Rotting Christ - Thy Mighty Contract
Osmose Productions
Depressive Black Metal
10 songs (35:25)
Release year: 1993
Rotting Christ, Osmose Productions
Reviewed by Tony
Archive review
Rotting Christ have always been a very reliable band. Search them on this site and you'll see that all 4 albums reviewed here are peaking above 90. I purchased this album not knowing much about the band, and never really giving them a shot. I must say, while Rotting Christ may not be my cup of tea, Thy Mighty Contract did enough to keep me intrigued, given the fact that I have a very open mind when listening to all forms of music.

I can usually develop an opinion pretty rapidly upon the first listen or so, but with this, Rotting Christ's first full length in 1993, it took quite some time and many a listen to fully understand what was being presented. Thy Mighty Contract opens with what is a short and strange pseudo intro with about a minute and a half of actual music before the first great song: Transform All Sufferings into Plagues rolls in.

This song is really interesting, and would prove to be a microcosm of what was to come from Rotting Christ in their subsequent works. A dark beginning erodes away to a slow pounding double bass and lead guitar riffery, before mid paced blast beats take over, leading into a well written guitar solo, before finally reaching that catchy chorus again and ending.

While Black Metal is what I filled into the genre box, Thy Mighty Contract is a horse of a different color. There is no buzzsaw guitar, simply refining the strings to a melodic and warm tone, there are few blasts on the kit, and when they are played they are not fired off a million rounds a minute, and the vocals are not completely raspy, but still maintain the tortured effect that only a Black Metal vocalist could evoke. The keyboards are always present, and are mixed perfectly. Instead of whaling away at the ivory like Dimmu Borgir did on Enthrone Darkness Triumphant, Rotting Christ prefer to add atmosphere to haunt the background yet still maintain enough presence to make the keys known. From a production standpoint, I feel the keyboards were the most well done and are absolutely essential to the sound Rotting Christ were obviously seeking.

Like I said before, I am not too familiar with the works of Rotting Christ and I don't fully appreciate their album Khronos . I might not be the best man to gauge this album but as far as I know I'm the only guy on here who owns it and I'm the only one in a decade of MR who is stepping up to review it.

As the album draws on, the guitar leads improve. The leads are important and further distance Thy Mighty Contract from Scandinavian Black Metal, and by Depressive I mean the atmosphere, certainly not ambient or anything close to as dark as the likes of Xasthur or Leviathan . Track number 5 is surely my favorite. I'm not skipping the previous two tracks because they are futile, no, Exiled Archangel is simply a top notch song with everything I look for in metal.: A solid groove, talented musicianship, and variation in songwriting. In fact, what makes Thy Mighty Contract such an excellent album is not necessarily the musicianship (which is superb), but the songwriting. I almost feel as the songs each tell a story. While not exactly lyrically talking about specific stories, the songs themselves, mostly when there is no vocals, almost help you to envision the listener doing something epic and adventurous. That type of auditory monologue is exactly what I feel when I listen to Exiled Archangel .

My chief and only complaint is that the vocals are more grunted than growled, but wait, now that I listen more deeply and thoroughly I come to realize that this vocal style is significantly more fitting to Thy Mighty Contract than it would be to another Black Metal album.

While I may not be a fair enough judge of the complete discography of Rotting Christ , I can promise you that this is a solid album, and the best I've heard in my limited ear time granted to the Greek masters of darkness.

Killing Songs :
Pretty much all except for The Sign of Evil Existence
Tony quoted 93 / 100
Other albums by Rotting Christ that we have reviewed:
Rotting Christ - Rituals reviewed by Alex and quoted 80 / 100
Rotting Christ - A Dead Poem reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
Rotting Christ - Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy reviewed by Alex and quoted 75 / 100
Rotting Christ - Aealo reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 100
Rotting Christ - Theogonia reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
To see all 8 reviews click here
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