ROTTING CHRIST

Melodic Black Metal / Black Metal / Grindcore / Gothic Metal • Greece
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ROTTING CHRIST was formed in 1987 with the original line-up Sakis (vocals, guitar), Jim (bass), Themis (drums) incorporating a roaring mixture of death metal and grind (a style that was at its height in the rest of the world at that time except, of course, Greece). Early on ROTTING CHRIST produced two informal recordings (“Decline’s Return” and ‘Leprosy Of Death”) which basically consist of rehearsals and are not considered official by the band. Let it be noted that ROTTING CHRIST were particularly young (around 16 years old). In 1988 the band recorded their first split 7” EP with Yhorypansi (aka Sound Pollution) which includes 9 of their songs! Naturally the style is grindcore as is the lyrical side (for example “Asthmatic Apoplexy”, “Myxomycetes Attack”, “Thyrotoxicosis”, “Artificial Hypertrophy”). This particular year, the band decided to dedicate itself solely to black/death metal following the footsteps of Bathory, Venom, Possessed and Celtic Frost. read more...
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ROTTING CHRIST Discography

ROTTING CHRIST albums / top albums

ROTTING CHRIST Thy Mighty Contract album cover 3.12 | 4 ratings
Thy Mighty Contract
Black Metal 1993
ROTTING CHRIST Non Serviam album cover 3.50 | 4 ratings
Non Serviam
Melodic Black Metal 1994
ROTTING CHRIST Triarchy of the Lost Lovers album cover 4.00 | 8 ratings
Triarchy of the Lost Lovers
Melodic Black Metal 1996
ROTTING CHRIST A Dead Poem album cover 3.80 | 10 ratings
A Dead Poem
Gothic Metal 1997
ROTTING CHRIST Sleep of the Angels album cover 4.00 | 4 ratings
Sleep of the Angels
Melodic Black Metal 1999
ROTTING CHRIST Khronos album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Khronos
Melodic Black Metal 2000
ROTTING CHRIST Genesis album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Genesis
Melodic Black Metal 2002
ROTTING CHRIST Sanctus Diavolos album cover 3.71 | 7 ratings
Sanctus Diavolos
Melodic Black Metal 2004
ROTTING CHRIST Theogonia album cover 4.14 | 7 ratings
Theogonia
Melodic Black Metal 2007
ROTTING CHRIST Aealo album cover 4.00 | 6 ratings
Aealo
Melodic Black Metal 2010
ROTTING CHRIST Κατά τον δαίμονα εαυτού album cover 4.19 | 10 ratings
Κατά τον δαίμονα εαυτού
Melodic Black Metal 2013
ROTTING CHRIST Rituals album cover 3.90 | 6 ratings
Rituals
Melodic Black Metal 2016
ROTTING CHRIST The Heretics album cover 4.55 | 6 ratings
The Heretics
Melodic Black Metal 2019

ROTTING CHRIST EPs & splits

ROTTING CHRIST The Other Side of Life album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Other Side of Life
Grindcore 1989
ROTTING CHRIST Passage to Arcturo album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Passage to Arcturo
Black Metal 1991
ROTTING CHRIST Rotting Christ / Monumentum album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rotting Christ / Monumentum
Black Metal 1991
ROTTING CHRIST The Mystical Meeting album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Mystical Meeting
Black Metal 1997
ROTTING CHRIST Out of the Dark - Live Compilation album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Out of the Dark - Live Compilation
Melodic Black Metal 1997
ROTTING CHRIST Der Perfekte Traum album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Der Perfekte Traum
Melodic Black Metal 1999
ROTTING CHRIST Rotting Christ / Negative Plane album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rotting Christ / Negative Plane
Black Metal 2012
ROTTING CHRIST Promo 1995 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Promo 1995
Melodic Black Metal 2013

ROTTING CHRIST live albums

ROTTING CHRIST Lucifer Over Athens album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Lucifer Over Athens
Melodic Black Metal 2015

