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I will never be able to sum up this album. - 100%

Like_Snowfall, September 25th, 2008

This album is a colossus and a monstrosity. I should start by saying this was the first album to ever truly frighten me. Everything about this album made me fear for my life and what was beyond. I hadn't heard a single track off of this, before buying it. And in my normal fashion with an album I'm anticipating, I make an evening of it. I went to my room, shut off the lights, pulled the shades, put on the album and the movie Begotten on mute. Maybe rub one out first.

But onto the album. The first two tracks were a slab of Celtic Frost's particular brand of plodding thrashy genius. But it wasn't exactly what I was expecting from the avant-garde pioneers. They were heavy, to say the least, but they seemed a little played out, and I started to get bored. It seemed almost formulaic for Celtic Frost.

And then "Dying God..." hit. Oh my fuck. It crept up on me. Clean vocals from Martin Eric Ain, and a simple, slow, reverbed to hell clean guitar melody. It picked up and picked up and I started to get frightened. Then the distortion kicked in on that one HUGE chord. Let me say that this riff consists of no more than 2 chords, but it is the most abusively, crushingly heavy thing I've ever heard. It roars through the room like Cthulhu rising from the ocean. The screaming, shrieking vocals display utter angst and helplessness, something we haven't heard from the normally tyrannical vocals of Tom G. Warrior. It was almost like Celtic Frost's way of saying "WHOOPS, GOTCHA THERE."

Next comes the ambient, and eerie "Drown In Ashes." It's slow. It's simple. It's not nice. The female vocals, while beautiful, sound like something just isn't quite right. And I fucking love it.

"Os Abysmi Vel Daath" Perhaps one of my favorite tracks on the album. For a very simple reason. The vocals. Here, laid bare, we are given the most dead-sounding, hollow vocals I've ever encountered. Hearing him, really just speak in time with the plodding heavy riff and the bizarre wailing in the background, chilled me to the bone. He sounds, to me at least, like a rotting corpse, a ghoul, speaking of his spiritual depression from beyond. And of course, the ever-present "UGH" of Warrior. And, before the music comes back in at 2:36, we are treated to an almost gurgling groan. Absolutely CHILLING.

Obscured seemed to me to just be a continuation of Drown in Ashes, with drums. But this track is the most hopeless, desperate track on the album. With the helpless repetition of "No" over and over, ad nauseum, it brings to mind a man who has been so physically and emotionally scarred, that he can do nothing but hope that his begging will do something to relieve it. But it doesn't. And at around the 4 minute mark, in comes this slow, ringing, MONOLITHIC riff. 3 chords. And it is a MONSTER. It hits like a tidal wave.

I'd like to say that Domain of Decay is the only problem with the album. The song itself is fantastic, but I think it gets in the way. If it had been put somewhere else on the album it would have been better.

Ain Elohim. Of course. The Nietzschean blasphemy with a Celtic Frost twist. The high point of the track, near the end Tom's tortured screams give way to the next track.

Tottengott. Celtic Frost has summoned something from the other side. After listening to this track, I had to take a break from the album, or I was going to do something very drastic. I don't even want to talk about this song other than to say that it is fucking terrifying.

Synagoga Satanae. Oh boy. My favorite. 14 and a half minutes of doomy, thrashy black metal. Featuring vocals by Satyr (I believe) the song is based around the mighty heretic, Tom G. Warrior, roaring, like pharaoh at his slaves. This man's voice is tyrannical. The music is bizarre, and ever-changing. Truly an experience.

Winter. The culmination and climax of Celtic Frost's career. It's simple. It's beautiful. It's melancholic. Perhaps the most melancholy track in circulation today. The dust has cleared from the battlefield of the last 2-3 tracks. And everything, and everyone, is dead. Your family, your friends, your enemies. Everyone you've ever known is dead. Think about that when you listen to this. Then you'll understand. I've always believed that to understand, you had to hate yourself.