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Rotting Christ - "The Heretics" (CD)

Rotting Christ - "The Heretics" CD cover image

"The Heretics" track listing:

1. In the Name of God
2. Vetry zlye
3. Heaven and Hell and Fire
4. Hallowed Be Thy Name
5. Dies Irae
6. I Believe
7. Fire God and Fear
8. The Voice of the Universe
9. The New Messiah
10. The Raven
11. The Sons of Hell

Reviewed by on February 18, 2019

"“The Heretic” is the proverbial middle finger to all their doubters and is in contention for best metal album of the year for this writer."

Rotting Christ doesn’t receive the love that they are entitled to. Sure, they have a large contingent of extremely loyal fans, make appearances at some of the largest and most popular metal festivals in the world. In addition, they have released twelve full-length albums to include their latest entitled, “The Heretics.” Even with all these accolades, there’s something still amiss. Is it because of their controversial name? Is it because they’re from Greece? Is it because Dave Mustaine said so? Whatever the reason is, it doesn’t really matter anymore at this point in their career. “The Heretic” is the proverbial middle finger to all their doubters and is in contention for best metal album of the year for this writer.

I’ve been a Rotting Christ fan for some time but I consider myself non-biased in regards to reviewing albums, so there’s no favoritism happening here. I will call out any of my favorite bands if they “phone it in” on a release. This is absolutely not the case with “The Heretics.” This might be Rotting Christ’s most complete album to date. All the Rotting Christ trademarks are there and then some. There are war marches, there are Grecian hymns, and even Sakis’ spoken word makes a cameo appearance for a phrase or two. “The Heretics” is probably the most hook-laden Rotting Christ album since “Aealo.” Tracks such as “The Time Has Come” and “Vetry Zlye” put this album over the top of their Mount Zeus altitude of releases.

One can only hope that with the release of “The Heretics,” Rotting Christ will reach a new level within the heavy metal cosmos. They deserve it. “The Heretics” is a testament to a band that has never listened to their critics and has created their own version of black metal much to the adoration of their most die-hard fans. S???a??t???a to Rotting Christ for creating their best album to date.

Highs: The musicianship is status quo for Rotting Christ, but the hooks are outstanding. Their most listenable album top to bottom yet.

Lows: There are none.

Bottom line: “The Heretics” is worthy of your undivided attention. There is no reason not to believe that a black metal band from Greece can’t share the throne with the heavyweights in the genre albeit, heavy metal in general.

Rated 5 out of 5 skulls
5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)