CELTIC FROST — Emperor's Return

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CELTIC FROST - Emperor's Return cover
4.28 | 17 ratings | 3 reviews
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EP · 1985

Filed under Thrash Metal


1. Circle of the Tyrants (4:27)
2. Dethroned Emperor (4:37)
3. Morbid Tales (3:29)
4. Visual Aggression (4:10)
5. Suicidal Winds (4:35)

Total Time: 21:20


- Tom Gabriel Fischer / guitars, vocals
- Martin Eric Ain / bass
- Reed St. Mark / drums

About this release

Rereleased in 1999 with "Morbid Tales" under the name "Morbid Tales/Emperor's Return".

Thanks to Time Signature, adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

The second Celtic Frost release sees the band tighten up the approach of Morbid Tales to create an excellent selection of tracks which would come to have an influence over a wide cross-section of the extreme metal scene. Due to the technicality involved and the gruff vocals of Tom Warrior I'm inclined to call it more death metal than anything else, but really this is in the ear of the beholder - the MMA categorisation of it as black metal isn't too far off either, and there's points where it also sounds like Slayer-esque complex thrash. I'd say that this is even more important than the preceding Morbid Tales; certainly, the MT reissue which includes this EP as a bonus is a superior listen to Morbid Tales on its own.
Time Signature
Audial aggression...

Genre: thrash metal / (early) black metal

Just like "Morbid Tales", "Emperor's Return" is a pivotal album in relation to the development of both black metal and death metal (and certainly a major source of inspiration for the likes of Obituary). Indeed, the type of dark and primitive thrash metal on this album would later be considered a type of proto-black metal.

The opening track "Circle of Tyrants" is an all time classic, which combines heaviness with primitive thrash metal, while "Dethoned Emperor" (charmingly pronounced 'DEY-throned em-PEH-ror' throughout the song) is event heavier and doomier. Both tracks contain riffs which are very similar to the main riff of Obituaty's "The End Complete" (which is a great death metal track, by the way). "Morbid Tales" strikes me as being more inspired by traditional heavy metal, and sounds like a mix of heavy metal and punk music. "Visual Aggression" is an insanely fast (for its time) thrash metal song which contains elements from hardcore and early death metal. "Suicidal Winds" is also dirty and primitive, albeit more of a midtempo track.

As with "Morbid Tales", fans of death metal and black metal should check out "Emperor's Return" because of its major influence on black metal and death metal. I think that fans of crustpunk, hardcore punk, and crossover thrash might also like it.

Members reviews

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".

Ratings only

  • Nightfly
  • Triceratopsoil
  • SilentScream213
  • ian
  • TerryDactyl
  • H-K
  • 2ms2ms
  • IMPF2112
  • jsorigar
  • luanpedi
  • jose carlos
  • Saturn
  • The Angry Scotsman
  • Tlön

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