Rotting Christ

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Greek band formed in the year 1987 by singer and guitarist Sakis Tolis, bassist Jim and his brother drummer Themis Tolis. At first the trio played a roaring mixture of Death Metal and Grind. Only one year later the band recorded their first split 7″ EP with Grindcore act SOUND POLLUTION. In 1989 their first official demo was unleashed upon an unsuspecting world. This notorious five-track under the name “Satanas Tedeum” witnessed ROTTING CHRIST turning towards an incredibly dark and violent Black Metal sound. With this demo the Greeks established themselves firmly in the underground as one of the originators of the second wave of Black Metal – a fact easily forgotten in the face of later Scandinavian domination. In 1991 ROTTING CHRIST had scored a local record deal and released their famous “Passage to Arcturo” EP. This 7″ featured NECROMANTIAs Magus Wampyr Daoloth on keyboards, who later returned on “AEALO”. With this guest appearance the Greeks clearly demonstrated once more that they have never forgotten their roots. Later in 1991, the “Dawn of the Iconoclast” 7″ followed as well as a split EP with Italian band MONUMENTUM. Changing to an international label, ROTTING CHRIST saw their debut album “Thy Mighty Contract” appearing in 1993. This classic work defined the so-called “Greek sound of Black Metal” and gained them worldwide attention. ROTTING CHRIST took part in the notorious Fuck Christ Tour with IMMORTAL and BLASPHEMY, which quickly earned them even more recognition and caused their label to release the two-track “Apokathelosis” 7” EP. Returning for a contract to a native company for their next album “Non Serviam” soon proved an obstacle for ROTTING CHRIST. “Non Serviam” came out late in 1994, but unfortunately wasnt largely available abroad until Season of Mist reissued it many years later. The Greeks still scored a six-album deal with a major German player in the underground. “Triarchy of the Lost Lovers” hit the stores in 1996. After a two-month European tour together with label mates SAMAEL and MOONSPELL, the bands fame grew again. Kostas from CORRUPTION joined as a second guitarist and eventually became a permanent member of ROTTING CHRIST.In August 1997 “A Dead Poem” continued this Greek success story. Andreas took over the duties on bass, while Xy from SAMAEL played the keyboards and also produced the album. After a headlining European tour with OLD MANS CHILD and SACRAMENTUM, the next album was eagerly received by fans and press in January 1998, entitled “Sleep of the Angels”. This release was followed by a massive European tour with DEICIDE, ANCIENT RITES, AETERNUS and BEHEMOTH and several shows in the USA. In the spring of 2000, Sakis self-produced next album “Khronos” at the Swedish Abyss Studio in close collaboration with Peter Tägtgren from HYPOCRISY. After yet another successful tour, ROTTING CHRIST spent their next year and a half in retreat. The band dedicated themselves completely to the creation of their seventh studio album “Genesis” (2002) and the live DVD "Live in Viena" in 2003. Recorded in Stage One Studio with Andy Classen (HOLY MOSES), “Genesis” was a dark and harsh album, but not without the melodies and the classic Heavy Metal vibe the Greeks had incorporated into their music during the late nineties. The same feeling still emerges from the “Sanctus Diavolos” album (2004). At this time Costas left ROTTING CHRIST and was replaced on guitar by George. Despite the long and productive cooperation with their previous label, ROTTING CHRIST felt the need for a change and signed to Season of Mist. In January 2006 Season of Mist re-released the bands early classics “Passage to Arcturo” and “Non Serviam” in a 2CD set including bonus material. One year later, “Theogonia”, the first album for their new label, scored a massive hit. This rare gem gained them highest accolades from critics and fans alike. The Greek Black Metal veterans added an unmistakable native element to their sound, which gave their tenth release a very distinctive and individual twist. As “Theogonia” climbed high in many top lists of 2007, the career of the Greeks reached a new peak, which also led to a high demand of their anniversary live DVD “Non Serviam – A 20 Year Apocryphal Story” in 2009. It is common knowledge that a masterpiece can hardly be surpassed. Yet ROTTING CHRIST performed this close to impossible feat: in February 2010, “AEALO” strengthened all the features that made its predecessor so glorious. The Greeks drew heavily from their countrys ancient heritage and then went to translate this rich history into the universal language of Metal. Their distinct sound and riffing was transformed by traditional female lamenting choirs and ancient reed pipes as well as folkloristic melodies and rhythms into something fresh and fascinating. ROTTING CHRIST invoked their brotherhood in spirit with equally individualist groups like PRIMORDIAL. This bond was illustrated by a stunning guest perform