Sound — 10
"Thy Mighty Contract" is Rotting Christ's first proper studio album, as "Satanas Tedeum" (1989) and "Passage to Arcturo" (1990) were EPs. The first track, "The Sign of Evil Existence", I view more as an intro than anything else. It's really an actual song, but its' very short and doesn't really contain any truly great riffs, although it does introduce the listener to Rotting Christ's unique approach to riffing. "Transform All Suffering into Plagues" is next, and it is mostly a slower track, featuring some superb melodic riffing and a superb faster section near the end. "Pnemth, Thy Gift" might be my favourite song on the album; and if these riffs don't force you into manic headbanging and fist pumping there must be something wrong with you. For some reason I was actually reminded of Metallica's "Kill Em All" when I first heard this song, maybe because the main riff has a vague resemblence to "Seek and Destroy"?
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are bizarre; strange and I guess metaphorical occult ramblings that I can't make any sort of sense of, but it adds to the mysterious aura of the band. I always thought that Greek black metal had a sort of mystical feeling to it that bands from other locales seem to lack. Vocals are good, deep and throaty, slightly strained sounding as though they're pretty painful on the throat, with the occasional high pitched shriek provided, I would guess, by Magus Wampyr Daoloth of Necromantia fame, who is playing the synth on this album.
Overall Impression — 10
I don't know what album I could compare "Thy Mighty Contract" to, but probably At the Gates' "Slaughter of the Soul", Carcass' "Heartwork", "Death's "Leprosy" or maybe something by Bathory, Candlemass, Entombed, King Diamond/Mercyful Fate or some old Slayer. So, I like this album a lot, I like it more than some of their later offerings (Non Servium in particular) and it's a lot of fun to see what Rotting Christ was post-grindcore pre-gothic. The only complaint I have with this album is the fact that Sakis' trademark vocals are missing, but hey that's only a small complaint as this disc is filled with great riffs and some catchy tunes. Highly recommended for those of you who don't know much about Rotting Christ or just want to know what they sounded like way back when. Other than that, Thy Mighty Contract is simply a flawless display of Black Metal art. It is one of my two absolute favorite albums and I recommend it to anyone interested in Black Metal, melodic or not.