Rotting Christ – Lucifer Over Athens (Season of Mist)Tuesday, 20th October 2015
Probably a tad overdo for a live album, Greece’s Rotting Christ, for the better part of a few decades now, have come to embody the shape-shifting, in-focus, exotic ethos that resonates from their home country. They haven’t heightened their symphonic elements the way Septicflesh have, yet Rotting Christ’s recent output finds the band going in the opposite direction of the smooth, sleek, massively underrated song-first approach found on Triarchy of the Lost Lovers and A Dead Poem, two must-haves from the mid-90s. Being that they have quite a few studio albums to their credit, a proverbial live album makes way in the form of Lucifer over Athens.
A total of 31 songs are split over two discs, essentially covering all facets, nooks, crannies, etc. of the band’s career. Recorded over two nights in 2013 in RC’s hometown of Athens, for a live album, it has the necessary energy, most notably from an energetic crowd, entirely in tune with the crescendos, melodic climbs, and breaks that accompanying many of the band’s songs. Choice, worthy cuts include “Athanatoi Este,” “A Sorrowful Farewell,” “Among Two Storms” (both culled from the aforementioned A Dead Poem), and “The Sign of Existence,” pulled from the band’s early, venomous black metal days.
Considering the balance struck between all eras of Rotting Christ’s existence, Lucifer Over Athens has plenty to offer, not to mention some unheralded numbers like “The Nereid of Esgalduin” or “The Fourth Night of Revelation.” Praise for Rotting Christ’s catalog aside, Lucifer Over Athens should serve as a nice gateway into the band’s next studio album, titled Rituals, which is due early next year. A true, living, breathing Greek extreme metal institution, Rotting Christ are well worth your time, whether it’s a live album, or any number of full-lengths to their credit.