After devoting their previous two albums to exploring more accessible and intensely gothic sounds (without ever quite selling out, mind you), Greece's favorite sons Rotting Christ decided it was time to revisit the ferocious brutality of their raw primordial origins with 2000's Khronos -- or at least portions of it.
On the one hand, surprisingly blackened thrash-outs like "Thou Art Blind" and "Aeternatus" raged with a vicious aggression not heard since the group's uncompromising 1993 debut, Thy Mighty Contract.
On the other, less frenzied and insinuatingly melodic offerings like "My Sacred Path," "Art of Sin," and the title track retained the lessons learned during that recent discovery period, with largely positive results (a cover of Current 93's "Lucifer Over London" proved more divisive of fan opinions).
And somewhere in the middle, balanced efforts like "If It Ends Tomorrow" and "Fateless" tapped into both extremes in ways reminiscent of the band's best work on 1994's Non Serviam and 1996's Triarchy of the Lost Lovers.
So would future offerings, in fact, as Rotting Christ continued to experiment with different musical styles and influences, while keeping their boots firmly grounded in their much-loved black metal foundations.