Up there as one of the greatest musical exports Greece has offered our community, Rotting Christ have been able to release into the world a monumental amount of music in their time. A career as a band now spanning 30 years of greatness, and the reason behind this release. A band not unfamiliar with controversy, their name has caused stirs through their time, from churches and religious groups, to Dave Mustaine threatening to cancel a Megadeth performance with them on the bill, to even being mentioned in the Presidential primaries. All misunderstandings of what the band stands for, and a naive view of a band quite simply on a name.
For anyone unfamiliar with the band but finding themselves becoming interested in music of the extreme variety. Greatest Spells is the ultimate starting point, a family affair, the core unit from the very beginning lies with the Tolis brothers on drums and guitarist/vocals/keyboard. As members have come and gone through the years, their presence has kept them on the straight When first starting out, the sound of grindcore was prevalent, before leaning into the much more familiar blackened metal styling.
With 12 full length releases alone, their back catalogue is something to behold, and 30 years is a significant milestone to celebrate those releases, an almost unforgiving task when you consider the volume to strip down and select songs for such a release. While there will be songs missing and even some in place that might seem worthy of being omitted to make room for others, it very much plays and runs nicely and provides more than its fair share of glory. The final result is a two CD album, with a run time of over two and a half hours, there is little to complain about, not running in a simple earliest to most recent work helps shake up the play through, but the mixing on earlier recordings not being as prominent as later work can slightly dull the experience. All show the growth and development of what has made Rotting Christ who they are today however.
For a collection of 33 songs, and being such an impactful live band to witness, there does seem to be a lack of live tracks. If you can see past that however, it doesn’t deter from the value of what the album represents. The icing on the cake however for Greatest Spells is the final closer, it shows what we have yet to look forward to from the Greek Gods of metal with the addition of a new song ‘I Will Not Serve’. From new fans to old that are keen on something collectable, Rotting Christ as always, certainly deliver the goods!