ROTTING HEAVEN – For the Greater Glory…
The Russian black metal combo that lurks about in the underground and sports the name Rotting Heaven released this gem of an EP late last year via Death Knell Productions, and it is well worth checking out if morose (orthodox) black metal turns you on. Truth be told, it is one of the most interesting black metal releases that I have had the (mis)fortune of listening to for some time now.
What is characteristic of Rotting Heaven is the insane and intense riffing as well as the brilliant way in which these guys manage to weave all these melodies and melodic parts together with sinister and complex riffs. The music is dark and the atmosphere is pitch black, and there is a greater sense of variety and appeal to "For the Greater Glory…" than most other black metal releases out there. For one thing, the musicianship is strong while the band’s compositional skills are clearly above average. In some ways, "For the Greater Glory…" brings to mind Abigor’s excellent "Fractal Possession" album in a few places, which must be due to the rather complex and convoluted riffs that permeate Rotting Heaven’s music as well as the diversity that is on display on this EP. All those variations and changes totally work in its favor as it never becomes dull or uninteresting to dig into. Every time I listen to it I discover all these wicked nuances and subtle details that add new layers to the music. The vocals are very good in that they are both aggressive and convincing. None of that wimpy vocal shit that some fuckers confuse with proper black metal vocals. In the universe of Rotting Heaven, the vocals are treated as an instrument as opposed to something that you just slab on top of a bunch of riffs. Actually, the vocals kind of remind me of that excellent Polish band named Kriegsmaschine, and now that I think about it, one can definitely compare parts of "For the Greater Glory…" to Kriegsmaschine’s "Altered States of Divinity" album, musically and lyrically. That is meant as a big compliment. I also love the fact that the bass is so upfront in Rotting Heaven’s claustrophobic and otherworldly soundscape. Man, if only more black metal bands out there were capable of writing and arranging songs like these guys do! Before I forget, the third and last song on the EP is a cover of French band Christicide’s "Faith and Bloodstench" that is very well-done.
"For the Greater Glory…" is an awesome EP that ought to appeal to all you lovers of black metal out there. The songs are memorable and captivating yet complex and challenging too. There are plenty of morbid riffs, epic melodies, insane vocals, and satanic lyrics to keep you listening to this excellent release many times over and leave you feeling that you have yet to decipher it completely. This is Russian black metal at its finest.