Rotting Christ

Rotting Christ is a Greek melodic black metal band formed in Athens, Attica, Greece in 1987. They are noted for being one of the first black metal bands within this region. During their rehearsal era in the late 1980s, the band began as grindcore, but quickly shifted to playing black metal with a distinctive touch.

Despite the name, the band's traditional lyrical themes involving evil and occultism has evolved into a more "mystic" path, and they have modified their musical direction on each album, utilizing elements such as clean melodic baritone vocals, doom, gothic metal and industrial music traits, and male/female Benedictine chants. Recent albums, beginning with Khronos, have shown the band taking a more modern, faster and more aggressive approach to their blackened-gothic style. Their 2007 album, Theogonia, especially, has been described as more "atmospheric" and "epic".

In the beginning of the 90’s the members of Rotting Christ (which were now using pseudonyms such as Necromayhem (Sakis), Mutilator (Jim), Necrosauron or Sauron (Themis), typical for that era) fully dedicated themselves to the band. Greek label Decapitated Records (later known as Unisound Records) circulated their first mini-LP, the legendary “Passage To Arcturo” and Magus Wampyr Daoloth from Necromantia was added on keyboards. The band had not performed live up till now with the exception of gathering some friends to watch them practice in the studio, but in underground circles they are already considered a “cult” and “true” band. In synch with “Passage To Arcturo”, Decapitated Records released the 7” EP “Dawn Of Iconoclast” with two tracks, which the band had characterized as “disappointing concerning the production and generally a very rushed job”.

Also in 1991, Rotting Christ released a split 7” EP with Italian band Momentum. The band plays a new version of “Feast Of The Grand Whore” from the “Satanas Tedeum” demo. In 1992 they record their second official demo “Ade’s Winds” with two tracks, “Fgmenth, Thy Gift” and “The Fourth Knight Of Revelation Parts 1 & 2)". Although “Ade’s Winds” was available for sale through the band, it also functioned as a promo tape, which was sent to various metal labels.

The up and coming independent label Osmose Productions signed Rotting Christ under the condition that they release their first full-length album with them. The truth is that the band was in contact with Euronymous of the legendary Mayhem and he intended to release an album with Rotting Christ or a split LP with Burzum through his personal label, Deathlike Silence Productions.

The band's debut “Thy Mighty Contract” was released in 1993. The album established the band as one of the most worthy on a worldwide level. The band took part in the first ever black metal tour, the notorious Fuck Christ Tour including Immortal and Blasphemy (having released “Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism” and “Gods Of War” respectively). The Fuck Christ Tour was rather successful in gaining recognition for the band. This, however does not mean that there weren’t problems. “That tour was a Waterloo for us. The worst thing we could have done then. I had just finished the army and we took two session musicians on guitars and keys who got nothing to do with the band. We had no live experience; we didn’t have anything in common with the other two bands… It was a bad experience but 'what doesn’t kill you makes you strong'”, says Jim Mutilator in 1996.

The same year Osmose released the two track 7” EP “Apokathelosis” that includes a remake of “The Mystical Meeting” taken from “Passage To Arcturo” and the new “Visions Of The Dead Lovers”. Rotting Christ gave a live show on Greek soil in April of 1993, playing 5 tracks in a legendary concert together with Ancient Rites and Deviser at Agathi Club, Athens. Decapitated Records released “Passage To Arcturo” in CD format including two bonus live tracks, “The Forest Of N’Gai” and “Feast Of The Grand Whore” taken from the aforementioned concert. The band also opened for Samael in their one and only so far live show in Greece at Next club together with the Greek band Nergal. Greek Metal Hammer wrote: Rotting Christ, with a set lasting 30 minutes managed to enthuse the public as always eliciting endless amounts of applause and cheers. The band played new pieces from “Thy Mighty Contract” such as “The Sign Of Evil Existence”, “Transform All Suffering Into Plagues”, “Fgmenth, Thy Gift”, “Exiled Archangels”, the recent “Visions Of The Dead Lovers” and older ones like “The Forest Of N’ Gai”. Undoubtedly Rotting Christ gave a remarkable show and managed to attract the crowd’s interest”.

Meanwhile, the English magazine Kerrang! unjustly blasphemed Rotting Christ writing that they were involved with the satanic / right wing organization Inner Circle, known from the events in Norway in the early 90’s. “I don’t have a clue how our name got mixed up in this. Let me answer differently. Rotting Christ plays music and we want our fans to listen to us for our music, not for what we say or what we do” says Jim Mutilator in an interview from that time. Sakis made similar statements in 1997 to the Greek magazine Metal Invader and denied involvement once and for all.

