CELTIC FROST
Thrash Metal / Glam Metal / Black Metal / Doom Metal / Avant-garde Metal • Switzerland

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Celtic Frost was an influential extreme metal / avant-garde band from Zürich, Switzerland. They are known for their heavy influence on the extreme metal and gothic metal genres. The group was first active from 1984 to 1993, and re-formed in 2001. Following Tom Gabriel Fischer's departure in 2008, Celtic Frost decided to break up again.

Celtic Frost's frontman, guitarist and singer Tom Gabriel Fischer, adopted the alias Tom Warrior. With Steve Warrior on bass, he formed one of the earliest extreme metal bands, Hellhammer, in 1982. Steve Warrior was later replaced by Martin Eric Ain - also a pseudonym. The band attracted a small international fan-base, got signed to Noise Records in Germany and recorded their debut EP Apocalyptic Raids in March 1984, now a rare finding on e-Bay or second hand record stores around the world.

By May 1984, Hellhammer had disbanded. Fischer and Ain, along with session drummer
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To Mega TherionTo Mega Therion
Noise Sanctuary 1998
Audio CD$6.47
$5.49 (used)
Morbid Tales / Emperor's ReturnMorbid Tales / Emperor's Return
Remastered
Noise 1998
Audio CD$7.71
$6.81 (used)
Into the PandemoniumInto the Pandemonium
Noise 1998
Audio CD$6.58
$6.33 (used)
MonotheistMonotheist
Century Media 2006
Audio CD$15.37
$11.37 (used)
Vanity NemesisVanity Nemesis
RCA 1990
Audio CD$338.84
$7.93 (used)
Morbid TalesMorbid Tales
Noise
Vinyl$34.99 (used)
Emperor's ReturnEmperor's Return
Original recording · Import
Noise International
Vinyl$68.00 (used)
Parched With Thirst Am I and DyingParched With Thirst Am I and Dying
Noise 2000
Audio CD$29.77
$14.94 (used)
Into The PandemoniuInto The Pandemoniu
Import
Indie Europe/Zoom 2009
Audio CD$7.07
$32.89 (used)
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CELTIC FROST Discography

CELTIC FROST albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.25 | 29 ratings
To Mega Therion
Thrash Metal 1985
.. Album Cover 3.85 | 22 ratings
Into the Pandemonium
Avant-garde Metal 1987
.. Album Cover 2.64 | 13 ratings
Cold Lake
Glam Metal 1988
.. Album Cover 3.63 | 13 ratings
Vanity/Nemesis
Thrash Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 4.40 | 24 ratings
Monotheist
Doom Metal 2006

CELTIC FROST EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 3.90 | 16 ratings
Morbid Tales
Black Metal 1984
.. Album Cover 4.27 | 11 ratings
Emperor's Return
Black Metal 1985
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Tragic Serenades
Thrash Metal 1986
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Wine in My Hand (Third from the Sun)
Thrash Metal 1990

CELTIC FROST live albums

CELTIC FROST demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Celtic Frost / Tankard
Thrash Metal 1988
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sounds Waves 1 Split EP
Thrash Metal 1988
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Cold Lake demo
Glam Metal 1988
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Cold Lake promo
Glam Metal 1988
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Celtic Frost Promotional 12" EP
Thrash Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Chris Tetley Presents: The Celtic Frost Story
Black Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Demo 92
Thrash Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Nemesis of Power
Thrash Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Prototype
Thrash Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Monotheist (Sampler)
Thrash Metal 2006

CELTIC FROST boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 5.00 | 2 ratings
1984-1992 Parched With Thirst Am I and Dying
Black Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Morbid Tales / Emperor's Return
Black Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Are You Morbid?
Thrash Metal 2003

CELTIC FROST singles (3)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Collector's Celtic Frost
Thrash Metal 1987
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
I Won't Dance
Thrash Metal 1987
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cherry Orchards
Glam Metal 1988

CELTIC FROST movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
1.75 | 2 ratings
Live at the Hammersmith 3/3/89
Thrash Metal 1990

CELTIC FROST Reviews

CELTIC FROST Into the Pandemonium

Album · 1987 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
arcane-beautiful
Celtic Frost basically invented metal. Period

Ok, that might be a bit of an overstatement, but it does hold a lot of truth. Having listened to this band over and over again, with each of there albums being a different and new experiment, it's funny to hear other bands make a living out of one style or sound that Celtic Frost. While listening to this album, I automatically could hear bands like My Dying Bride and Therion's sound coming into view. It's funny how small glimpses from this band where able to be the sounds that some bands would build careers on.

