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True gothic black metal comes from Greece. - 100%

goflotsam, July 10th, 2019

Rotting Christ is a band that has generated a lot of controversy because of their name. But when it comes to the actual music, Rotting Christ has a more melodic approach to black metal. This is definitely true with their third album Triarchy of the Lost Lovers which blends their melodic black metal style with gothic metal. The amalgamation of the two styles would make Triarchy of the Lost Lovers Rotting Christ's breakthrough hit. It's also the band's first album with Century Media, which especially explains its significance.

The significance that Triarchy of the Lost Lovers has to black metal is immediately noticeable with leadoff track "King of a Stellar War". The song carries a melancholic atmosphere that is displayed throughout Triarchy of the Lost Lovers. It also displays some insane guitar play that could mistake people into thinking that this album is death-doom. "Archon" is an energetic number with blast beats present and some of the grooviest guitar riffing on Triarchy of the Lost Lovers. It could even pass off as a Heartwork-era Carcass song considering the overall tempo. "Diastric Alchemy" is a late album highlight that is a perfect example of the gothic metal style that Rotting Christ was willing to implement within Triarchy of the Lost Lovers. It's ethereal and breathtaking at the same time.

Even more relaxing is Necromayhem's guitar work as its polished and the riffs give you the impression of being on an adventure. His creative riffs on Triarchy of the Lost Lovers are likely inspired by the likes of Michael Amott as seen on "Snowing Still". Speaking of Carcass, Necromayhem doesn't rely on a tortured scream or a frog croak like many black metal musicians as his unclean vocals are more akin to those of Jeff Walker. Necrosavron's drumming stands out for a melodic black metal album as there are hardly any blast beats on Triarchy of the Lost Lovers. "A Dynasty from the Ice" is a perfect example of how black metal drummers don't need to be super fast to be good. Mutilator's bass playing is noticeably sludgy for black metal standards as cuts like "One with the Forest", which also have dissonance, are among the heaviest on the album. While his riffs are predominantly slow-paced, "Shadows Follow" display some of Mutilator's fast-paced riffing. Triarchy of the Lost Lovers also contains some of the best production within black metal music as tracks like "The First Field of the Battle" have the best atmosphere that Rotting Christ had in their early career.

It's not only atmospheric, it's also one of the biggest highlights in Southern European black metal. But what makes Rotting Christ's Triarchy of the Lost Lovers stand out compared to albums from the likes of Moonspell and Varathron is the band's knack for balancing the melodic and heavy parts on the album. Triarchy of the Lost Lovers is in my opinion, Rotting Christ's magnum opus as it's the perfect definition of the band's signature sound. It may not be as energetic as the black metal albums coming from the Nordic countries at the time, but it still makes up for it with crushing riffs that would make the devil cry. And when you know that devil's never cry, you know this is a masterpiece.