ROTTING CHRIST demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

ROTTING CHRIST Leprosy Of Death album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Leprosy Of Death
Grindcore 1988
ROTTING CHRIST Decline's Return album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Decline's Return
Grindcore 1989
ROTTING CHRIST Satanas Tedeum album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Satanas Tedeum
Black Metal 1989
ROTTING CHRIST Ade's Winds album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ade's Winds
Black Metal 1992

ROTTING CHRIST re-issues & compilations

ROTTING CHRIST Passage to Arcturo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Passage to Arcturo
Melodic Black Metal 1991
ROTTING CHRIST The Mystical Meeting (1995) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Mystical Meeting (1995)
Black Metal 1995
ROTTING CHRIST The Mystical Meeting album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Mystical Meeting
Melodic Black Metal 1997
ROTTING CHRIST Passage to Arcturo + Non Serviam album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Passage to Arcturo + Non Serviam
Black Metal 2006
ROTTING CHRIST Thanatiphoro Anthologio album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Thanatiphoro Anthologio
Black Metal 2007
ROTTING CHRIST Semigods Of The Serpent Cult album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Semigods Of The Serpent Cult
Melodic Black Metal 2009
ROTTING CHRIST Early Days - Tape Series album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Early Days - Tape Series
Black Metal 2012
ROTTING CHRIST Αποκαθήλωσις album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Αποκαθήλωσις
Black Metal 2012
ROTTING CHRIST 25 Years: The Path Of Evil Existence album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
25 Years: The Path Of Evil Existence
Melodic Black Metal 2014
ROTTING CHRIST Old Coffin's Tapes album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Old Coffin's Tapes
Black Metal 2016

ROTTING CHRIST singles (2)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Dawn of the Iconoclast
Black Metal 1992
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Αποκαθήλωσις
Black Metal 1993

ROTTING CHRIST movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
In Domine Sathana
Melodic Black Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Non Serviam - A 20 Year Apocryphal Story
Melodic Black Metal 2009

ROTTING CHRIST Reviews

ROTTING CHRIST The Heretics

Album · 2019 · Melodic Black Metal
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Kev Rowland
I was fairly late hearing Rotting Christ for the first time, but even I have been a fan for twenty years now. It is incredible to think that Sakis Tolis (vocals, guitars, keyboards) and his brother Themis (drums) formed this band as long ago as 1987, and now in their thirty-second year they have surely produced an album which is going to make the metal world sit up and take notice. The Greeks have brought in a couple of guests to help out and have then somehow produced one of the most incredible melodic black metal albums I have ever had the privilege to hear. The album opens with monks in their cloisters, a voice describes heretics, and then suddenly the band are crunching into “In The Name of God”. This is one of the most blistering, melodic and heavy black metal numbers I have come across as the riffs blast through in perfect unison, crunching everything into mush beneath the sheer power.

It is an incredibly brutal album, yet it is wrapped in symphonic majestic black metal power, a real iron fist inside a silk glove as it is incredibly commercial yet totally uncompromising all at the same time. That this has been picked up by music buyers and has catapulted it into charts all over the world is not a surprise to me, as any metalhead who hears this (no matter what subgenre they normally listen to) will just be blown away. Irina Zybina makes her presence felt on “Vetry Zlye” with some delicate additional vocals, adding yet another touch of class to what to my ears in a faultless album. I have been playing this a great deal, and I just can’t tire of it, each and every time I listen to it I am blown away by the sheer scale as this is something that feels to be far more than just music. This is a real force, an artistic creation which is monstrously beautiful. Now if only they could tour down here so I can hear this in the live environment then it would feel complete. This is one of the most important albums within this genre ever released, as it cuts through and across so many areas and is an amazing achievement.

ROTTING CHRIST Passage to Arcturo

EP · 1991 · Black Metal
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siLLy puPPy
After forming in 1987 in Athens, Greece and releasing a few abysmally sounding demos (“Decline’s Return,” “Satanas Tedeum” and “Leprosy Of Death”) as a grindcore band which were so horribly produced that they literally sound like someone swallowed a microphone and we’re hearing the digestive process, ROTTING CHRIST debuted their first official release PASSAGE TO ARCTURO in 1991.

