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Rotting Christ Celebrates 35 Years Of Inspired Modern Black Metal Greatness On Pro Xristou

Artwork by Thomas Cole 

You know when you’d get this big assignment in school with a hella far in advance due date and you’d let it sit because you have “plenty of time” to finish but before you know it you’re like days away from the release, um, due date and you’ve found that you’ve done diddly squat despite the fact that you’ve listened to the album, we mean, reviewed the materials over and over for the past two months leading up to that pending date? Yeah, we don’t know what we’re talking about either.

What we do know is that there is a new Rotting Christ album here and we have definitely not had the pleasure of listening to it a LOT over the past month or so+. Anyway, fresh takes are the best anyhow and when it comes to “fresh” nothing comes close to Pro Xristou, the 14th full-length from the legendary Greek metallers who also happen to be celebrating their 35th year as an entity! And like any kind of anniversary-related record, Pro Xristou is almost akin to a “Best Of” in that it’s this culmination of the band’s varied styles that they’ve either honed or adopted over the years and gives fans kind of this “ultimate” Rotting Christ album.

The title track is an opening dirge with those droning Doom stylings that became prevalent on 2016’s Rituals followed by “The Apostate” acting as a celebration of those anthemic Black Metal offerings found on 2004’s Sanctus Diavolos. And from there on, it’s just a merging of all those sounds and just the things that make Rotting Christ so iconic turned up to “11”. “Like Father, Like Son” is a crushing stomp with Sakis and Themis Tolis’ guitars and drums running in sync with Kostis Foukarakis’ leads accenting the mood, “The Sixth Day” is another guitar wailin’ slow burn, and “La Lettera Del Diavolo” welcomes back frequent guest Amdroniki Skoula on vocals for a gnarly shredder.

Deeper in, “The Farewell” is soaked in Goth with a steady rumble emanating from Kostas Heliotis’ bass as Sakis screams cry out while “Pix Lax Dax” bings back the choir (Christina Alexiou, Maria Tsironi, Alexandros Loyziotis, Vasilis Karatzasand) and revisits thematic elements that have permeated Pro Xristou. “Pretty World, Pretty Dies” is a steady riff factory with plenty of guitar wails and Sakis’ uncanny growl barking at the pulpit with the choir elevating the atmosphere, “Yggrasil” is a penultimate track that pummels rhythmically with Themis especially bombastically bashing away as “Saorise” brings about a true celebratory final lap on a closing track that is just classic Rotting Christ through and through.

Pro Xristou is out now through Season Of Mist. You can get yours in a variety of options when you head here or click on the stream below. For more from Rotting Christ, follow them across their socials by heading here, here, or here. And if you want more insight into the new record, check out our recent interview with Sakis Tolis here.

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