Rotting Christ - Non Serviam review
01. The Fifth Illusion
02. Wolfera The Jackal
03. Non Serviam
04. Morallity Of A Dark Age
05. Where Mortals Have No Pride
07. Mephesis Of Black Crystal
08. Ice Shaped God
09. Saturn Unlock Avey's Son
Non Serviam is one of those unfortunate albums which need years to gain some popularity. It was released by Unisound in 1994, but the label put no effort in the promotion of the album and so it almost went by unnoticed. Even Sakis said in interviews that they had to rush the mastering process of the album and he feels that Non Serviam is one of Rotting Christ's weaker albums.
I could not disagree more.
Sakis was right about the production, it is worse than on "Thy Mighty Contract" but I still have no beef with it. It's probably the most abrasive and "cold" sounding album they've recorded in their entire career. The songs themselves are very strong so the production doesn't detract from the overall impression at all.
"The Fifth Illusion" opens the album with a strong and fast tremolopicked riff which gets supported by a different tremolo riff, creating the typical sound they were aiming for at the time. Sakis's vocals are as aggressive as ever but they sound even harsher, which is probably the production's fault. The Magus of Necromantia fame provides the keyboard lines on the album and he does a very good job. The amount of keys has also risen. Still, they never overshadow the guitars, they just enhance the cold and sterile atmosphere provided on the album.
A song that must be mentioned is the title track "Non Serviam" which is known as a Rotting Christ concert-staple. It's a slower song with a very epic feeling and a chorus that won't leave your head for weeks to come. Sakis unleashes ear-piercing screams and he sounds like he's in strong pain which fits great into the concept of the song.
The album is sometimes even faster and more aggressive than "Thy Might Contract" (The Fifth Illusion, Ice Shaped God, Where Mortals Have no Pride), but it also has very slow, doomy parts (Wolfera the Jackal, Non Serviam, Morality of a Dark Age). Non Serviam is probably one of their most diverse albums so far.
I have only one complaint: The instrumental "Fethroesforia" splits the album in two parts (which would be nice if it actually had some quality). It's just a one and a half minute long, noisy synth piece. I really can't say why they included it, it almost destroys the flow of the album.
Other than that, this is one of Rotting Christ's best albums and probably their rawest, coldest and most aggressive display of talent.
I recommend it to all fans of Black Metal, even though it probably won't appeal to fans of polished, pretentious BM.
The Fifth Illusion, Non Serviam, Morality of a Dark Age, Ice Shaped God
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