Greek extreme metal band, Rotting Christ, whose unique approach to writing has roots in Black Metal, are scheduled to appear for two live performances in South Africa this year. The band is led by vocalist and guitarist Sakis Tolis, with the aid of his brother on drums, Themis Tolis. The two have been continuous members of the band since it’s formation in 1987 and released thirteen studio albums in their remarkable almost thirty-year career. The latest album, Rituals, was released only this month on February 12, 2016, via the French independent label Season of Mist.
Rotting Christ, owing to it’s name, has attracted enormous amounts of controversy over the three decades of it’s existence. The most famously known incident within Metal circles was when Megadeth frontman, Dave Mustaine, threatened to cancel his band’s appearance at a concert in Greece unless Rotting Christ were removed from the line-up. Whilst the members of Rotting Christ are often misconstrued to be satanists, they claim not to be so, with their art being more of an outlet to creatively express their belief that “Christianity is the worst thing to happen in human history” (Sakis Tolis, Blabbermouth 2005); which remains an ever-present opinion around the fringes of any society regarding any (and often all) dominant monotheistic belief system. However, in democratic societies where freedom of speech and artistic expression are advocated, bands such as Rotting Christ are allowed to exist to represent diverse social view points.
For their South African tour in 2016, Rotting Christ has already attracted the interest of an opposing group with an online petition having been created. The local constitution will be put to the test again such as it was when USA metallers Lamb Of God were challenged by a similar group in 2014 for the Johannesburg concert of their Resolution tour. The show took place as planned and protesters displayed a passive and well-disciplined presence outside of the property, and within the bounds of the law.
In South Africa, Rotting Christ are scheduled to appear at one concert in Johannesburg on 01 July, and another in Cape Town on 02 July. Tickets can be acquired via Quicket (here for Johannesburg – here for Cape Town), via the Witchdoctor Productions website, or bought at the door.