what a birthday. Two of the albums I’ve been looking most forward to
this year are released on the day of my coming to this world; the new
Illdisposed and the legends, the ur-architects
of everything weird in metal, the subject of a metal cult, the most
hyped release of 2006 – Celtic Frost. As you can see somewhere else on
this site, Illdisposed spilled my guts all over the place with their
brutally dark death metal. And what of Celtic Frost?
you would expect, there is no easy answer to this. The first titbit from
the album, the track ‘Ground’ that was released on various samplers
from magazines a while ago promised sweet relief; the track seemed to go
in the only logical direction you can go when everything you did in the
past has been robbed and borrowed by everyone in the business over the
past twenty years. ‘Ground’ is heavy as f*ck, mean and lovely. Let
there be no doubt that the metal masses were parched with thirst for the
plunging the disc into the player for the first time, I wouldn’t
expect the rest of the album to be so, however, opener ‘Progeny’ is
just that and followed by ‘Ground’, the Frosties don’t leave the
listener in doubt: they know all about putting together something that
is as heavy as time. And isn’t that what you’d have to do when you
attempt to re-launch yourself into the pandemonium that is the music
business these days?
established, ‘A Dying God Coming Into Human Form’, ‘Drown in Ashes’
and ‘Os Abysmi Vall Daath’ (with the undying UH!) venture into the
weirder areas of metal music.
is a heavy and sad, almost pop-like tune with a female background.
‘Domain of Decay’ is a down-tuned, modern sounding and
straightforward monster (again with undying UH!). ‘Ain Elohim’ (again
with the undying UH!) continues in the same vein; grinding, churning
guitars and a slightly anti-Christian message.
comes next is down-right unpleasant. Wikipedia tells me that a triptych
is a painting or carving with three panels. The three last tracks on
‘Monotheist’ are part of musical triptych, and the first part,
‘Totengott’ (god of death), is a creepy bastard of a track with a
screamy whispered monologue. The second part is ‘Synagoga Satanae’,
a 14-minute opus of slow grinding guitars and staccato riffing. Right
this minute it becomes blatantly obvious to me who Cathedral got some of
their sound from. ‘Synagoga Satanae’ distinguishes itself by
featuring vocals in German for the first time in Celtic Frost’s career.
‘Winter (Requiem, Chapter Three: Finale)’ concludes the masterpiece
on a classical note. Atmospheric, beautiful, dark. The emperors have
we Europeans don’t have to walk to Mega Therion and back again to see
Celtic Frost live this summer. There are plenty of festival
opportunities throughout the summer and rest assured that I won’t miss
them. Watch this space for live reviews soon!