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Rotten Cross - Diabolical Cataclysm Review

by Matt Hensch

Black metal is one of those "hit or miss" type of genres. Either you can make amazing music, or you can screw up and make crap. One of the bands that has thankfully been making decent music in the American underground is Rotten Cross, but Rotten Cross is a different kind of black metal. Unlike most black metal bands, Rotten Cross have created a unique sound of goth influenced black metal that plays out perfectly.

The instrumental work portrayed on "Diabolical Cataclysm" is superb. The guitar work ranges from the typical amounts of black metal riffs, to more experimental varieties combined with melodic touches and even the occasional hint of thrash. Unlike most other black metal bands, Rotten Cross tends to use a large amount of solos in their music. The solos are usually pretty short, but they give off an interesting look of how black metal can be done. The amount of keyboards used in "Diabolical Cataclysm" is a key factor in the music, mainly because Rotten Cross's style along with the keyboards include a good amount of goth in their music. Tracks like "Infernal Winter Beasts" and "Aim To Demise" have a gothic feel to them because of the keyboards and it blends in well with the music. One of the best songs on "Diabolical Cataclysm" is the piano driven "Not Every Pain Hurts," which is a total gothic laden hybrid ballad that takes a nice break from the other songs. Singer Listan has the perfect voice for this band. Listan's shrieks are just as evil as they are good, but he has other pleasant vocal features beside the screams. On "Not Every Pain Hurts," Listan uses a haunting whisper then blends in perfectly with the doomish piano work.

Rotten Cross impressed me with "Diabolical Cataclysm." Rotten Cross isn't a typical black metal band. The mixture of goth and black metal pay off to make a good album that is surprising and fun to listen to. Rotten Cross is a band that black metal and goth fans are going to want to look into.

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Rotten Cross - Diabolical Cataclysm


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