You want testimonials? While campaigning for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination, Project for the New American Century contributor and pro-family careerist Gary Bauer called Rotting Christ a "homosexual music group" and accused them of promoting "anti-Catholic garbage." Five years later, born-again Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine refused to share a bed—er—concert lineup with the black-metal trailblazers. And those are just the mustard on the Satanburger's pickle. Since forming in 1987, the Athens, Greece-based legends have won lovers (mostly European) and haters (mostly American) by the truckload—sometimes even for music-related reasons. Theogonia seems destined to tip the scales in favor of the fans. Newly released worldwide by indie-metal behemoth Century Media, the band's 11th album is awash in trickery surprisingly bedazzling for hellhounds of their vintage. Not that Rotting Christ's bedrock values have changed much: The Gothic, doom, and folk elements co-founding sibs Sakis and Themis Tolis first introduced in the '90s still enrich the quartet's BM marrow, as do chanting, clean vocals, and heavy atmospherics. Theogonia simply offers the most inviting whole to date. Openers Immolation, Belphegore, Averse Sefira, and D.I.M. threaten to open exactly the kind of portal the headliners require. 18+.
Sat., Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m., 2008