After 25 years together, many metal bands settle into a comfort zone and stick with a sound they’ve developed over the decades. Not Athens, Greece’s Rotting Christ, who continue to discover new approaches to sonic blasphemy. The band’s 11th full-length, Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy (which translates to the Aleister Crowley motto “Do what thou wilt”), takes its title seriously, not just from a lyrical perspective but also from a creative standpoint. Rotting Christ have come a long way since their formation as a traditional black metal band. Grinding guitars and blast beats are no longer the cornerstones of their sound, they’re just some of the elements used to convey Rotting Christ’s messages of individuality. “In Yumen Xibalba” features chanted vocals and a twin guitar lead reminiscent of Iron Maiden, while “Grandis Spiritus Diavolos” dabbles in the gothic and theatrical. “Kata Ton Demona Eaftou” blends black metal ferocity with elements of folk, Pagan and power metal and “Cine Lubeste Si Lasa” opens with frenetic classical piano runs and spiritual female operatic vocals before bursting into a trudging tribal paen.
A natural evolution from the band’s last two releases, 2007′s Theogonia and 2010′s Aealo, Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy should be a welcome addition to the collections of those that have enjoyed listening to the band develop over the past half-decade. Even casual fans should rejoice to the range of sounds on the album, from the thunderous blast beats, bestial vocals and rapid-fire guitar licks of “Gligames,” to the Arabic crooning in “Ahura Mazda-Anra Mainuu.” Whether Rotting Christ are exploring world music, gothic, black metal or (gasp!) melodic metal, Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy is unified by the band’s penchant for sinister, cinematic sounds, leaving no question which path Rotting Christ are invariably driven towards. As the mighty Slayer once proclaimed, evil has no boundaries.