Sound — 6
Considering you could go to any country short of the Vatican and find at least one greasy-haired mongrel windmilling to Cannibal Corpse, it's surprising that serious extreme metal is so unresponsive to the influences of far-flung cultures. There are some notable exceptions and there are all sorts of sounds finding their way into folk metal (for example), but once you turn up the extremity it becomes difficult to diversify. Esteemed Greeks Rotting Christ have been trying to change that in recent years, not only bringing their own background with them but sampling flavours from all over the world as a part of their brand of metal, not quite black and not quite anything else.
The problem with "Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy", like most of their efforts in the last few years, is that something always gets lost in the translation. The deep ritualistic chants don't always mesh with the blastbeats and the other little bits and pieces, strings and pianos and what I think might be a digeridoo at one point, are too infrequent to be much more than a passing fancy. Sepultura's "Roots" had a similar problem, taking on so much influence from a disparate genre of music that the metal itself became rather simplistic. That's kind of what Rotting Christ have had to do to a lesser extent. Most songs run off of one simple theme or idea which is then played or decorated in different ways a drum groove on "Grandis Spiritus Diavolos", a small group of notes on "P'Unchaw Kachun" and effectively just a punctuated drone on "Iwa Voodoo". They just don't want to leave that root note. "Ahura Mazdā-Aŋra Mainiuu" clings to it for dear life and by my estimations the groovy and thoroughly unpronounceable "Χ Ξ Σ" pounds on that Bb for about five-and-a-half minutes - the track isn't much longer than that.
Lyrics — 6
I think it emphasizes my point about inaccessibility that this album is sung in several different languages, and as such large swathes of listeners won't have the foggiest what's going on. Those swathes include me and I'm sure the majority of UG readers will feel the same if they try to make sense of it. Sakis Tolis is on good form vocally but frankly, he's got such a massive and diverse supporting cast of wailers, chanters and mildly incensed monks that it hardly matters on some songs.
Overall Impression — 5
Fans of what Rotting Christ have been doing on "Aealo", "Theogonia" and "Sanctus Diavolos" will not be perturbed by what they find on this, but at the same time they may feel that they're losing their bite little by little each time around. "Kata Ton..." is an interesting and in some ways commendable deviation from the norm of extreme metal in general but it's far from their best work, and it's not a sound that's going to conquer an audience that expects things to be done in the accepted way.