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Hellenic metal for the screen - 88%

CannibalCorpse, May 18th, 2009

Back in 2003, Rotting Christ released their first DVD, aptly titled „In Domine Sathana“, proving that their excellent sound could also work on the screen. The main part of this DVD is the a show in Poland, recorded in 2002, followed by additional material, recorded from various shows in 1996 and 2003.

The image quality of the shows is a little grainy, the camera angles aren't always satisfying (in the main part) and the fans were clearly waiting for a different band to enter the stage, therefore their lack of activity is a little frustrating and seeing that the band put a lot of effort into their individual performances makes it only more annoying. The tracklist is good, but I'd have loved to see some more material from their greatest records (the first three full-lengths). The bulk of the songs here comes from „In Domine Sathana“ and „Khronos“ - both excellent full-lengths, but the former is not exactly the most fitting release for live-shows, as the title track and „Under the Name of Legion“ don't really work well in a live environment.

Apart from that, the band members themselves are very active on the stage and try to make the best out of the uncomfortable crowd situation. Sakis delivers an excellent vocal perfomance and shows his great guitar skills without skipping a note, Themis' drumming is precise and solid at all times and Andreas' bass playing does satisfy as well; the only part of the lineup that's struggling a little is Kostas, as one can hear a few mistakes in his playing (mainly in the older material, he wasn't part of the band pre-1996) here and there.

Overall, an interesting watch, but what makes this DVD truly worthwhile is the show in Cracow, 1996. Back in a time, where Necromayhem, Necrosauron and Mutilator Jim annihilated the stages of Europe together, some of the best songs of RC's career were recorded and with the release of this DVD, fans were finally able to visualize the greatness of their first magical records in live form.

All 6 songs from that era are timeless classics and sound at least as good live as they did in the studio, some of them maybe even better. „Transform All Suffering Into Plagues“ has a different solo here which adds even more sorrowful melodies to the song, a thing which I thought wasn't possible! You just have to experience these live songs yourself if you call yourself a Rotting Christ fan.

At times the professionalism of this DVD stumbles a little, but the overall impression of this release is a lasting one. Fans should get this thing for the 1996 show alone, but the rest of the material is worth a purchase as well.