This debut EP shows the band evolving past their generic grindcore beginnings and entering the contemporary trend of second wave black metal. ROTTING CHRIST was one of the first bands in Southeastern Europe to emerge as a black metal band and this short but sweet EP shows the band in a transitory stage as it still has grind influences but was channeling its sound to correspond with early Darkthrone but even at this stage they were setting themselves apart.

The original EP was only released on vinyl with six tracks but was released a couple years later on CD with bonus tracks which include the mini-EP “Dawn Of The Iconoclast” which contains the two tracks “The Nereid Of Esgladuin” and “Viscious Joy And Black Delight,” and also includes the track “Feast Of The Grant Whore” from the first official demo “Satanas Tedeum.” On my CD there is a title track that starts off the album which i’m not sure where it came from and it replaces the original opening track “Intro - Ach Golgotha” which is an atmospheric build up of dungeon synth sounding ambiance with monks chanting faintly in the background while monstrous sounds emerge from the depths of hell. It’s pretty cool and i’m not happy that they left it off the newer editions.

So in effect on the CD version which is probably the only one you can find these days, you will get a clear picture of how the band was changing it up in the early days trying to grasp onto a sound all their own which on this one is a mix of old school death metal with second wave black metal. Unlike many contemporaries the band was already utilizing melodic counterpoints to the harsh bombastic metal riffs as on “The Old Coffin Spirit” that has keyboards and female vocals accompanying the black metal riffs. At this point the percussion merely accompanies the riffs and there are no blastbeats or technical wizardry of any kind. The focus is on brutal guitar riffs and atmospheric accompaniments with their occult themes and lyrics which are unintelligible.

It’s interesting to compare the bonus tracks that are taken from the early demos as they show how quickly the band was evolving. I was initially surprised that i liked this one so much because i always found their full debut album “Thy Mighty Contract” to be a little too generic for my tastes. PASSAGE TO ARCTURO is a much more varied and diversified affair with interesting songwriting, great guitar work and spooky atmospheric additions that work in tandem with the eerie imagery of the album cover. There are hints of their future here as well as there are melodic piano runs, spoken word chants and some of their familiar interplay between the instruments as well as the unique vocal growls of Sakis Tolis (known here as Necromayhem.)

This first release is light years beyond the awful and forgettable demos and more interesting than the full length release to follow. If you like early melodic black metal with that underground early 90s appeal then PASSAGE TO ARCTURO won’t disappoint and an excellent gateway into their early years as it also contains just enough earlier material to give you a taste of how far the band has taken their sound over the years.

ROTTING CHRIST Rituals

Album · 2016 · Melodic Black Metal
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siLLy puPPy
It’s hard to believe that a black metal band like ROTTING CHRIST has been around almost thirty years now having formed all the way back in 1987 starting out sounding like most other early second wave black metal acts of the day. However despite their nascent extreme metal sounds of the early years, even then they had a knack for blending melodic developments with crushing riffing brutality. Fast forward to 2016 and the band which is now reduced to brothers Sakis Tolis (vocals, guitars) and Themis Tolis (drums) as the core creative force have aligned themselves with bassist Van Ace and guitarist George and they have at long last unleashed their long awaited followup to “Κατά τον δαίμονα εαυτού.”

RITUALS is their 13th full studio release and pretty much takes the epic atmospheric approach on black metal in yet another direction. While the previous album focused heavily on folk fusion aspects incorporating non-metal instrumentation such as bagpipes and horns, RITUALS sticks to the traditional metal arrangement of guitars, bass and drums along with some sick production and delivers yet another highly brilliant fusion feast of extreme darkened metal. This one also has a handful of guest vocalists including Vorph from Samael, Nick Holmes from Paradise Lost, Magus from Necromantia, Kathir from Rudra and traditional vocal appearances from Danai Katsameni and George Emmanouil. I lied. There actually is one bagpipe appearance on the traditionals.

