Monday, July 25, 2011

Rotting Christ - The Mystical Meeting EP (1997)

The Mystical Meeting EP should not be confused with the 1995 compilation of the same name, and what's even more perplexing is that both were released through the tiny Uniforce Records imprint, and both picture discs. But where that was a re-issue of the Passage to Arcturo EP and Satanas Tedeum together for collectors of vinyl, this is a re-issue of the band's 1993 EP ΑΠΟΚΑΘΗΛΩΣΙΣ with the bonus Kreator covers that were found on the limited digipack of Rotting Christ's excellent 1996 effort Triarchy of the Lost lovers. Obviously, if you've got both of those, then this is extremely fucking useless unless you want a pretty vinyl to look at. Most picture discs, are in fact, useless. Tits on a bull. And this Mystical Meeting is a fairly chance proposition in itself, due to its inclement obscurity.

But if you somehow don't give a shit about actually listening to such a vanity, and have no other access to the recordings it contains, then why not? As I've already covered the two tracks from ΑΠΟΚΑΘΗΛΩΣΙΣ in my previous review, I'll just focus on the covers, all of which are culled from the German black/thrashers' formative works (1985-86). "Tormentor" (Endless Pain) is delivered with a decided polish, but Sakis Tolis is a man with a vocal palette nearly as bloodshot as Mille Petrozza, so he does a pretty damn good job with it. Ditto for "Flag of Hate" (from the EP of the same name), which features some even more hoarse vocals and maniacal laughter. This is included as the first half of a medley, the latter being "Pleasure to Kill" itself, which is also the best of the three (since the song, itself, is), pleasurably demented and violent as fuck. No, the Greeks have not given these some atmospheric treatment akin to the music they were producing for themselves at this period, outside of the occasional vocal reverb.

All three sound tremendous, by the way, on par with Triarchy and obviously more volatile. It's curious that they would choose such angry pieces, but they undoubtedly wanted to escape the confines of the glory whoring heavy/black metal originals they were writing, so it makes an ironic sort of sense. Rotting Christ does not really deviate much from the established strength and style of the original songs, though, so some might take this as a flaw. As these tracks are not necessarily better experienced here than they are on that digipack, the overall value is quite spotty outside the collectors' market. And most of them just want something cool to hang on their shelf or wall, stare at and boast about (like jewelry). Not saying there's a problem with that, but I'm a more practical music fan, and the product/format itself is far less important than what I'm experiencing in my ears as I bang my damned brains out.

Verdict: Indifference [5/10]

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