Aealo, the 10th full-length offering from Greek extreme metal band Rotting Christ, is by far the most interesting listening experience we’ve encountered to date in 2010. It’s a coherent compilation of lush, passionate, densely layered songs that establishes a new milepost in Rotting Christ’s fascinating musical evolution. When the year ends, something tells us this album will still be in the forefront of our memory.
Thematically, Aealo is organized around concepts of battle, destruction, death, and mourning. And in exploring those subjects, songwriter (and vocalist/guitarist) Sakis Tolis has tapped into ancient Hellenic culture and events. More than any other Rotting Christ production, Aealo incorporates the sounds, rich musical traditions, and mythic history of the band’s homeland.
It accomplishes this feat in part by the use of guest artists, including a female choir from Ipiros called Pilades, Greek-American performance artist Diamanda Galas, and musicians from Greek pagan folk band Daemonia Nymphe. But while incorporating the sounds and ancient musical traditions of their homeland, Rotting Christ have not forsaken the powerful, signature style of their previous discography. Aealo is an intensely emotional and wholly remarkable blend of traditions, and we venture to say the result is like nothing else you will hear this year. (read more after the jump, and listen to a track from Aealo . . .)