Revealing the Rotted Remains
CoC chats with Rotting Christ
by: Adrian Bromley
Mention the role of Rotting Christ and their black metal music in their homeland and they are praised as heroes - true victors of the BM scene over there. And that role of a triumphant BM band has slowly crept its way out of their homeland of Greece and into the world's metal scene. Praised for what they did with their other releases such as 1995's _Non-Serviam_ and their 1991 EP, _Passage to Arcturo_, their debut album for Century Media called _Triarchy of the Lost Lovers_ is a stunning blend of brutality and passion that rips and tears through nine epic songs. Much like what they have done in the past with their other releases, _TotLL_ showcases the deep rooted growls/vocals and crashing riffs that embedded the black metal stylings of Rotting Christ as fresh and innovative in their early days. As well, _TotLL_ finds them breaking in new musical directions/sounds, with more groove and substance to the material. Bassist Mutilator (the band is rounded out by guitarist/vocalist Necromayhem and drummer Necrosavro) corresponded with Chronicles of Chaos by mail about the new album, signing to a new label and their progression as a black metal band. Here is how it went:

CoC: Having your record put out by Century Media allows the album (Triarchy of the Lost Lovers) to reach a much bigger music buying public than in the past. Aside from more people being able to purchase the material, how else is signing with Century Media important for you?

Mutilator: For us, Century Media gave us a real good opportunity for our music to reach a lot more people and to escape from the underground limits. Of course, that doesn't mean we're not the same underground band that we were in the beginning. With Century Media, it is the first time we have worldwide distribution with our release, i.e. Japan and United States. This is also the first time we have had good support and advertising for a release and the first time we have really been supported in making the record. Comparing Century Media to our old labels (Osmose and Unisound) is like comparing day to night.

CoC: There seems to be a hard-working ethic of brutality meets passion on _Triarchy..._. Were those truly distant paths of emotions meant to cross? Opposed to what you have done before, how would you describe the material that makes up _Triarchy..._?

M: All our music is feelings, instincts and passions. It comes through us normally. After the thunder comes the calm. We want to paint pictures with our music. We want our listeners, when listening to the music, to be able to close their eyes and travel with it. It is hard to give a description of our music: it is full of emotions, full of inner freedoms, full of mysticism and wise occultism.

CoC: How important is it for you to have lyrics in your material, seeing that a majority if the album is encompassed by epic song structures? And where did the ideas for lyrics and songs come from?

M: Our lyrics are very important. Our influences are all around us. They are in the forests, in the space and in the beast within us. We want all our lyrics to have an epic touch but still be lyrical and an important part of the material. To somehow act like ancient tragedy or glorious Greek mythology.

CoC: Do you think _Triarchy..._ is significant of where the band is headed musically or do you think the band will evolve more musically as the next album is assembled?

M: I'm not sure of that. We are pretty happy and satisfied with _TotLL_ and we think that is what we wanted to create. Sure, we want to go further and that just takes time, time to allow us to research ourselves and what we want to do musically.

CoC: What problems (if any) did you face with putting this album out?

M: None. This was the first time we have ever made a record with no problems. Everything we did was well organized and professional.

CoC: Since your inception in 1987 the band has changed with your music and your outlook on the industry. Where do you think the band has changed the most? And the least?

M: I think every album is different but it still keeps the same core. Maybe with _TotLL_ we went a bit further, reaching more epic and progressive levels but it is still Rotting Christ.

CoC: Do songs and music come easier now seeing that you have been doing this for almost a decade?

M: No. It is harder to write material and let everything to come out on the paper. In the beginning we were satisfied with just straight songs. It changes nowadays and we really work hard with ourselves to write really good songs and keep the music strong.

CoC: Seeing that your music has been praised by critics and fans around the world, was there ever a time when the reviews or write-ups on your material seemed negative? If so, how did you get past that stage in your careers? How did you deal with bad press?

M: For sure. We get some bad reviews but not that many. If the review is written honestly, then it is okay for us no matter if it is a good or bad one. We really feel good and respect a good review, but sometimes the bad reviews written against us are well-organized against us by our ex-labels. Bad press means nothing for us. Compared to good press it is just like a drop of water in the ocean.

CoC: Are Rotting Christ still the "dominating force" in the Greek black metal scene? Any newcomers we should look out for? Favorite new bands (from any genre)?

M: I think we still are big there. There are a lot of good acts to look out for there. Some good bands include Varathron who have been around so long and have done well for themselves with their really emotional music. Another good band is Kawir. There are a lot of bands in and around Greece but no one really stands out right now as one to really watch out for. Some bands have followers but that is about it. For my last comment on this question, Greek does have a very strong scene, especially the power/epic/progressive music scene.

CoC: Any significance or meaning for the album title? If so, what? Also - how or why did Steven Kastner get chosen for the artwork? Do you think the artwork works well with the feel of the record?

M: That album title deals with the music situation nowadays. There are tons of new bands that say a lot of big words but give no shit when it comes to the music they create. We are still the same three members who started out this band and real lovers for what we have done in the past decade. As for the picture, it was in the office in Los Angeles and I think the nice artwork works well with keeping the spirit of the band and its music alive and well.

CoC: What experiences have happened to you along the way to where you are that has helped allow you to make your decisions more carefully?

M: We have learned that our old labels had a real bad attitude and were real unprofessional when it came to dealing with us and our music. We don't want to have that happen again and we are pretty confident that Century Media will do a good job with us - they already have.

CoC: Will the band tour North America seeing that you are now working with Century Media?

M: We hope so.

(article submitted 11/10/1996)

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