Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2017
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

A sign of evil excellence... - 99%

CannibalCorpse, August 1st, 2006

Thy Mighty Contract - an album that gets praised by many of my fellow blacksters, but is still fairly unknown compared to the so-called "cult" Scandinavian albums.

The Greek Black Metal scene has forged it's own path into the metal territory since their early beginnings. Many bands and solo-artists from Greece have called it quits during the late 90s, but the Greek spirit still stands strong amongst those from the north. There might not be as many musicians who play this kind of black metal anymore, but the audience interest has steadily risen in the last few years, so the scene is far from dead. Still, sometimes one of the primary roots of this unique style has been forgotten - Thy Mighty Contract.

While Rotting Christ's earlier EP "Passage to Arcturo" already showed a few hints of what was to come, this album was the one that set the ball rolling.

Lightning fast, razor-sharp guitar riffs that are often harmonized, supported by slower powerchords, which are played in a sometimes even Doom metallish manner, are used to create a very special atmosphere. Another important point in Rotting Christ's music is the bass. It's not only here to support the guitars, it often plays it's own distinctive lines, which gives the album a very organic feel.

The vocals range from quite low, raspy death metal growls to inhuman sounding high screeching that is able to send chills down your spine. There are also a few very tasteful spoken passages.

A drum machine was used for "Thy Mighty Contract" but it doesn't distract from the listening pleasure at all. It might not be very technical or overly special, but the machine never misses a beat and it sounds fairly real. The drumming has rarely been a major part in the Greek BM scene.

Lyrical expression has always been a major part in Rotting Christ's music. The lyrics on Thy Mighty Contract are very mystical and fit very well into the general sound scheme.

Some of this album's finest moments are, for example, the middle spoken passage in "Exiled Archangel" (one of the best Rotting Christ songs ever written). It might be a simple instrumental break, but I've rarely heard anything so emotionally impressing. It makes you stand up and shout "I name you under our cult!" with Sakis.

...and finally, there is ONE song that summarizes everything that is Rotting Christ:

"Transform All Suffering Into Plagues"

It has it all. Slow, haunting melodic passages with subtle keyboards in the background. These riffs are so moving you won't believe it until you heard it. Then, about one- and a half minutes into the song, it suddenly stops and a very fast tremolo-picked riff comes in. It's the perfect riff for the lyrical content about slaves being tortured and begging for their death. It's fast, melodic, later harmonized and just plain awesome. The song also contains a fantastic solo, which you'll probably air-guitar to immediately when you hear it. The vocals are generally very low and evil sounding in this song. I love them. I can't do anything but praise this excellent work of art, it's probably my all-time favourite Rotting Christ song.

Trust me, I've been trying to find any flaws in this masterpiece, but I only found one minor one, the song "Dive the Deepest Abyss". It's one of the slower songs on the album and tends to plod along for a bit. It doesn't contain enough variation to be truly great. It's still a very good song, but not up to par with the rest of the album.

Other than that, Thy Mighty Contract is simply a flawless display of Black Metal art. It is one of my two absolute favourite albums (Triarchy of the Lost Lovers being the second) and I recommend it to anyone interested in Black Metal, melodic or not.

Highlights:

All, and especially "Transform All Suffering Into Plagues" and "Exiled Archangel"