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Thy mighty album! - 90%

black_reviewer, January 14th, 2010

In their desire to get a good contract and international distribution, the Rotting Christ boys decided in the early nineties, to drive an old car all the way from the sunny Aegean shores into deep Europe, in order to hand copies of their demos and EPs to every record label imaginable. A trip without any warranties of success, yet at the same time, a trip representing a leap of faith. Because it worked. Legendary Osmose Records became interested in the art of these Greeks, and offered them the long awaited contract as well as the chance of debuting with a full length at international level. The first spawn was named Thy Mighty Contract.

This album marks a giant leap compared to their previous opus, the now cult classic Passage to Arcturo EP, because the compositions were improved, achieving glimpses of the sophistication that would come in the future, either like in Coronation of the Serpent or the slow and melodic section of Transform All Sufferings Into Plagues; and that’s without saying a word about the production and mastering, which were also superior.

The album was well received by the local Greek scene and by the first international fans that came to know the band. The secret for success was in the shape of black metal with a sound way ahead of its time (with this I mean that it was well produced, contrary to the lo-fi school created by Mayhem, Burzum, Darkthorne and many others who were making it at the same time). In addition, there was a key element: musical eclecticism. Not everything was blast beating and blasphemy in the second wave of black metal. Thy Mighty Contract is a great example of how to combine aggression with melodic lines of deep feeling, and making the effort fit in structures full of changes that sound natural, being Fgmenth Thy Gift a great example.

The inclusion of top notch guitar solos was also an aspect which set this band apart from the homogenous black metal surface.

Slow riffing that is sometimes dark and full of cadence is almost visionary, because it evocates something poorly developed or non existent at all at the time: gothic metal. And despite everything, the sound is not primitive if compared with what came later on, since the addition of soft and well positioned keyboards, has granted the band from the very beginning, a dark aura of refinement and classiness.

Archetypal album, which should not be missing from the collection of any fan, and above all, a great display of the quality in the Greek scene.

Originally submitted to (http://www.metalicos.com) on January 13th, 2010.