Rotting Christ's History (Biography)

Rotting Christ is a Greek black metal band formed in 1987. They are noted for being one of the first black metal bands within this region, as well as a premier act within the European underground metal scene.

Official site:


Genre(s): Black/Gothic Metal

Country: Greece

Show Date: September 4, 2010

Festivals: Global East Rock Festival 2010

Added by: TNRR

The permanent line-up consists of brothers Sakis Tolis (vocals and guitar) and Themis Tolis (drums). Andreas Lagios has been the bassist since 1996, taking the stead of Jim Patsouris. Nightfall's Giorgos Bokos joined as a guitarist in 2005, replacing Kostas Vassilakopoulos.

Three keyboardists had previously been a part of the band; George Tolias, George Zaharopoulos and a session known only as Panayiotis (on A Dead Poem).

Rotting Christ's Current Members

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

Former members:

  • Kostas Vassilakopoulos - guitar (1996–2004)
  • Georgios Tolias - keyboard (1996–2004)
  • George "Magus Wampyr Daoloth" Zaharopoulos - keyboard/backing vocals (1992–1994)
  • Jim "Mutilator" Patsouris - bass (1989–1996)
  • Panayiotis - session keyboard (1997)

During their rehearsal era in the late 1980s, the band began as grindcore and released various demos and splits with other bands from the Athens area. The group would later alter their sound with influence from proto-black metal bands like Celtic Frost and Venom, and in the process became one of the genre's instigators. Their 5 song demo, Satanas Tedeum, would show a grindcore/black metal crossover, followed by their career-breaking EP, Passage to Arcturo, in 1991.

Rotting Christ's Discography

  • 1993 - Thy Mighty Contract
  • 1994 - Non Serviam
  • 1996 - Triarchy of the Lost Lovers
  • 1997 - A Dead Poem
  • 1999 - Sleep of the Angels
  • 2000 - Khronos
  • 2002 - Genesis
  • 2004 - Sanctus Diavolos
  • 2007 - Theogonia
  • 2010 - Aealo

One of band's first major appearances was on the 1993 "Fuck Christ Tour" consisting of Immortal and Blasphemy. During this concert, some audience members had engaged in cutting and self mutilation that resulted in hospitalization. Before signing to Unisound, Mayhem's Øystein Aarseth had expressed interest in distributing the band through his "Deathlike Silence Productions" label, 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's Greeting for Global East Rock Festival 2010 Visitors

Rotting Christ have played in many countries outside their native Greece, including both Americas, Greater Europe, Russia, the United Kingdom, Malta 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, Agathodaimon, Old Man's Child, Malevolent Creation, Anorexia Nervosa, Vader, Krisiun, Deicide, Behemoth and Nile, among many others.

Over the years, the group has faced 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 "anti-Catholic", 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.

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 were on the bill.

In response to their forced cancellation, Sakis noted: «I didn't expect something like that from Dave Mustaine, because, you know, he's supposed to be metal — you know, 'metal band,' all metal ... I just feel sorry for him and for every new Christian with new ideas, because we think Christianity is the worst thing to happen in human history. This is a well-organized trick in order to control society, so when I see someone that's very much Christian, that's full of the system, I feel very sorry for him because he's not free.»

Anthrax co-founder Dan Lilker defended Rotting Christ and criticized Dave Mustaine's actions, as did Nevermore's Warrel Dane, whose bands appeared on Mustaine's Gigantour in 2005. Dane added: «Everybody is free to believe anything he wants to; I just think that Dave misunderstood the whole subject. I have met the guys from Rotting Christ and I don’t think that they are Satanists or something. I think that Dave overreacted on this.»

When playing in Malta, a country which in its constitution declares itself as Roman Catholic, trouble from the Church and other Catholic groups ensued when an unknown person stuck a Rotting Christ flyer to a church door. The band was allowed to play eventually even though they had to change venue.

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" by their label.

The group's choice of producers, engineers and mixers has also been varied; Swedish extreme metal figures Dan Swanö (Unisound), Peter Tägtgren (Abyss Studios) and Fredrik Nordström (Studio Fredman), German producers Andy Classen (Asphyx, Belphegor) Siggi Bemm (Therion, Theatre of Tragedy) 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 have been around 20 years, one of the longest running bands within the black metal genre. In celebration of the band's longevity, the 2 DVD + 2 CD compilation, "Non Serviam: A 20 Year Apocryphal Story," shot in Athens on December 8, 2007, was released worldwide February 23, 2009.

Aealo, the band's latest album, was released on February 15, 2010 for Europe and February 23, 2010 for the USA.

Source: ©

Official Rotting Christ's Video

Rotting Christ - After Dark I Feel
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Duration: 03:46
Rotting Christ - Keravnos Kyvernitos
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Duration: 04:22
Rotting Christ - Enuma Elish
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Duration: 04:40
Rotting Christ - Nemecic
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Duration: 04:17

Other bands that participated at the Global East Rock Festival 2010: Balfor, Bonfire, Cemetery Of Scream, Cruachan, Dark Tranquillity, Deviant Syndrome, Diablo Swing Orchestra, Eluveitie, Haggard, HammerFall, Infinite Tales, Kiss Forever Band, Manic Depression, Mayhem, Mnemic, Moonspell, Obituary, Oomph!, Preternatural, Sabaton, Sirenia, Sunrise, The Gathering, Venom, Vic Anselmo, W.H.I.T.E, Пилигрим.

Created At: September 22, 2010 7:49 PM Updated At: May 9, 2011 2:34 PM
Dark Tranquillity