Authors: Sakis Tolis and Dayal Patterson
Publisher: Cult Never Dies Price: £15.00/$19.6/€17 (standalone paperback edition)
Buy it HERE
This biography has been in my mind for the last 10 years to say the least… No, I am not saying that I was planning to write it but seeing all these bios getting released I thought that ROTTING CHRIST should do something to document their (still going strong) story that has already left a mark on the Metal scene. This finally happened and I was super-excited to start reading the book telling the story of a time that I was a teenager and not an era I was not part of.
I got my hands on the special edition that has the book in color and really, the presentation on this format is well-made. However, I was expecting more than “just” 300 pages since I believe ROTTING CHRIST have more things to say about their three-decade story. On the other hand, it is not an easy task to remember in a perfect timeline what happened in your life, right? That’s right, this biography is not the typical/run of the mill bio whose type has flooded the market. I am talking about those easy-to-ready books that have an awesome flow, with climax moments and an almost fictional-story-like structure. If you have read your share of Metal artist/band bios then you should have felt like you were reading a novel perfectly laying down the timeline with such detailed story-telling that makes you wonder: “how the hell did these guys remember all those things about their childhood”.
Reading the first pages of “Non Serviam – The Official Story Of ROTTING CHRIST” I realized the flow is not that smooth (again, when compared to the other bios I had read) and while flipping the pages I was left wanting to learn more (especially about the Satanists’ incident in Greece and how that impacted the band). Plus, the text is not “polished” and in some cases you may find a couple of errors here and there… I have interviewed Sakis a decent amount of times and therefore, I know how honest and straightforward he is so chapter after chapter I started realizing that this book was written to better represent the musician. This is a Greek band and obviously we have our own way of speaking English so after more pages I started really enjoying the story-telling. It is the perfect representation of how down-to-earth the guys in ROTTING CHRIST are and this is why you may find lots of similarities with your own story especially if you were born at the same era Sakis was.
Still, it is not only Sakis who is “talking” here; you will find his brother Themis, Morbid and also Jim Mutilator who has been an important member and contributor in the history of ROTTING CHRIST. In fact, there are a couple of really interesting stories involving Jim and these will help you connect the dots in the story you had in mind if you have been following this band for quite a while but do not expect me to spill the beans here. You will also find contributions for other musicians who share their opinion about the significance of this historic and most influential band; off the top of my head, I will mention Gus G, Fernando Ribeiro, Ross Dolan, Nergal just to give you an idea of the impact ROTTING CHRIST had and still do.
There is a healthy amount of pictures and I really enjoyed reading more about the music-making in an album-by-album basis and less about the musicians’ personal life. Sure, learning a couple of things about the musicians life gives context to the story but reading all those crazy stories and impossible shenanigans I have encountered in other biographies has become a boring task for me. The story covers ROTTING CHRIST history from the beginning up to the making of “The Heretics” something that I considered to be an impressive feat considering that the book release happened a few months before the aforementioned album had seen the light of the day.
+Pros This book will give an honest look at a band that has been hard-working, loyal and a powerful contributor to the extreme Metal scene. The way it is written justified the feeling that the band and especially Sakis is true to his word and does not try to oversell this musician-status like others do.
-Cons The book seems to be a bit short considering the three-decades of history and even though I did like the English used here I feel that a little bit more proof reading would had helped.