CELTIC FROST — To Mega Therion

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CELTIC FROST - To Mega Therion cover
4.27 | 46 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 1985

Filed under Thrash Metal


1. Innocence and Wrath (1:02)
2. The Usurper (3:26)
3. Jewel Throne (4:04)
4. Dawn of Meggido (5:46)
5. Eternal Summer (4:34)
6. Circle of the Tyrants (4:38)
7. (Beyond the) North Winds (3:07)
8. Fainted Eyes (5:06)
9. Tears in a Prophet's Dream (2:33)
10. Necromantical Screams (6:03)

Total Time: 40:22


- Tom Gabriel Fischer / guitars, vocals
- Dominic Steiner / bass
- Reed St. Mark / drums

About this release

Noise, October 27, 1985

Thanks to Time Signature, Wilytank, Unitron for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Celtic Frost's first full-length album expanded the range of instruments involved in the band's music as well as upping the diversity of the styles on offer. The focus is still on the blackish, deathy sort of metal of the type that the band produced on their early EPs Morbid Tales and Emperor's Return, but the album also includes a couple of ambient noise experiments in the form of Innocence and Wrath and Tears In a Prophet's Dream as well as Dawn of Meggido, their first foray into slow doom metal territory. On the whole, the album shows a masterful command of a range of musical styles as well as presenting perhaps one of the most artistically nuanced and highbrow visions of extreme metal's potential recorded at that point in time.
After a bit of NWOBHM and heavy metal popularity, and after proto-thrash like Venom gained a large audience, metal became more extreme and the thrash movement started branching into heavier death and black styles. There may be nowhere better to start than with Celtic Frost's debut album To Mega Therion, where metal started getting a leg up on heaviness.

To Mega Therion may be a difficult listen the first few times through. It was at the time (and still is to an extent) a VERY heavy thrash album. There's a lot of doomy Sabbath styled plodding riffs that give an impression of an epic scope, and the occasional horns in the background serve to amplify that feeling. The guitar tone is very murky, which further evokes the mysterious evil imagery, but also may annoy the listener because sometimes it's difficult to distinguish notes and when the guitar is playing them. Overall though, it shouldn't be too much for any listener who hasn't caught themselves up in the overproduced sound that's all too common today.

In any event, it opens up in a heavy march, "Innocence & Wrath", which sounds very "Mars, Bringer of War" influence where the smashing drums and heavy guitar tones are backed up by a malevolent horn section. After that it bursts into "The Usurper" where the overall album's sound is introduced. Lots of heavy and aggressive riffs with twisting chords and pounding drums (drummer Reed St. Mark was known to break drum heads on a daily basis for hitting them so hard).

This loud, malevolent sound continues on for several songs, the highlight of the following may be "Eternal Summer", where the chords go up and down and roar at an energetic pace throughout the song, where even a short sludgy break can't loosen the energy up before the solo. Another thing about this album is the solos, which are of course a staple of thrash, but these don't seem to dwell on technical proficiency and speed, even though a lot of notes are playing. Rather, there's a lot of tremolo and bending at a rapid speed, really evoking a thrashing beast that's on an unstoppable rampage.

Little needs to be said about the following song, "Circle of the Tyrants", which is such a staple in black metal that it's become almost an anthem for it. Again, the songs continue in this blackened doom thrash mood, stopping maybe a bit for the haunting noises of "Tears in a Prophet's dream", to the rather epic outro track "Necromantical Screams", where a sludgy intro begins it, and high singing notes pierce the distorted atmosphere, until it bursts into more thrashing and ends on another energetic drive.

Overall, this may be one of the earliest albums to be a classic for extreme metal, especially black and thrash. While the songs aren't varied too much, they don't have to be, as they all evoke the giant, malevolent mood so well. Highly recommended for thrash and black fans, especially those looking for the roots of their favorite genre.
I wasn't too keen on this album...and then it just dawned on me...this album is a classic album...and here's why.

