Rotting Christ - Thy Mighty Contract LP (Black vinyl)
In fact, this is really where Rotting Christ 'got their sound'. The very first track, "The Sign of Evil Existence", provided the foundation for several of their best albums to come (in particular Triarchy of the Lost Lovers): a glorious and desperate charge through a mid-paced melodic muted sequence over a steady but dry, moderate blast beat. Always a band to experiment with their riffing, there was really no other black metal artist quite like it. Most were falling over themselves to propel their music as quickly as possible, to compete with the extremity of the death metal genre; others were wrought from a rawer, Hellhammer aesthetic. But these Greeks had a peripheral perspective, like what might have happened if Metallica or some other thrash metal band had decided to lean their songwriting into a copious chasm of hellfire and underworld inspiration, bringing the dynamic strength of the parent genre along for the ride.