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Rotting Christ have stood the test of time. While their name has caused plenty of gatekeepers to clutch their pearls, Sakis Tolis and has brother Themis have ascended from Greece’s blackened catacombs to one of metal’s most formidable bands.

This year, Rotting Christ are celebrating 35 years of evil excellence with their 14th album. “ΠΡΟ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ” (Pro Xristoy) is bound to hold a revered place in the band’s heretical history. Always true to their name, with “Pro Xristoy” (“Before Christ”), the band pay tribute to the last of the Pagan kings by offering up more towering, gothic, melodic black metal.

Now that Rotting Christ are closing in on four decades, some followers might’ve wondered if there was any sacred ground left for them to conquer. But Pro Xristoy is a testament to a band that’s still on the rise.

“Pro Xristory” comes out May 24.

1. Pro Xristoy (Προ Χριστού) 
2. The Apostate 
3. Like Father, Like Son 
4. The Sixth Day 
5. La Lettera Del Diavolo 
6. The Farewell 
7. Pix Lax Dax 
8. Pretty World, Pretty Dies 
9. Yggdrasil 
10. Saoirse 
11. Primal Resurrection (Bonus Track) 
12. All For One (Bonus Track) 

To kick off what’s shaping up to be a year’s worth of devilish festivities, Rotting Christ are heading off on a tour of Latin America. Fans from Mexico to Argentina will have the pleasure of banging their heads to an unholy litany of the band’s greatest hits. They’ll also be treated to new songs off “Pro Xristoy” that are bound to become setlist staples.

In the dimly lit catacombs of extreme metal, one name stands as a monolith: Rotting Christ. Sakis Tholis and his brother Themis started this band together back in 1987. In the three decades since, these Greek titans have left their blackened imprint all over the metal world. They’ve released 13 studio albums and played more than 1,3000 concerts around the globe. Underneath all this hard work, Rotting Christ have but one vision – an urge to not only push the boundaries of extreme metal, but to keep reinventing themselves along the way.

Rotting Christ’s evolution has unfolded across several distinct chapters. After starting out closer to the barely controlled chaos of grindcore, they went on to establish the iconic sound of Hellenic black metal. Their albums often embrace refined gothic soundscapes, only to plunge back into the depths of blasphemous fervour. Each chapter marked another, further exploration, and an unwavering commitment to bush boundaries.

But the real turning point came in 2007, when Rotting Christ signed a pact with Season of Mist. They unleashed a series of albums for the French label that defied any and all expectations. From the piercing “Theogonia” and the symphonic grandeur of “Aelo” to the ritualistic intensity of “Κατά Τον Δαίμονα Εαυτού”, the cinematic experiences created by Rotting Christ became a spectacle of bombastic atmospheres, mesmerizing choirs, and neo-classical arrangements. The unexpected is their modus operandi, with the use of various languages (Latin, Arabic, Greek, English) as well as the extensive use of famous poetry woven into their music, like Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Raven’ on The Heretics.

In 2019, Rotting Christ’s epic journey continued with “The Apocryphal Spell” compilation, which offers fans an intimate glimpse into unreleased and rare material. This allowed them to gather strength, preparing for the release of their next, highly anticipated, 14th full-length studio album: “Pro Xristoy”.

“Pro Xristoy” (‘Before Christ’ in Greek), serves as a fervent tribute to the last Pagan kings who resisted the onslaught of Christianity, guarding their ancient values and knowledge. In this thematic odyssey, intricately woven through tracks such as “The Apostate” and “Ygdrassil”, Rotting Christ delves into the legacies of historical figures such as Flavius Claudius Julianus and Nordic mythological kings, embodying the might of Pagan wisdom in the face of Christian adversity. The album encapsulates the essence of Rotting Christ’s signature style – melodic, yet harsh at times – reinventing themselves yet again, while remaining rooted in their 35-year legacy.

Sakis Tolis: guitar/vocals
Themis Tolis: drums
Kostas “Spades” Heliotis: bass
Kostis Fouk: guitar

Guest Musicians:
Amdroniki Skoula – vocals (on “La Letra Del Diavolo”)
Nikos Kerkiras – keyboard
Christina Alexiou – choir
Maria Tsironi – choir
Alexandros Loyziotis – choir
Vasilis Karatzas – choir

Andrew Liles – narration (on “The Apostate”, “Pretty World, Pretty Dies”)
Kim Diaz Holm – narration (on “Ygdrassil”)

Recording Studio;
Deva Sounds Studios (Athens, Greece)

Sakis Tolis

Sound engineer:
Fotis Bernando
Aggelos Karatzas

Jens Borgen at Fascination Street Studios (Örebro, Sweden)

Tony Lidgren at Fascination Street Studios (Örebro, Sweden)

Artwork artists:
Thomas Cole – artwork
Adrien Bousson – digital processing

Sebastien Gamez

Photo by Chantik Photography

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