After Hellhammer, which really pushed metal into newer horizons, Celtic Frost was formed from its ashes, and really changed metal, for better or worse. With death metal still in its foetal stage, and thrash slowly coming into a dramatic classic climax, this album was really the landmark that I feel all extreme music should have been set upon during the 80s. Yes the Norwegian Black Metal scene was just about to come around...but in 1985, Slayer were still coming into popularity, Metallica were just about to reach global stardom and Megadeth's first album had just been made...and I think one of the first real Death metal releases, Scream Bloody Gore and even Bathory's self titled debut saw some great influnence from this album.

This album was very different to what metal expected, with the use of horns, dramatic riffs and arrangements, and vocals that are from hell itself, it really does stand the test of time.

It does take a few listens to understand this album, but once it sinks in, these songs will really be classics...well in my opinion they are.

1. Innocence & Wrath - Horns and metal. What an amazing mix. 10/10

2. The Usurper - This is just one of the greatest metal songs ever. That main riff really is one complex thing to get your head around, even though I covered this song a few times. I did a misheard lyrics of this song on You Tube, its pretty funny, cause to be honest, you really can't understand a word Thomas says at times. Although, it still rules! 10/10

3. Jewel Throne - Amazing main riff. Great arrangement. How thrash should sound in my opinion (today, it's a bit of a joke). 10/10

4. Dawn Of Meggido - Great riffs and horn arrangements. Lyrics are pretty cool too. Has a doomy Sabbath feel to it at times. 10/10

5. Eternal Summer - Classic thrash at its best. Full of exciting twists and turns and amazing riffs. 10/10

6. Circle Of The Tyrants - Their is alot of covers of this song...I think it prooves its influence. That main riff is pretty amazing. It's just classic metal at its best. 10/10

7. (Beyond The) North Winds - Quite folky. I think this is the start of battle metal to be honest. Nice and jaunty. 9/10

8. Fainted Eyes - Great riff but a bit similar to the others. 8/10

9. Tears In A Prophets Dream - Pretty interesting collection of noises. 9/10

10. Necromantical Screams - One of my personal Frost favourites. Just really dark, with that female vocalist accompanying Tom, it sounds odd, but it works really well. 10/10

CONCLUSION: This really is an underlooked classic metal album! If you don't have this, then you need to buy it now!
Time Signature
Dawn of matal...

Genre: thrash metal / avant-metal

"To Mega Therion" starts out with the dark and heavy avant-garde instrumental "Innocence and Wrath" which also feature a dark Frensh horn section and a slave-galley style timpani, befire exploding into the dark midtempo thrasher "The Usurper". The doomy "Dawn of Meggido" is similar in athmosphere to "Innocence and Wrath", while "Eternal Summer" does not live up to its happiness-encouraging name, being an uptempo thrash-ish track. This album also contains a rerecording of "Circle of the Tyrants", now spiced up with special effects and female vocals - just to give it a slightly avant-garde touch."(Beyond the) North Winds" is a quite heavy track which also seems slightly inspored by more traditional heavy metal, while "Tainted Eyes" is more uptempo, featuring a wee bit of slap bass (well, pull bass, really). "Tears in a Prophet's" dream is an avant-garde instrumental, which perhaps qualifies more as soundscape than music. "Necromantical Screams" features eerie female operatic vocals and some strange sound effects.

If "Into the Pandemonium" is the birth of avant-garde metal, then "To Mega Therion" constitutes the conceivement thereof. Its dark style may not be for everyone, but if you're into gothic metal and darker thrash metal and don't mind a bit of artifartiness, then I'd recommend that you give "To Mega Therion" a listen.

Members reviews

Five Star Review

I want a five star review to show how important I am to the masses who read rolling stone or masturbate on clouds.

Who are you what looks down the whole sky at me and judges my walk, my talk, my sanity leaving for a few days and I'll go crazeeeee.

And on the B'jeweld throne did the Usurper sit. Causing the fall of Babylon and giant dunder horse of shit. "I'll throw you in the pit" said the emperor of dreams, but he didn't hear our human loving screams. For all that he decided we have much derided and chosen to live instead of in nightmares, in dreams. Eat cake, for cake is good. Watch hornets and never stumble into a spate of bees. When you hear Celtic Frost, understand you'll never human again be.

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