As time passed the band had a falling out with Osmose Productions resulting in each complaining of the other. The collaboration dissolved at this point under a particularly heavy climate with Rotting Christ blaming the company for not satisfying the band’s needs while Osmose claimed that the group lacked professionalism. The war of words continued as the years passed however Osmose decided to never re-release anything that had to do with Rotting Christ. In the following months the band decided to sign on with Unisound. “Non Serviam” was released at the end of 1994.

The album has a characteristic sound of the Storm studio (which was essentially the band’s private studio) that marked the whole Greek scene. The minimal promotion abroad cost their fans the chance to hear this album. Actually, many people believed that Rotting Christ had broken up after “Thy Mighty Contract” since they never heard or saw “Non Serviam”. Sakis’ Necromayhem initiative led the band to Mexico in April of 1995 performing 2 live shows in front of over 2000 people. The bootleg video that exists indicates the incredible devotion and dedication of their fans. Rumors of the band appearing live in Greece were never realized. In Greek Metal Hammer’s “Best 100 Heavy Metal Albums” exclusive where readers were asked to vote for their favorites, “Non Serviam” came in 59th! “Thy Mighty Contract” was also placed in the top 200 in the same issue.

After “Non Serviam” MWD left the band because he felt that Rotting Christ's style didn’t represent him anymore. Bewildered with their relationship with Unisound, Rotting Christ recorded some new tracks and personally delivered the cassette to the German offices of Century Media and Nuclear Blast labels. Soon after they Century Media offered a 6-album deal. The band also had offers from other independent metal labels such as Avantgarde, Necropolis, Misanthropy etc. Rotting Christ finally chooses Century Media and signs.

In April of 1996, their new album “Triarchy Of The Lost Lovers” is released. Recorded for the first time abroad and with drums played by Themis Sauron, unlike with “Thy Mighty Contract”, and “Non Serviam” albums where a drum machine was used. Andy Classen of Holy Moses produced the album. Rotting Christ somewhat distanced themselves from the black metal sound that the 2 prior albums possessed and turned to more classic heavy metal-oriented style without losing the aggression.

During the recordings Sakis and Themis were infected with a childhood disease, the measles and this somewhat complicated their work. Their fame grew even more with their 2 month European tour together with brotherhood bands and labelmates, Samael and Moonspell. They played in 14 countries (Italy, Spain, France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany in the Out Of The Dark Festival with Theatre of Tragedy and Gorefest, Belgium, Holland in a festival with Amorphis and Therison, Czech Republic, Poland in a festival with Immolation and Cannibal Corpse, Denmark, Finland and Norway in the “Hell On Earth” festival). The tour was a great success. Unfortunately, the only member on tour from the band was Sakis. The rest of the members were session musicians since Jim Mutilator and Themis were unable to fulfill their obligations due to personal problems. On the second guitar was Kostas (ex Corruption member) and who eventually became a permanent member of Rotting Christ and Jim Mutilator left.

In September 1997 the band appears at the Open Air Festival at OAKA which was organized by Metal Invader magazine. This was a historic day for Rotting Christ as they played with Venom, the band that urged them to pursue music in the first place. In addition, Emperor, Theatre of Tragedy, Virgin Steele and Deviser took part. Here they played a good set and dedicated “Shadows Follow” to Jim Mutilator.

Next comes a headline European tour with support bands Old Man's Child and Sacramentum. The band had the chance to play in 12 countries, mostly for black metal audience both in small and big venues. After 25 days of touring the band returns in its homeland, Greece for a week in order to rest for the upcoming mini-tour in Turkey. They give 3 live shows (2 of them in Istanbul and 1 in Ankara) while the only foreign band that had ever given a concert in Turkey was Therapy?. “Music has no borders and we took a risk playing there, as we have done in the past, playing in countries such as Israel and Mexico” says Sakis in one of his interviews around 1997.

A rather extreme incident happened during their visit in Turkey: members of the extreme right wing Turkish organization “Grey Wolves” were waiting the arrival of the band at a record shop that an autograph session would take place, with intention to attack them. Fortunately, the police authorities managed to block the aforementioned persons, hours before Rotting Christ visited the specific shop.

