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As if anyone needs another person telling them that this album should be passed up on when browsing this timeless band's discography, I figured I'd give the notion even more reinforcement. If you're wondering why I myself have and have listened to this album (willingly), it's actually really simple. I had every other album, so I figured I'd complete the collection. And to be honest, that is the only reason you should get this album. As far as entertainment value goes, this is a big ol' doodee dud. It stinks and is quite painful to listen to.
But if it were any other band (ya know, like a glam band), it'd be fine. Comparing this to Motley Crue and Twisted Sister and what have yous that I've listened to, musically this is actually better. The Warrior has always been a master songwriter, able to put that dreary, sludgy vibe on any riff he writes, and his ability to play unique solos has always been a subject of awe for me and others. Here, however, it seems as though he watered himself down to reach a more commercial sound. Where his guitars once had that great odd tone coupled with such force, like a haymaker thrown at an odd angle, now they kind of throw lazy jabs. No real force behind them, just a little taptaperoo to let you know it’s there. But the tone is still vaguely there, that weird guitar tone that Tom still uses today on Triptykon (as I said, he gets that atmosphere on whatever and wherever he plays). Couple that with his drunken frog vocals he displays here as opposed to his tortured roar of the past and I must ask, 'how the fuck was this supposed to be commercial?'.
There's no doubt that’s what this was an attempt to do; to try and get a foot in that mainstream door after the moderate buzz the band got after Into the Pandemonium, but who the fuck thought this would work? All in all, the album still sounds a bit darker than what the radio listeners want to hear, and your singer sounds so off-putting. Seriously, I don't think there is a vocal performance more awkward to listen to then on this album. This style of 'singing' would be used again, albeit much improved on Vanity/Nemesis, but here it's a bit of a mess. A mess that I could still get into if it wasn't for the main reason I leave this album with a bad taste in my mouth.
So this actually sounds better than most glam albums, and I don't mind glam (LOVE YOU DAVID BOWIE! ;)). But what drags this album down to the bottom of the shit pile, is having to hear Tom Warrior, the man who challenged the metal (in particular extreme metal) world by writing thoughtful lyrics that are about subjects beyond sex, drugs, partying, women, and Satan, sing these lyrics. I laughed out loud when I first heard him awkwardly squeal "Seduce me.... TONIGHT!" It just isn't right. It doesn't fit the music, it doesn't fit his voice. From sexual serial killer Gilles de Rays and what’s beyond life and all a matter of great subjects to tackle, to this drivel, in a feeble attempt to appease the masses petty obsession (ha) with the superficial. Dancing? Women? Sex? Come on Tom!! It almost physically hurts to hear these things by a band I so adore.
Do you really need me to tell you about the bass tone and the drum fills and everything else? Why are you even still reading? Well, I will say as far as the stuff that keeps this thing's ugly head from going underwater goes, side 1 actually has a fair number of memorable moments. Ignoring the lyrics to Seduce Me Tonight, the chorus riff actually gets me bobbing my head a bit. They Were Eagles has some of that old school Frost thrash flavor to it that makes it probably my favourite on here. Cherry Orchards and Juices Like Wine are actually pretty decent overall, and though not as memorable musically as the aforementioned, they at least don't suffer too much from mind-numbing lyrics.
Side 2 is mostly worthless other than the pretty rocking riffs of Downtown Hanoi. These recommendations really are just me grasping at straws, though. If you're going to buy this to complete your Celtic Frost collection, it's actually a pretty neat collectible as they probably will never re-release it. But, like me, even when you own it, you're going to have to force yourself pretty hard to listen to it, but I'll give it some points for its cool factor as a collectible and for the few memorable classic Warrior riffs. For those who don't collect and only buy to listen, I listened to it so you don't have to!
For trying to get their foot in the door while planting firmly on our faces, Cold Lake gets a generous 30 out of 100 or a 1 out of 5.
(Once) They Were Eagles
It's rare, and I like that kind of thing.
The outfits in the band pictures are worth a few chuckles.