Rotting Christ - Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy
Season Of Mist
Dark Symphonic Metal
11 songs (55')
Release year: 2013
Rotting Christ, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Alex

Few metal fans do not know Greek flagship band Rotting Christ. Two and half decades in existence is a long time to be noticed. Many people prefer the Tolis brothers kept the band at their black metal roots, and I have a healthy amount of respect for that period of Rotting Christ myself. Yet the movement has been obviously afoot for a while to the realms more gothic, to something which can be broadly encompassed with the definition of dark metal. From that era Theogonia revived my interest in Rotting Christ, but Aealo was a bomb. Before diving into Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy I re-listened to Aealo again and can confirm that album is one fantastic vibrant dynamic monster. Many bands offer visions of war in their music. Bolt Thrower is a tank moving through the streets leaving nothing in its wake, Amon Amarth is a horde of Vikings running in shield wall half berserk, half drunk, but deep inside giddy and smiling in their war rage. Manowar is the ultimate Conan movie soundtrack. Without a weak song on it, Aealo then is a portrayal of a warrior real, ancient and prideful, grim, single-focused and determined, aware of his fate. All in all, Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy is no Aealo, although I did not intend to make a review of this album to be a comparison with its predecessor.

Staying within their latest dark metal paradigm, but now using the sound a bit more enveloping and symphonic, Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy pays homage to many ethnic cultures, ranging from ancient Maya (In Yumen – Xibalba) to Romanian (Cine iubeste si lasa) to extinct Sumerian (Gilgames) to Russian waterspirit (Rusalka). The opener In Yumen – Xibalba does burst off where Aealo left off after initial 2 min of ritualistic Maya brood and monk-like incantations. Yet even in the latter part of In Yumen – Xibalba the riffs are somehow less impactful and less vibrant than we heard on Aealo, despite an interesting guitar lead. A few cuts on Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy progress out of the stagnation, showing that restless can coexist organically with symphonic. Title track has more chaos in it, more blasting, more forward motion, but it does not reduce the impact of folk wind instrument carefully blended in towards the end. The better tracks on the album also coincide with Rotting Christ going with more rich guitar fabric (title track, Welcome to Hel), proving that choral and symphonic does not have to suffer when the band is remembering their basics. It is a shame then that some of the songs on Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy lean on rather generic power chording. If an approach like that works for the Cuban/Venezuelan/Che Gevara crowd square chanting in P’unchaw kachun – Tuta kachun, then it certainly makes the Latin choirs of Grandis Spiritus Diavolos and southern mystic of Iwa Voodoo sound, well, boring. You simply cannot pull off songs like this with simple rhythms and atmospherics, more is needed. And when more does not enter the picture on the epic hymnal 666, it sounds, I am sorry to say it, filler. There are moments on Kata Ton Daimone Eaytoy when stately becomes stale, and that is not a good thing.

Rotting Christ have progressed tremendously in terms of their sound production. Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy is more multi-layered than onion, and to balance everything to sound so rich took a lot of effort. The Greeks are also unrivaled in drum sound. The drums rhythms in Gilgames (reminding me of the Japanese war drum troop I heard once)are absolutely mesmerizing, and anyone needing a lesson in what these have to sound like has to devour In Yumen – Xibalba and Gilgames whole. Vocally, the album also produces a wide plethora of possibilities, often changing within a song. In Yumen – Xibalba goes from male chants (and I swear I hear Lucifer) to more familiar voice barking out commands. Ahura Mazda – Anra Mainiuu adds a deeper growlier voice to its mystery and creepy darker lines, while Cine iubesta si lasa offers that female Jarboe-like lament we heard on Aealo now coupled with a pulsating piano cleverly positioned right after the self-propelled title track. It is so unfortunate then, that Cine iubesta si lasa suffers from mid-way on with those plain uninteresting chords ruining a chance for some beautiful melody to emerge.

Perhaps I am being more critical than I should be to Rotting Christ. If we were dealing with some novice band putting out an album like Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy, we would be assigning them the Surprise of the Month label. Yet I expect more from the Greeks, especially after showing what they are capable of on Aealo. In that light Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy is a mild letdown. The band does not need to go chasing the laurels of Therion, and if they do, they certainly cannot forget that guitar grit and restive rhythms is what brought them forward thus far.

Killing Songs :
In Yumen - Xibalba, Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy, Ahura Mazdā-Aŋra Mainiuu, Welcome to Hel
Alex quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Rotting Christ that we have reviewed:
Rotting Christ - Rituals reviewed by Alex and quoted 80 / 100
Rotting Christ - A Dead Poem reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
Rotting Christ - Thy Mighty Contract reviewed by Tony and quoted 93 / 100
Rotting Christ - Aealo reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 100
Rotting Christ - Theogonia reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
To see all 8 reviews click here
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