By Laura Wiebe Taylor
Listening to the new Rotting Christ over and over, I like it, but I want to like it more than I do. Aealo is powerful and dramatic, sometimes violent, eerie, complicated or just plain straight-ahead catchy – a black-death fusion of metal and eastern folk. But there’s something that doesn’t quite click, or at least hasn’t yet. I came to Rotting Christ fandom slowly and rather late, so the new record doesn’t resonate with me historically the way it might for a longtime fan (see Metal George’s review). When I took a short break from it the only part that stuck in my mind was the unforgettable collaboration with Diamanda Galas that brings the album to a close. Going back to the record was a perpetual ‘oh yeah’ moment – finding I did remember every riff and every interlude and appreciated them all far more than I realized. But that Aealo love only lasts while it’s playing. As soon as the disc stops I start forgetting what makes it so good. Maybe this Rotting Christ works best as an immersive experience, with the amps cranked up loud.
(Season of Mist)