|Review: Rotting Christ - Genesis|
Label: Century Media Records
Year released: 2002
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: January 27, 2003
Reviewed by: Scott Murray
Rated 3.7/5 (74%) (10 Votes)
The latest from Greece’s neo-black metal band Rotting Christ is my first encounter with them. I have to say, this album left me a bit torn in trying to pinpoint my opinions on this rare kind of hybrid sound. We’re not just talking about variation within the music hear; lead man Sakis’ vocal range can have him shifting from a raw black metal approach to a synthesized clean style reminiscent of dramatic 80’s pop songs. Actually, I was quite surprised to find that this band was of Greek origin since the majority of the clear vocals are sung with an accent that makes them identical to Till from Rammstein’s voice.
Genesis, at its core, is highly produced black metal music. Upon this foundation is built the atmospheric industrial vibe of bands like Skinny Puppy and Front 242 topped off with Rammstein’s forceful repetitiveness in the crunching riffs beneath cycled verses.
The first half of this album fascinated me despite its flaws. Ghostly choir chants (this album is loaded with them) infused into the vicious black metal bridges.
With so much going on you can’t help but stand back and realize that each different sound you hear up until In Domine Sathana is fighting to gain your attention. The vocals are stiff and hover over the blasting drum work while some really unique, catchy riffs get lost in the crowded fray. The guitar work is probably my favourite part of this album. Unfortunately, they are the underdog in this production. Even the lengthy solo in Ad Noctis is buried beneath the clean-cut percussion.
As I mentioned above, the first half consists of this scattered battle for the listener’s ears; the second half draws such a distinct division from this that you’ll think you’re listening to a different album from the band. The songs start getting terribly predictable: slow, fast, slow, fast, etc…
Despite its length, Genesis really does fly by you in a blink. The word I would use to sum up this effect is “tease.” The songs play as if they are building up towards something, when often times they will just end suddenly or draw you into another musical bridge that encourages continued waiting for the “big moment.”
I really do like the concept behind Rotting Christ. It’s nice to see such an ambitious originality within modern metal musicians. But on the other hand, this production reeks of an ego trip.
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Interview with Sakis Tolis on January 20, 2013 (Interviewed by D "Chris" Carter)
Interview with Sakis Tolis (vocals, guitar) on March 11, 2010 (Interviewed by Michel Renaud)
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