Rotting Christ - Passage to Arcturo

Production: Abraded effusive background roar of slatted instruments and ever-vibrating drum heads pervades the representation of sound on this recording while still maintaining a reasonable representation of notes and tempos. Of note is reasonably well done bass sound in a haze of guitar.

Review: Simple death metal beginnings introduce the start of the reign of Rotting Christ in black metal by law of signature riffs of rhythmic pulsing alternating with a directional breakdown synchronizing to vocal rhythms, textured into songs of verse chorus variations with occasional meta-chorus elements for a heavy metal throwback theatrical style. Where this is not as refined as releases to emerge later from this band, it carries an independent and violent spirit boldly.

Basic musical ideas direct choice of chords and notes but placement in complex tempos, within the phrase-pattern rhythms, distinguish melodies as the central themes of these songs. The shuffling wolflike roar of the vocalist beats out muted words against a wall of static over Venom-style basic drumming infused with death metal fills and high-hat precision. Emphatic repetition of rhythms based upon the phrasic enunciation of primary chorus phrases leads this material toward its own demise in repetition, but overall the pace keeps up with the rate of change.


1. Intro (1:06)
2. Aoh-Golgotha (The Old Coffin Spirit) (4:58)
3. The Forest of N'Gai (5:58)
4. The Mystical Meeting (Dog Spleh Esoth Sevlesmeth) (4:38)
5. Gloria De Domino Inferni (1:40)
6. Inside the Eye of Algend (6:02)
7. Feast of the Grand Whore (3:35)
8. The Forest of N'Gai (3:37)

Length: 31:36

Rotting Christ - Passage to Arcturo: Black Metal 1991 Rotting Christ

Copyright © 1991 Unisound

Keyboards flood background channels with liquid electronoise while guitars and vocals interplay in foreground rhythmic lead, adding a distinctively folk-like compositional essence to the rudiments of metal, but at its heart this is death metal/heavy metal, a potent combination that later flowered to fast and melodic black metal.