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Rotting Christ – Sleep of the Angels

Indepth report on “Sleep Of The Angels”
Label: Century Media
Recording: Recorded in September 1998 in Woodhouse Studios, Germany
Production: Produced by Xy (Samael, Xytras)
Release dates: Europe: Jan 4th, 1999   USA: March 23rd, 1999  (nice to live in Europe, huh?!)

Review

When I first got this CD on my hands, I shivered. Thanks to Century Media and thanks to Ramón Porta from Spanish metal mag Metali-k.o. (for whom I do collaborate and for whom I built their homepage on the WWW), I got Rotting Christ (from now forth, quoted as “PX”; the Greeks will know why ;) )’s new album “Sleep Of The Angels”’s promo-CD one month before its official release.

“Sleep Of The Angels” contains 10 songs lasting as a whole 41’11”. Not too much time, but you feel satisfied after listening to it though.

The opening song is “Cold Colours”, a mid-tempo in which Sakis combinates two singing styles: his usual screamy vox with a more Gothic Peter Steeleish-styled voice (of course, that if it is Sakis who does that; I don’t know since the promo CD I have says nothing about the vocals). The same occurs on the second song. While he sings, the guitars continue their work as twisting snakes, very similarly to what did in PX’s previous masterpiece “A Dead Poem”. Guitar riffs go in the same vein of “A Dead Poem”, as shown in the third song, whose tempo is a bit faster. The fourth song “Der Perfekte Traum” (“The Perfect Dream”) is sung both in English and German, what adds a plus to the song. It looks like the most experimental song in this album, combinating agile guitar riffs with atmospheric and even industrial-like parts. A fantastic song indeed, that will give name to a 7-tracks CD single which will be edited soon as well. No wonder why they have decided to use Deutsch in a song: Their label is German, they recorded both “A Dead Poem” and “Sleep Of The Angels” in Germany, their producer is German-Swiss and it is in Germany (apart from their fatherland Hellas, of course) where PX have their largest ground and following.

The following song begins with a piano and Sakis’ whispers until the drums enter speeding it upper and upper till the guitars break out in another good load of riffs mixed with Sakis’ solos. Sixth song “The word made end” is by far the fastest one and the only one some could label as “black metal” (aprox.); it begins with a massacring cyclon of nervous whispers and accelerated drums, a speed that is held more or less throughout the number. Following begins track “Sleep the Sleep Of The Angels” with a mysterious wah-wah guitar effect until hardness and sharpeness appears. The song is classic PX-styled metal, just like following song “Delusions”, which is a bit slower. Number 9 and 10 finds PX providing good snakey riffs, songs which go in the same vein as those featured on “A Dead Poem”, the last song of the album finishing with a great synth effect.

You can’t help but wonder why “Sleep Of The Angels” was announced to be “the darkest release up to date for Rotting Christ”, when in reality it is, except for the vocals (a bit darker), just as colourful as “A Dead Poem”. Both “Thy Mighty Contract” and “Non Serviam” and even “Triarchy Of The Lost Lovers” were much more darker than “Sleep Of The Angels”.

So, a very good album which looks like “A Dead Poem II” and which means no big break for Rotting Christ. Instead it seems that the guys follow a coherent and right evolution regarding their music; which of course is great news. If you liked “A Dead Poem”, you will surely like “Sleep Of The Angels”. All in all, another great work for this legendary band of the European metal scene.

NOTE: Coinciding with its release, Rotting Christ will tour Europe with labelmates Borknagar and Old Man’s Child (sparks!)

Tracklisting:

  1. ”Cold Colours”
  2. ”After Dark I Feel”
  3. ”Victoriatus”
  4. ”Der Perfekte Traum”
  5. ”You My Flesh”
  6. ”The Word Made End”
  7. ”Sleep The Sleep Of The Angels”
  8. ”Delusions”
  9. ”Imaginary Zone”
  10. ”Thine Is The Kingdom”

Line-up on the album recording:

  • Sakis – Guitars, vocals
  • Kostas – Guitars
  • Andreas – Bass
  • George – Keyboards
  • Themis – Drums

Report by Metallykon, the mastermind behind Webzine Metalzin, Styx Productions, Antiquity, CyberWorks and Hades

 

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