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Sunday Old School: Black Metal History Month Part 4. Thou Art Lord

Sadly, we've come to the closing chapter of this year's Black Metal History Month. Over the past weeks we've examined the influential Czech band Master's Hammer, Canada's most beloved black metal outfit Blasphemy and the understated but important presence of Norway's, Thorns and this week, we'll be rounding things up by taking a look at a supergroup from Greece whose members all have a background in extreme music, several of whom achieved success in their own right. And so we close Black Metal History Month's sixth installment with a feature on Thou Art Lord.

Thou Art Lord began life in the Greek capital of Athens in 1993, the brainchild of Rotting Christ frontman Sakis Tolis and George Zacharopoulos, AKA The Magus of Necromantia (and part time keyboardist for Rotting Christ) on guitars and bass respectively, being joined in their endeavour by Mortify vocalist Gothmog (John Hiotellis.) The trio recorded a demo "The Cult of the Horned One" before releasing their first EP, "Diabolou Archaes Legeones," both in 1993, the same year that they also released a split 7" vinyl with Belgian black metal group, Ancient Rites.

After the debut albums of both Rotting Christ and Necromantia (also in 1993,) Thou Art Lord signed to Unisound Records, through whom they released their first album, "Eosforos" in 1994. The debut was received very well by black metal fans, who enjoyed the no nonsense, Satanic approach, raw production and abrasive style of the music. Only a year later, the band released their sophomore album, "Apollyon," which was met with disappointment by many owing to its patchy song structures and a sound noticeably different from from the one heard on "Eosforos," though some songs such as "Hate Is Thicker Than Love" were received warmly.

Following the release of "Apollyon," Thou Art Lord was placed on hiatus in order for the members to concentrate on their main bands. Eventually however, The Magus and Sakis Tolis brought back the band with the intention of performing a "no holds barred" style. Gothmog did not take part in the resurrection and thus the duo brought in two members from another of Greece's most respected metal bands, Septicflesh; Namely vocalist Spiros "Seth" Antoniou and drummer Akis Kapranos (who is now one of the most well known Greek film critics.) This incarnation of the band recorded a new album entitled, "DV8" in 2002 which was received very well by fans and critics alike, referring to it as a return to form for the group.

Once more, Thou Art Lord was placed on hold following the release of an album and by the time the decision was made to record a fourth release, it was only Sakis and The Magus in the group, leading them to create the next album, "Orgia Daemonicum" as a duo. Everything about the record screamed extreme, from the visceral sonic assault to the Satanic orgy emblazoned on the album's front cover.

As was practically becoming tradition, the group was pushed to the side for a while in order for Rotting Christ and Necromantia to make more music of their own, before The Magus and Sakis reunited with Gothmog in 2012, along with a new drummer named Maelstrom and a second guitarist called El to record a new song, "Three-Headed Hydra." The song proved popular enough with fans that the quintet entered the studio to record and release their fifth album, and first with Gothmog for eight years, "The Regal Pulse of Lucifer," which went on to receive some of the best reviews the group has ever had. In an interview this writer conducted with Sakis Tolis last year (which can be heard here,) the Rotting Christ frontman expressed his hopefulness to record another Thou Art Lord album and declared that they are not done yet. Fans of the band and extreme music everywhere will surely be hoping this comes sooner rather than later.

Thou Art Lord - "The Cult of the Horned One" (Full Demo)"

Thou Art Lord - "Disciples of Black Sorcery"

Thou Art Lord - "Through the Eye of the Hierophant"

Thou Art Lord - "Hate Is Thicker Than Love"

Thou Art Lord - "Crowning the Winged Skull (Enthroning the Dragon)"

Thou Art Lord - "Society of the Dilettanti"

Thou Art Lord - "Orgia Daemonicum"

Thou Art Lord - "Nine Steps To Hell"

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.

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