The 3 Turkish dates were of great importance for the band since over 1000 persons attended each show. Next came another European tour with Tiamat for 20 more days. In October, Rotting Christ gives a historical show to Athens famous Rodon Club, being the first Greek metal band to appear live as a headliner in the specific venue. Support bands were the Greeks Order of the Ebon Hand and Exhumation.

The next step of the band was to compose a new album. It was finally released in January 1998, entitled “Sleep Of The Angels”. Keyboardist Panayotis leaves Rotting Christ and new member George replaced him. “Sleep Of The Angels” is a step forward for the band that has added many gothic elements but it still remains a metal album from the first to the last second. The fans’ reactions are once again overwhelming and Rotting Christ's audience is broadened. Some older fans still complain about the fact that the band keeps composing music much different from its early material, but one can hear some elements of their black metal past in tracks like “The World Made End” or “Delusions”. “Sleep Of The Angels” leads the band to its first world tour ever. First comes a massive European tour with Deicide, Ancient Rites, Aeternus and Behemoth. Then Rotting Christ travels to the USA for a multi-city tour. The band toured in a small personal van while Themis and Kostas drove without even having a driver’s license! The band moves on to conquer other countries of Latin America like Colombia and Brazil. In Mexico, a 6,8 R earthquake leads to Themis getting injured but fortunately not seriously and leaves the whole band shocked. Afterwards, Rotting Christ returns to Greece to end the tour with a very successful show at Rodon Club and a small tour in the Greek country.

The summer of 2000 marks the release of the new “Khronos” album. Already before its circulation, the band lets it be known that the forthcoming opus is a very deep album with intense black metal feeling . Indeed, “Khronos” includes pure black metal tracks like “Thou Art Blind”, “Aeternatus”, “Glory Of Sadness” and in general, the album transcends a black feeling that was more or less absent in “Sleep Of The Angels” and “A dead” albums. Recordings took place in the Abyss Studio with Sakis producing the album, in collaboration with Peter Tagtgren from HYPOCRISY.

A headline European tour follows together with support acts Vintersorg, Madder Mortem and Tristania, as well as many concerts in various other countries. The tour ends once again with a sold out live concert at Rodon and a mini-tour in the rest of the country.

The next year and a half the band retreated from the public eye dedicating themselves to creating its seventh studio album, which sees the light of day in late August this year. Recorded in Stage One Studios (like “Triarchy Of The Lost Lovers” album in 1996) with Sakis and Andy Classen being responsible for the production. “Genesis” marks the return of the cult, original old-Rotting Christ logo! The music is reminiscent of the band’s early period in tracks like “Daemons”, “Lex Talionis”, “In Domine Sathana”, “Ad Noctis”, “The Call Of The Aethyrs” but with a modern aesthetic. The outcome is dark and harsh without lacking melody and the classic heavy metal feeling the band incorporated in its music during 1997-1998.

Two years later the band comes up with a new release , the ninth album in their career called Sanctus Diavolos. It is the first time that the production has been exclusively taken care of by Sakis. Theogonia followed, recorded at SCA Studios in Greece with bandleader Sakis on production and mixing and mastering duties.

Rotting Christ after 20 years are still alive and more productive and refreshed than ever and with their activity the world can witness the Black Cult is still alive.


Full length

Thy Mighty Contract (1993)
Non Serviam (1994)
Triarchy of the Lost Lovers (1996)
A Dead Poem (1997)
Sleep of the Angels (1999)
Khronos (2000)
Genesis (2002)
Sanctus Diavolos (2004)
Theogonia (2007)
Aealo (2010)
Κατά τον δαίμονα εαυτού (2013)

Demos, singles, and DVDs

Decline's Return (1988) (demo)
Leprosy of Death (1988) (unofficial demo)


The Other Side of Life (1989) (EP split with Sound Pollution)
Satanas Tedeum (1989) (demo)
Passage to Arcturo (1991) (EP)
Split with Monumentum (1991) (split)
Dawn of the Iconoclast (1991) (EP)
Ades Wind (1992) (demo)
Apokathelosis (1993) (EP)
The Mystical Meeting (1997) (single/live/cover compilation)
Der Perfekte Traum (1999) (single/Live)


In Domine Sathana (2003) (live DVD)
Non Serviam: A 20 Year Apocryphal Story (2009)


Thanatiphoro Anthologio (2007)

Text bereitgestellt von lastfm