This album is a bit different to its predecessor, and thankfully is a lot different to what was to become of Celtic Frost (I don't even need to describe Cold Lake, it's critically and universally panned). After grabbing the attention of the metal underworld with the early Hellhammer demos, and the first album being a metal classic, Celtic Frost could have played it safe and wrote the “Ride The Lightening” that would follow the “Kill Em All”, but instead, Celtic Frost went even further than that. So far that it nearly destroyed the band. But luckily enough, metal audiences took to the band, which made the album a success and a metal classic.

Personally, I prefer To Mega Therion, mainly because it has some of my favourite Celtic Frost songs, but to be honest, everything bare Cold Lake in my opinion are metal classics, including this album.

The album, which has a lot of experimental moments, with the use of female vocals, orchestration, electronics, cheesy pop covers and a lot of stuff that will keep you interested throughout. There still is the odd jump back to the thrashier sounds on To Mega Therion, but the album does show a very different and more avante garde approach to Celtic Frost's music. Lyrically the album is a lot more poetic, taking some lyrics even from some poetry. The album, like To Mega Therion seems to be a concept album, with lyrical and musical themes coming up now and again. The vocal approach is also rather different, with Tom actually singing some bits, rather than having his traditional gruff vocals. Production wise, the album is a lot better sounding as well.

The version of the album that I have is the remastered version with bonus tracks. Usually bonus tracks don't do it for me, but on this one, there is some songs that I'm surprised didn't make the album. In fact, if these songs where in the album, this would probably be my favourite Celtic Frost album, so instead I will just say how much I love these bonus tracks.

1. Mexican Radio – An odd cover to do, but it is rather funny, and they put there own spin on it. I do prefer the Dean Martin cover a little bit more, but this is a rather good cover. Especially when you compare it to the original. 9/10

2. Mesmerized – The first ever Gothic doom song. There probably was more before this, but all I could think of in this song was “this sounds like My Dying Bride”. I like Tom's almost spoken word bits on the song as well. 8/10

3. Inner Sanctum – The first time I heard this song was on Grand Theft Auto 4, oddly enough. A harken back to there early sounds, with thrashy riffs, twists and turns. Tom also shows off some amazing guitar playing on this song. 8/10

4. Tristesses De La Lune – I'm guessing the band got bored, and wanted to write a song in French, and have it sung by a woman. A rather dark and sexy song. It's very weird, especially for a Celtic Frost song, but meh, it's enjoyable nonetheless. 8/10

5. Babylon Fell (Jade Serpent) – One of the songs with some of the most kick ass riffs. One of the best choruses on the album too. 8/10

6. Caress Into Oblivion – A long version of the song Mesmerized. One of Celtic Frosts better lyrical moments. Doomy, gloomy and metal as hell. 8/10

7. One In Their Pride – An electronic experiment inspired by space and stuff. It works...for some reason, but it does feel rather out of place. The remix found in the bonus tracks does have better sounds, but is a bit too long for me. 7/10

8. I Won't Dance (The Elder's Orient) – This is a very odd song. But it works so right. It's almost like Pop Thrash Metal. I would think this was almost an experiment that wouldn't work, but it so does. I love the use of female vocals on the song as well. 10/10

Bonus Tracks that I like:

Rex Irae (Requiem) – Why wasn't this song put on the album? This is probably the first ever symphonic metal song. It almost sounds like Therion just stole this sound, and made a living off of it. Very progressive in nature, it does sound very bombastic and over the top, but I think its one of there crowing achievements. 10/10

Oriental Masquerade – A short and bombastic instrumental. Very epic and a bit over the top. Its a bit too short as well, because its so kick ass. Shame its just and interlude though. 10/10

In The Chapel, In The Moonlight – How they took a Dean Martin song and made it metal, I'll never know. But they did, and its kick ass. Should have replaced Mexican Radio in my opinion. Even the title of the song is rather “metal”.

