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Album Review: "a Dead Poem" by Greek Black and Gothic Metal Band Rotting Christ

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

This band Rotting Christ should be given serious consideration for being one of the best bands

There are certain albums in a band’s history that are memorable even many years after their release. One example of such an album is the one called A Dead Poem by black and gothic metal legends Rotting Christ. These guys are from Greece, a country that is overlooked by many metal fans. Yes, Greece does have good heavy metal and this band is considered to be the best to come from this country. Who plays on this album?

Band Personnel for the Album A Dead Poem

  • Sakis Tolis
  • Costas Vassilakopolous
  • Andreas Lagios
  • Georgios Tolias
  • Themis Tolis

Why is A Dead Poem a Memorable Album?

This album is the fifth album from Rotting Christ and it is memorable for me because I used to listen to the album on an MP3 player while getting in a workout at the gym. Music sure makes the time go by faster but that’s a totally different topic. The album was released on October 7, 1997 and it came out in the same year as the self-titled EP Lacuna Coil. Back in those days, this writer would listen to Rotting Christ, Lacuna Coil, Children of Bodom and Arch Enemy.

A Dead Poem (the song) is a song about what can happen to nature when the trees die and the crops aren’t growing anymore. The rivers end up dying and the birds don’t sing anymore. The song continues with the impressive, melodic riffing that we heard in the song called Among Two Storms.

"Among Two Storms"

A Dead Poem: a brief review of the outstanding album

A Dead Poem and the band’s next album Sleep of the Angels are similar in style. Gone is the grinding nature of the band’s music that we heard on the album Thy Mighty Contract. Among Two Storms has an excellent main riff and that’s what makes this song memorable for me even in 2020. Thank you to the members of Rotting Christ as they have stuck to their roots and have not become trendy just to please the fans!

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The style is too heavy to be considered hard rock and the vocals are of a growling nature. But I would not classify the album as a straightforward death metal album but a Gothic and black metal mix. This black metal sound is evident in the song called Semigod as there are also softer parts in the song as well. One drawback is that the vocals of Sakis Tolis are tough to understand due to the growls and his English accent. But the song is brilliant featuring melodic guitar play! This brilliance continues into the next song called Ten Miles High. It is not only Iron Maiden and Metallica that can play acoustic guitar and make it work out. Rotting Christ can do this too. Ten Miles High is an instrumental song which beats out a few others such as Weird Dreams or Bastiage. Between Times starts out with the famous kind of riffing that the band is known for and this tells you that it is black metal in nature. This song because of the beautiful way that it is written may bring tears to your eyes! It is a rather amazing track as the song ends with more riffing.

Final Thoughts About the Album A Dead Poem

There is not one bad song on this album! Their 1999 album called Sleep of the Angels is solid as well but A Dead Poem features all the elements needed to have a solid album even one that is more than 20 years old such as this one. Sorrowful Farewell and Among Two Storms are the two songs that really set the tone for this album. Among Two Storms has an excellent main modern riff combined with a more melodic riff and great growling style vocals by Sakis Tolis.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2016 Ara Vahanian

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