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Review : Zenae Zukowski

Experiments don’t always succeed, however, results can be surprisingly inspiring following a successful outcome. In heavy metal music, there are bands who find success formulating a consistent style such as Anthrax, and then there are others who change their direction including Enslaved. For instance, imagine if Pantera didn’t step away from their initial glam metal style i.e. 1988’s Power Metal, they most likely would have faded away and albums including 1992’s Vulgar Display of Power, would have never arrived. With that said, there is one band who many continue to debate: which sub-genre should they be classified as? Many consider them avant-garde metal, others say extreme metal, black, or even thrash. Realistically, the answer should be, all of the above. If you haven’t guessed yet, this band is Celtic Frost. These Swiss metallers have influenced several artists over the years including Dimmu Borgir, Therion, Nile, Sepultura, and Gorgoroth, to name a few. These metal masters formed in the early eighties during a time when Slayer, Metallica, Morbid Angel and Kreator were rising into a road of success. However, it was acts ranging from Judas Priest to Venom to a touch of Siouxsie and the Banshees where Celtic Frost received their inspiration from.

At this point, it doesn’t matter if you want to get your feet wet in some metal history or dive into some metal nostalgia but, thanks to BMG, Celtic Frost unleashed four of their Noise Records-era albums with a bonus compilation disc. Each reissue has been remastered and supervised by the band and the track listings are in order that the band originally intended them to be.


Morbid Tales - 2LP

It all began with 1984’s ‘Morbid Tales,’ clashing between the sounds of death, thrash and black metal distortions. The sinister energy with diabolical guitar riffs added a brilliant rawness in style especially, during songs “Into the Crypts Of Rays,” “Procreation (Of the Wicked),” and “Dethroned Emperor.” The reissue includes added tracks from the 1985 US release along with old rehearsals.

01) “Human (Intro)”
02) “Into The Crypts Of Rays”
03) “Visions Of Mortality”
04) “Dethroned Emperor”
05) “Morbid Tales”
06) “Procreation (Of The Wicked)”
07) “Return To The Eve”
08) “Danse Macabre”
09) “Nocturnal Fear”
10) “Morbid Tales (1984 Rehearsal)”
11) “Messiah (1984 Rehearsal)”
12) “Procreation (Of the Wicked) (1984 Rehearsal)”
13) “Nocturnal Fear (1984 Rehearsal)”

Rating: 9/10


To Mega Therion - 2LP

It could be argued that Celtic Frost’s 1985’s To Mega Therion is their finest album in the history of their career. Both the production quality and experimentations went up a few notches with a more doom and gloom sound. The term Mega Therion is derived from the Greek term, The Great Beast. And, that is exactly what this album is, a beast with sludgy riffs intertwining with escalated thrashing hooks. Additionally, you hear an extensive amount of sorrow and pain within the destructive melodic atmospheric screams. This reissue includes The Emperor’s Return” EP and a remix of “Visual Aggression.”

01) “Innocence And Wrath”
02) “The Usurper”
03) “Jewel Throne”
04) “Dawn Of Meggido”
05) “Eternal Summer”
06) “Circle Of The Tyrants”
07) “(Beyond The) North Winds”
08) “Fainted Eyes”
09) “Tears In A Prophet’s Dream”
10) “Necromantical Screams”
11) “Circle Of The Tyrants (“Emperor’s Return” EP)”
12) “Visual Aggression (“Emperor’s Return” EP)”
13) “Suicidal Winds (“Emperor’s Return” EP)”
14) “Journey Into Fear (“Emperor’s Return” EP Recording Sessions)”
15) “Visual Aggression (1988 Remix)”
16) “Return to the Eve (1985 Studio Jam)”

Rating: 10/10


Into The Pandemonium - 2LP

1987’s Into Pandemonium was a turning point in Celtic Frost’s career, introducing electronics, strings, female vocals and more to their always evolving aesthetic. Many consider this album as the main influencer to extreme metal music with its maniacal energy which gets empowered by mixing gloom with classical arrangements and operatic vocals. You are introduced to the classical-metal side which eventually influenced bands such as Dimmu Borgir during songs “Tristesses de la Lune,” “Rex Irae (Requiem)” and “Oriental Masquerade.” Additionally, the album features a Skinny Puppy-esque tune with the trippy song, “One in Their Pride.” The reissue is compiled with alternative versions and a cover of Dean Martin’s “In the Chapel in the Moonlight.”

01) “Mexican Radio”
02) “Mesmerized”
03) “Inner Sanctum”
04) “Tristesses De La Lune”
05) “Babylon Fell (Jade Serpent)”
06) “Caress Into Oblivion (Jade Serpent II)”
07) “One In Their Pride (Porthole Mix)”
08) “I Won’t Dance (The Elders’ Orient)”
09) “Rex Irae (Requiem)”
10) “Oriental Masquerade”
11) “Sorrows Of The Moon”
12) “The Inevitable Factor”
13) “In The Chapel In The Moonlight”
14) “One In Their Pride (Re-Entry Mix)”
15) “The Inevitable Factor (Alternate Vox)”

Rating 9/10


Vanity / Nemesis - 2LP

1990’s ‘Vanity + Nemesis’ isn’t their greatest release, however, not nearly as terrible as 1988’s ‘Cold Lake.’ This fifth studio album reissue includes one major highlight with the unique cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes.” Stylistically, it sounds more thrash than avant garde but it does have a few sounds of doom and black making Celtic Frost remain, unclassifiable.

01) “The Heart Beneath”
02) “Wine In My Hand (Third From The Sun)”
03) “Wings Of Solitude”
04) “The Name Of My Bride”
05) “This Island Earth”
06) “The Restless Seas”
07) “Phallic Tantrum”
08) “A Kiss Or A Whisper”
09) “Vanity”
10) “Nemesis”
* Bonus Tracks
11) “Heroes”
12) “A Descent to Babylon (Babylon Asleep)”

Rating: 7/10


Innocence and Wrath - 2CD

Lastly, we celebrate the band’s career with their best of compilation entitled, Innocence And Wrath. It features a collection of Celtic Frost’s finest material and it’s great for those who prefer a loose introduction to the group or others who want to have a decently condensed mix of their career.

Rating: 9/10


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