CONCLUSION: Not there best in my opinion, but definitely a crowning achievement. Celtic Frost are one of the most underlooked bands in metal. They get a good bit of attention, but they don't get enough. They are true pioneers, and even though this album is rather aged and the band have broken up, the influence of there greatness carries on. Long live the Frost!

7.6/10

CELTIC FROST Emperor's Return

EP · 1985 · Black Metal
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1967/ 1976
What makes "Emperor's Return" a great Ep is the music contained therein. Less than 22 minutes of music that is seminal for Death Metal and Black Metal in general, as well as for Thrash Metal. Even here bands like Venom and Motorhead are at the forefront in shaping the style of Celtic Frost. Do not forget that even Black Sabbath and Angelwitch are complicit in the massacre of sound that we've got. Technically we can not talk about Black Metal or Death, but rather of something that is extreme Thrash, Simila to Slayer, although more direct. In addition, some of the 70's Prog, especially of bands like Black Widow and Atomic Rooster hovers in the crypt where the music was conceived.

On closer inspection the roots of Black Metal bands are to be found in the 70's and here we have a clear example. That, ultimately, even to those who hate the extreme Metal like Celtic Frost and "Emperor's Return".

CELTIC FROST Monotheist

Album · 2006 · Doom Metal
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Warthur
Although Celtic Frost's earliest albums were incredible blueprints for the more "evil" brands of extreme metal (death metal and black metal) to follow, their later efforts weren't so influential. Into the Pandemonium, whilst intriguingly experimental, didn't really inspire anyone to follow suit, whilst Cold Lake and Vanity/Nemesis found the band following the glam metal and thrash metal pack respectively.

Monotheist, their reunion album, is another question entirely. After decades of other bands building on the mighty foundations erected on such recordings as Morbid Tales, Emperor's Return, and To Mega Therion, Celtic Frost's return finds them synthesising more or less every extreme metal genre imaginable into a horrifying chimera. The centre of gravity of the album's sound seems to be rooted in doom metal - but of a distinctly modern bent with little Black Sabbath influence - but so much of death metal, black metal, gothic metal and even progressive metal (particularly on the closing triptych) seems into the music that it's incredibly hard to pin the album down.

What's even more impressive is how well this delirious mishmash of genres works. It's clear that Celtic Frost haven't settled for any mere nostalgia-fest from the reunion; instead, they've produced an album which sounds incredibly ahead of this time, showing the young imitators once and for all who the real kings of extreme metal are. We may never know the exact reasons behind the final Celtic Frost split - Tom Warrior isn't letting any hints slip beyond his disappointment at Michael Ain for suggesting that the band might continue without Warrior, and his barely-concealed rage at drummer Franco Sesa who Warrior seems to primarily blame for the split - but we can at least be grateful they went out with a bang. In fact, I'd say this is the greatest album they ever made.

CELTIC FROST Vanity/Nemesis

Album · 1990 · Thrash Metal
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Warthur
Whereas Cold Lake experimented with glam-tinged thrash metal, Vanity/Nemesis won metal purists over with a more purely thrash metal approach, with only Tom Warrior's gutteral vocal approach and a lyrical mention of Apocalyptic Raids harking back to the band's extreme metal past. Though it is in no way the most groundbreaking or original release the band did, it's a better stab at thrash metal than Cold Lake ever was and is as reasonable a way as any to put the first incarnation of the band to rest. It's not perfect, but none of Celtic Frost's albums ever were in my opinion.

CELTIC FROST Cold Lake

Album · 1988 · Glam Metal
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Warthur
I have to step in here and agree with Time Signature - whilst Cold Lake is certainly not representative of Celtic Frost's work overall, and is undoubtedly their most commercially accessible and musically mainstream releases, I certainly wouldn't call it a bad album. Whilst you can hear a snatch of glam metal influence here or there, I think calling it an outright glam metal album is a gross exaggeration - though I can understand why you might be tempted to do it coming to this directly from Into the Pandemonium or To Mega Therion.

In fact, the sound is more reminiscent of a head-on collision between the more mainstream-leaning thrash bands of the era and Judas Priest - and the end result is much more appealing than Priest's own Ram It Down from the same period. Is it a brilliant work of inspiring genius? Not in the slightest. Is it a well-performed and entertaining metal album which will get your head banging? Most definitely.

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