Alcatraz Line up: 2019
Black metal is often viewed as a Scandinavian invention but there’s this Greek band that might have something to say about that. Rotting Christ formed in 1987 and played a pioneering role in the development of the black metal scene in Mediterranean Europe. Rotting Christ started out as a grindcore band but by the time their first EP ‘Passage to Arcturo’ (1991) dropped, their sound had taken a turn towards black metal, with gothic metal elements being introduced from the mid-90s onwards. Rotting Christ are not a satanic band as the lyrical focus is mythology and the occult. However, they are not afraid to experiment as illustrated by the generous use of female choirs on ‘Aello’ (2010). The band around the Tollis brothers partly reinvented itself on the excellent ‘Kata Ton Daimona Eautou’ (‘Do What Thou Wilt’), with catchier and more easily digestible extreme metal. On their latest masterpiece ‘Rituals’ (2016) they strike off in search of dark rituals and cults around the globe with tracks that transport the listener to ancient Greece, India and Palestine to name but a few. Their triumphant show in Antwerp last November reconfirmed their status as one of the most exciting extreme metal bands around. Check out ‘The Heretics’, out on 15 February 2019!