Review by Aaron on November 27, 2004.
While Rotting Christ have yet to put out a bad album in my eyes, I along with many others have been a little disappointed with the roads taken away from the savage halcyon days of their purer Black Metal sound that started to head for Gothier pastures after Thy Mighty Contract. I’m pleased to say that with their 9th album Sanctus Diavolos that the band draws once more from their raw Black Metal beginnings. This is easily the most brutal album the band has put out in a long, long time. The first track “Visions of a Blind Order” starts with a black assault worthy of the likes of Mayhem and Darkthrone and it doesn’t prove to be an isolated event, “You My Cross” and “Shades of Evil” being other fine examples of synthesis between their demonic earlier sound and their dark Gothic later leanings.
For those who prefer Rotting Christ’s later endeavors, particularly Khronos and Genesis, you’ll be pleased that the more Gothic influences remain and stay strong as well, particularly in tracks such as “Sanctimonius” and the title track. Despite the departure of two of their long standing members within the past year, the tightness and overall focus of the band has not been lost. All the instruments involved carry their own weight superbly and the end result reflects that strength. The production on the album is great, giving a level playing field where everyone in the band comes through clearly with no muddiness and no one being left behind.
All in all, the freshness of the band’s sound with Sanctus Diavolos draws upon their capability to draw upon the strongest facets of their albums going all the way back to Passage to Arcturo and draw them together into an organic whole that I think would make for a very evil, pleasant experience for anyone who is a fan of the band for whatever reason and could easily provide new reasons to be a Rotter as well. For those who haven’t heard the band yet, I recommend picking up both Sanctus Diavolos and Thy Mighty Contract and working your way inwards from these two points, it’ll give you an interesting take on a damn fine band.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 7.2 out of 10