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Celtic Frost and Glam Rock are both things I know next to nothing about. My knowledge of Celtic Frost begins and ends with the one Hellhammer EP that I own, and my knowledge of Glam Rock is based entirely on the annoying-but-still-catchy strains that I hear on the radio all the time. 'Cherry Pie', 'Girls, Girls, Girls' and a few random Poison ballads.
So while my opinion on these two completely different takes on music are uninformed (to say the least), I don't need to know much to realize that they're effectively incompatible. Hellhammer was trashy, dirty and rebellious, whereas Glam Rock is all about being attracting the ladies and rocking out to some MTV-approved tunes. "Perhaps," I thought, "Perhaps Celtic Frost subtly changed their style over time, so it might fit well?"
And that is were this album fails.
Because as far as I can tell, this is effectively Hellhammer (played by much more skilled musicians) being squeezed, forced, hammered into a Glam Rock mould. And so it's not surprising to see that it fails on both fronts. The riffs are really, really quiet, and it would be an epic understatement to say that they're 'watered down'. They've been watered down until there's almost none of the originial content left- but yet, there's enough of the old sound to give the more glammy tunes a real sour taste in your mouth.
And this, really, is where Celtic Frost let us down. Now if they had sold out and released a decent mainstream rock album (think: Metallica's s/t), then I would've been a lot more lenient. Perhaps a 50%. Instead, though, we have one of the worst glam rock albums- one of the worst albums of any genre- ever. Let's start with the vocals. It seems pretty clear to me that for a glam album to succeed, you need a good vocalist. One with "attitude". Now, I'm sure Tom G has that, but there is one thing he's lacking: vocal skills. Everything is just yelled kind of awkwardly, with no consideration whatsoever to catchy melodies (or staying in key for that matter). It's one of those rare performances that is both incredibly irritating and yet instantly forgettable.
And don't get me started on the rest of this abortion. Pointless, incredibly boring thrash/glam guitar riffs that make you want to stick steak knifes in your ears, one of the most obnoxious snare drum sounds EVER, and annoying incredibly wanky solos. Oh, and the incredibly bad attempt at sounding sexy with the spoken female word bit in 'Cherry Orchards'. Damn, this sucks balls. This was so bad that upon hearing the first song, I thought it was a joke, a parody. But it doesn't seem to be the case, which is unfortunate. Failure on an epic level, AVOID at all costs.