RITUALS starts with “In Nomine Dei Nostri,” a strange black metal stomping chant that sounds like cheerleading Orks in the halls of Mordor. The album generally speaking begins sounding like a continuation of the previous album and precedes into folk musical styles not of the Greek and Balkan styles and finishes sounding more like in the doom and goth metal realm at times reminding me of My Dying Bride. The album simultaneously takes the approach on “Κατά τον δαίμονα εαυτού” and marries it with the early sounds of the band. While the previous few albums had an intense delivery that married the fast and furious with the Balkan folk traditions, RITUALS seems like it delivers more Scandinavian folk styles with ROTTING CHRIST’s early second black wave approach for much of the album. There is also a traditional Indian track “Devadevam” sung in Sanskrit i assume and “Elthe Kyrie” features Girogos Nikas and Konstantis Mpistolis delivering an intense guitar solo exchange.

While not a symphonic album per se, all the extra instruments on board adopt a symphonic veneer with lightning fast guitar chords acting as atmospheric generators, vocalists counterpointing the main melodies and of course the black metal usual suspects of blastbeats, shrieked vocals and crushing guitar riffage. Additionally there are also poetic spoken word segments such as on “Les Litanie De Satan” from Charles Baudelaire’s “Les Fleurs Du Mal.” RITUALS sees many languages on board including their native Greek, Hebrew, English, French and Sanskrit. The rituals of course embrace their usual Satanic themes and goes down a similar path of Behemoth’s “The Satanist” in more than a few ways however in a much more diverse musical manner. While i’m certainly not interested in such themes personally i also don’t mind other’s obsessions with such occult themes. The lyrics like many extreme metal albums are impossible to comprehend without reading the accompanying liner notes so it is the music first and foremost that keeps me interested.

Many of these rhythms have a marching rhythm followed by a cacophony of black metal exchanges and the production is top notch as is the songwriting. Personally i don’t like this as much as the last few albums as i feel it has lost some of the overwhelming intensity and originality that those albums incorporated in mixing the black metal aspects with the Balkan folk elements which worked so well together. While the approach on RITUALS may not muster up enough mojo to dethrone those albums as my absolute favorites in the ROTTING CHRIST discography, RITUALS is a strong album in its own right keeping a satisfying pace from beginning to end with absolutely no unnecessary tracks derailing the flow of the album. ROTTING CHRIST is an exemplary example of an extreme metal band that i much prefer the newer more sophisticated sounds in comparison to the past comparatively less developed albums. For those who are keen on this newer era of RC’s career then RITUALS will not disappoint as it packs a serious enough punch to satisfy the black metal addicts while creating newly constructed atmospheres with the help of an army of colleagues to ensure a larger than life creation.

ROTTING CHRIST Theogonia

Album · 2007 · Melodic Black Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Although ROTTING CHRIST is categorized usually as black metal it definitely has elements of death metal woven into the mix but apart from the marriage of those two metal styles what stands out more on their ninth album THEOGONIA (Greek for “Birth Of The Gods”) is how they infuse the folk music of the Balkans and their native Greece into the tapestry of their songwriting while still maintaining the fury and bleakness of black metal with the incessant brutality of death metal. There is also a touch of goth to the mix but beginning with this album RC also added symphonic elements at times giving this more of an atmospheric feel than previous albums.

Despite all these influences it is really the songwriting, the delivery and performance that makes this an excellent album. It takes all the elements of disparate aspects of music and puts them together into a cohesive whole sound that RC makes all their own. The primary goal here to is present a melodic experience and on that front they truly accomplish their goal. Comparisons to Viking metal are well founded since like their Scandinavian counterparts they incorporate the rich diverse sounds of their Greek heritage into the music and lyrics to the point that even the guitar solos remind me of a folk diva and even as the album ends and the metal drops out we get some medieval Eastern Orthodox chant stuff as the closing sounds leaving you with a timeless yet modern feel to the whole thing.

ROTTING CHRIST Κατά τον δαίμονα εαυτού

Album · 2013 · Melodic Black Metal
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Warthur
Rotting Christ, on their latest album, play a melodic style of black metal which feels at parts like a black metal answer to the "death 'n' roll" pioneered by the likes of Entombed some way back, fusing as it does black metal themes with more conventional hard rock and heavy metal compositional and performance styles to form an intriguing fusion. Invoking the demons of a wide range of cultures over the course of the album, Rotting Christ eschew the narrow cultural windows that many black metal bands establish for themselves in favour of a world-encompassing vision of evil. Fun times, fun times.

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