Review: "Thy Mighty Contract" by the Greek Death Metal Band Rotting Christ
Rotting Christ Band Logo
Introduction to the Album Thy Mighty Contract and the Album's Cover
In my long musical journey and after the exploration of so many parts of the heavy metal genre, Greece’s band Rotting Christ stands out to me not just as their best dark heavy metal band ever but I think that these guys need more coverage. Their debut album called Thy Mighty Contract released in 1993 is a pretty darn good example of early black metal. From the beginning as the atmosphere for the album builds up, we can see that this is not going to be the usual Rotting Christ band that many of the fans including myself are used to.
If this album is any indication, from the first song called “The Sign of Evil Existence” you get the feel that this album is going to be of a very dark tone not only lyrically but the guitars let you know that as well. Lyrically, he second song reminds me of the Greek myths as there is a reference made to the underworld.
The cover for this debut album will turn off some music listeners that are sure to object to the graphic nature of it. The cover of the album shows three images of a man that has been crucified and the other image that we see is more than likely that of an evil beast. Just as they tell us not to judge a book by its cover, the same can be said about a musical album. Don’t judge the quality of this debut album by what you see on its cover.
How is Thy Mighty Contract an Example of a Black Metal Album?
One way to notice that the album is black metal is to pay close attention to the drum sound. The vocals of Sakis Tolis are low but they are less raspy in this album and in some ways rougher than we would hear just a few short years later in 1997. The pounding drums that are incessant in this album show that this is indeed a black metal album. Even if the mood of the album is dark, it should be easy for the average fan of the genre to handle it.
"FGMenth Thy Gift"
What is One Con or Disadvantage to the Album?
The riffing by the third song is similar to early Florida death metal but keep in mind that Rotting Christ was formed back in 1987 and they released this debut six years later. However, one of the cons of this album is that there is too much of a tendency by Sakis Tolis to chant or say the word “ahhh” as if he is struggling to get it out of his vocal chords. There is a good symphonic section in this song though.
The Significance of the Album Thy Mighty Contract
"Exiled Archangels" is a pounding black metal song that is about a cult following of angels that have been exiled. Thy Mighty Contract is certainly not the first instance of a black metal album being filled with lyrics that are against Christianity. Don’t Break the Oath which came out in 1984 made the genre really popular with the lyrics and King Diamond’s sometimes falsetto style voice which had a touch of opera in it.
How is the Rest of the Album Thy Mighty Contract?
"Dive the Deepest Abyss" is a song that makes reference to a “red ocean” that seems to have no bottom in it as there is a way for the possessed to discover a new world. "The Coronation of the Serpent" is a black metal song about the coronation of a king that is a serpent. Those of us that have read the Bible know the symbolism and the significance of the serpent. The serpent symbolizes a very evil kind of temptation that unfortunately Adam and Eve caved into.
However, the bottom line is that of all the releases by this band, Thy Mighty Contract is the band’s weakest moment musically. The lack of variety in the album as well as the very negative lyrical content do not do this album much good and will bring the score and or rating down considerably.
Final grade for Thy Mighty Contract as of this first review
75 out of 100 points (C)
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2018 Ara Vahanian