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Rotting Christ line-up, circa 1998. (Sleep of the Angels)

Rotting Christ
Origin Athens, Greece
Years active 1987 - present
Genre(s) Black metal
Death metal
Label(s) Season of Mist
Members Sakis Tolis
Andreas Lagios
Themis Tolis
Giorgos Bokos
Past members
Website(s) Official website

Rotting Christ is an Athens, Greece-based black metal band formed in 1987. They are noteworthy as not only being Greece's most well known metal group but rock band as well.

History

The permanent line-up consists of brothers Sakis Tolis (born June 29, 1972, Athens, vocals and guitar) and Themis Tolis (born March 28, 1974, Athens, drums). Andreas Lagios (born November 11, 1972, Athens, bass) has been the bassist since 1996. George Bokos joined as a guitarist in 2005, replacing Kostas Vassilakopoulos.

In their nearly two decades of existence, the band started as raw black metal, but utilized a "dark metal" direction on later releases, almost doing away the black metal title, but not compromising their extreme sound.

One of their first major appearances was on the 1993 "F*** Christ Tour" consisting of Immortal and Blasphemy. During this concert, some audience members had engaged in cutting and self mutilation that resulted in hospitalization.[1]. Before signing to Unisound, Mayhem's Øystein Aarseth had expressed interest in distributing the band through his "Deathlike Silence" label [2], but due to Aarseth's murder the same year, nothing materialized. The band would sign to Century Media in 1996 and remain on their roster for 10 years before joining Season of Mist.

Rotting Christ have played in many continents outside their native Greece, including both Americas, Greater Europe, Russia, the United Kingdom and the Middle East. Several heavy metal festivals around the world have hosted the band, including the 2003 Wacken Open Air in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Past tourmates have included My Dying Bride, Tristania, Tiamat, Vintersorg, Finntroll, Old Man's Child, Anorexia Nervosa, Vader, Krisiun, Deicide, Behemoth and Nile.

Publicity

Over the years, the group has faced some controversy due to their name, and gained international media attention in November 1999 during the 2000 United States Presidential Primaries for Republican Nomination, when candidate/Christian conservative Gary Bauer accused the band of being an "anti-Catholic" artist, among other things. In response to Bauer's criticism, Sakis wrote:

"Living in (so called) democratic societies, I think everyone should have the right to call religions as he/she wants. We in fact simply believe they are "rotting"! We are not a "satanic-crusader" type of band but rather one of the many bands that represent the dark side in nowadays Metal music." [3]

They also have had to cancel some shows, most recently in May 2005, when Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine refused to play at a Greek concert if Rotting Christ was on the setlist.[4]

Despite the name, the band's traditional lyrical themes involving evil and occultism has evolved more recently into a more "mystic" path [5], and they have altered their musical direction on each album, utilizing elements such as clean baritone vocals, doom, gothic metal and industrial music traits, and male/female Benedictine chants.

The group's choice of producers, engineers and mixers has also been varied; Swedish extreme metal figures Dan Swanö, Peter Tägtgren and Fredrik Nordström, German producers Andy Classen (Asphyx, Belphegor) and Waldemar Sorychta (Lacuna Coil, The Gathering) as well as Xytras (Samael percussionist/keyboardist) have all contributed to production on the band's albums.

As of 2007, Rotting Christ will have been around 20 years, one of the longest running bands in the black metal genre. The band recently recorded two shows in Larissa which will be featured on a live album slated for international release in early 2007, around the same time of their 9th album, Theogonia. They have also planned a global tour organized through Polish management agency, Massive Music. Carpathian Forest, Incantation, Malevolent Creation Mystic Circle and Neuraxis are projected to accompany the group on this tour. [6]

Band members

Current members

  • Sakis Tolis - vocals/guitar 1987-
  • Andreas Lagios - bass 1996-
  • Giorgos Bokos - guitar 2005- (permanent member)
  • Themis Tolis - drums 1987-

Past members

  • Kostas Vassilakopoulos - guitar 1996-2004
  • Georgios Tolias - keyboard 1996-2004

Discography

Full Length

Thy Mighty Contract

November 11, 1993
Osmose Productions
(re-released on Century Media,

January 20, 1998)

Non Serviam

October 10, 1994
Unisound
(re-released on The End Records,

January 24, 2006)

Triarchy of Lost Lovers

August 20, 1996
Century Media

A Dead Poem

October 7, 1997
Century Media

Sleep of the Angels

March 9, 1999
Century Media

Khronos 666

August 29, 2000
Century Media

Genesis

October 29, 2002
Century Media

Sanctus Diavolos

September 20, 2004
Century Media

Theogonia

February 6, 2007
Season of Mist



Demos, singles, and DVD

  • Declines 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 compiliation)
  • Der Perfekte Traum (1999) (single/Live)
  • In Domine Sathana (2003) (live DVD)

Links

Official

  • Official website

Online databases

  • Rotting Christ at MusicBrainz
  • Rotting Christ at Last.fm
  • Rotting Christ at Discogs.com
  • Rotting Christ at Encyclopaedia Metallum
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