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Rotting Christ: Genesis

Although Greeks Rotting Christ had already garnered a fullscale repute as one of the leading bands in black metal by the time they had signed to Century Media in 1996 (CM also re-released their 93 slab Thy Mighty Contract), I've always suspected that their period cachet lay chiefly, althoughly not entirely, with being in the right place at the right time. That is, since 1996 and Triarchy Of The Lost Lovers, RC has broadened their stylistic palette, shooting skew to the general run of Scandinavian doom and gloomers with a distinctly southern European tone: sweet, acid melodic guitar lines, and a more esoteric approach to black metal thematics than the usual medievalist Christian occultism.

And while their 1998 release A Dead Poem stretched right past the usual Venom/Bathory/Celtic Frost influence to encompass strains of other kinds of darkness, including an almost Pink Floydian ambience, successive albums have truly defined RC as a band to be reckoned with as artists, beyond any kind of formulaic genre label. Genesis shows a further willingness to explore the borderlands between gothic rock, industrial/ambient/symphonic realms, as well as foregrounding RC's patented, massive thrash-styled riffage.

"Quintessence" stands out especially in the latter department, and "In Domine Sathana," which artfully invokes Jerry Goldsmith's Oscar(tm)-winning cues for The Omen without being pretentious about it, commands attention as a successful merger of metal with the requiem mass structure. The shrieking, howling electronic winds that prevail throughout the album; the spellbinding choral work, and a tight grip on the nuances of tension, sustain and release mark this release as a triumph of songwriting and performance. Sakis and Co. should congratulate themselves, and Genesis deserves a place among black metal's titanic albums.

Added: September 18th 2002
Reviewer: Alex S. Johnson
Related Link: Rotting Christ
Hits: 4371
Language: english

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