a real fan of heavy metal, what Celtic Frost mean to you is probably largely
dependent on your age. For older fans, Celtic Frost were one of the most
brutally original bands to ever emerge from Europe. Albums like Into
the Pandemonium and To Mega Therion featured band's
unusual blend of death metal-like vocals, brutal guitar work, and hammering
percussion with the beauty of orchestral arrangements, digital samples,
and opera-inspired backing vocals.
Frost - Monotheist
Release Date: May 30, 2006
Label: Century Media Records
younger fans, Celtic Frost are an often-referenced source of inspiration
for many of today's death, thrash, and black metal bands. Since Celtic
Frost disbanded under a confusing cloud of an internal
identity crisis, their legacy was being the band that recorded something
as brutal as "Into the Crypt of Rays" as well as the glammed-out "Dance
from the now-infamous Cold Lake album. In fact, it's probably
that album that destroyed them.
15 years of being dormant, Celtic Frost has regrouped with ever-present
vocalist and guitarist Tom Gabriel
Fischer at the helm. Reuniting with original bassist Martin Eric
bringing drummer Franco Sesa and guitarist Erol Unala along, Fischer
and company have crafted Monotheist, an album meant to re-introduce
Celtic Frost back to the world as originally intended: a brutal, unrelenting
reckoned with. They've succeeded.
with "Progeny", Celtic Frost unleashes their sound on the modern
metal world. This is no nostalgic trip down memory lane. This is Celtic
Frost as a modern, relevant metal band with something to prove. On songs
like "A Dying God Coming into Human Flesh," "Temple of Depression," and
"Domain of Decay", Frost show off their channeled aggression and brutality.
One might think, "OK, so this is pretty good, but what makes this band
any different than any other metal band?" The
answer to that question is found in songs like "Drown in Ashes," a dark
dirge that features haunting female vocals
coupled with some interesting lead lyrics from Fischer; "Os Abysmi
Vel Daath", a lumbering Godzilla of a song, and "Ain Elohim," a skullcrushing
diatribe on religion that is probably the defining moment of the album.
Frost are no longer the groundbreaking band that they were in the 1980s.
Using samples, classical instruments, and drum machines
to enhance their music isn't anything unusual anymore.
What they've done on Monotheist, however, is refined the core
elements that made Celtic Frost so unique in the first place to near
perfection. As a long time fan, it's very encouraging to
see the band return not with a half-assed collection of
ideas but a fully-formed, carefully constructed headcrusher of an album.