melody with choral elements and spoken word passages by Sakis Tolis, creating a breathtaking sonic experience.

Like Father, Like Son” elevates the majesty further, transporting listeners to the breathtaking vistas of ancient Greece, while tracks like “The Sixth Day” provoke contemplation with their blend of beauty and religious critique.

As the album progresses, darker tones emerge with tracks like “La Lettera Del Diavolo” and “The Farewell,” taking listeners on an emotional rollercoaster. However, it’s “Pix Lax Dax” that stands out, with its subtle time changes, haunting squeal technique, and captivating chorus.

“Pro Xristou” solidifies Rotting Christ’s place in the metal pantheon, showcasing a renewed energy and confidence. Bonus tracks like “Saoirse,” “Primal Resurrection,” and “All for One” add further depth to an already impressive offering.

Despite their extensive discography and decades-long career, Rotting Christ remains at the top of their game by stretching limits and defying expectations.

Pro Xristou is steeped in fervent dissent against conventional religious dogma, echoing with subversive undertones and incisive critiques of established faith.

Sakis Tolis, the vocalist and guitarist, who has been one of the primary songwriters and driving forces behind the group, has propelled their career over decades.

“Pro Xristou” may not reinvent the wheel, but it’s a testament to the band’s enduring legacy and unwavering dedication to their craft. Whether you’re a longtime fan or new to their music, Rotting Christ’s “Pro Xristou” is a captivating journey into the heart of Greek black metal. And remember, if you ever get the chance, experiencing Rotting Christ live is an absolute must.

Pro Xristou is out now! Friday May 24th, on Season of Mist. 

Listen to Pro Xristou: 

Pre-order

https://redirect.season-of-mist.com/RottingChristProXristou

Pre-save

https://orcd.co/proxtristoupresave

Track-list

1. Pro Xristou (Προ Χριστού) (1:29)
2. The Apostate (5:01) [WATCH]
3. Like Father, Like Son (4:35) [WATCH]
 4. The Sixth Day (3:56)
5. La Lettera Del Diavolo (4:01)
6. The Farewell (6:15)
7. Pix Lax Dax (4:33)
8. Pretty World, Pretty Dies (4:51)
9. Yggdrasil (5:04)
10. Saoirse (6:17) [WATCH]
11. Primal Resurrection (Bonus Track) (5:32) – Only Deluxe Editions!
12. All For One (Bonus Track) (3:37) – Only Deluxe Editions!
Total runtime: 55:17

Style: Melodic Black Metal

In the dimly lit catacombs of extreme metal, one name stands as a monolith: ROTTING CHRIST. Sakis Tholis and his brother Themis started this band together back in 1987. In the three decades since, these Greek titans have left their blackened imprint all over the metal world. They’ve released 13 studio albums and played more than 1,300 concerts around the globe.  Underneath all this hard work, Rotting Christ have but one vision – an urge to not only push the boundaries of extreme metal, but to keep reinventing themselves along the way.

Rotting Christ’s evolution has unfolded across several distinct chapters. After starting out closer to the barely controlled chaos of grindcore, they went on to establish the iconic sound of Hellenic black metal. Their albums often embrace refined gothic soundscapes, only to plunge back into the depths of blasphemous fervour. Each chapter marked another, further exploration, and an unwavering commitment to push boundaries.

But the real turning point came in 2007, when Rotting Christ signed a pact with Season of Mist. They unleashed a series of albums for the French label that defied any and all expectations. From the piercing Theogonia and the symphonic grandeur of Aelo to the ritualistic intensity of Κατά Τον Δαίμονα Εαυτού, the cinematic experiences created by Rotting Christ became a spectacle of bombastic atmospheres, mesmerizing choirs, and neo-classical arrangements. The unexpected is their modus operandi, with the use of various languages (Latin, Arabic, Greek,  English) as well as the extensive use of famous poetry woven into their music, like Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Raven’ on The Heretics.

In 2019, Rotting Christ’s epic journey continued with The Apocryphal Spell compilation, which offers fans an intimate glimpse into unreleased and rare material. This allowed them to gather strength, preparing for the release of their next, highly anticipated, 14th full-length studio album: Pro Xristou.

Pro Xristou
 (‘Before Christ’ in Greek), serves as a fervent tribute to the last Pagan kings who resisted the onslaught of Christianity, guarding their ancient values and knowledge. In this thematic odyssey, intricately woven through tracks such as ‘The Apostate’ and ‘Ygdrassil’, Rotting Christ delves into the legacies of historical figures such as Flavius Claudius Julianus and Nordic mythological kings, embodying the might of Pagan wisdom in the face of Christian adversity. The album encapsulates the essence of Rotting Christ’s signature style – melodic, yet harsh at times – reinventing themselves yet again, while remaining rooted in their 35-year legacy.

Line-up
Sakis Tolis – Guitar, Vocals
Themis Tolis – Drums
Kostas “Spades” Heliotis – Bass
Kostis Fouk – Guitar

Guest Musicians
Amdroniki Skoula – Vocals (on ‘La Letra Del Diavolo’)
Nikos Kerkiras – Keyboard
Christina Alexiou – Choir
Maria Tsironi – Choir
Alexandros Loyziotis – Choir
Vasilis Karatzas – Choir

Andrew Liles – Narration (on ‘The Apostate’, ‘Pretty World, Pretty Dies’)
Kim Diaz Holm – Narration (on ‘Ygdrassil’)

Recording Studio
Deva Sounds Studios (Athens, Greece)

Producer
Sakis TolisSound Engineer
Fotis Bernando
Aggelos Karatzas

Mixing
Jens Borgen at Fascination Street Studios (Örebro, Sweden)

Mastering
Tony Lidgren at Fascination Street Studios (Örebro, Sweden)

Artwork Artists
Thomas Cole – Artwork
Adrien Bousson – Digital Processing

Biography
Sébastien J. Gamez 

Available Formats:
Digital Download
CD Digipak
CD Clamshell Box – Deluxe Digipak w/ Gold Foil + 2 Bonus
Tracks & Extras
12″ Vinyl Gatefold – Black
12″ Coloured Vinyl Gatefold – Crystal Clear
12″ Coloured Vinyl Gatefold – Crystal Clear, Red & Blue Mixed
12″ Coloured Vinyl Gatefold – Green
12″ Coloured Vinyl Gatefold – Turquoise
12″ Coloured Vinyl Gatefold – Yellow
12″ Coloured Vinyl Gatefold – Blue
12″ Coloured Vinyl Gatefold – silver & Black Marbled
Limited Box Set Vinyl – 12″ Gold & Black Marbled w/ Gold Foil + 2 Bonus Tracks & Extras
Cassette

Rotting Christ Online:

By Metal Lair

Propter Music Connoisseur, music for refined taste.

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