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E.C. McMullen Jr.
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JOSEPH CROSS, BRIANA EVIGAN,
I Say, Leave them all behind
It was about 10 years ago when I first heard CELTIC FROST: TO MEGA THERION, and much of that memory is musty. It may have been the brain killing, mind altering drugs I was using at the time (beer).
At any rate, a buddy of mine had a new CD and CD player. The CD was from the band CELTIC FROST, but I'll be damned if I can remember the title. All I know is that I was unimpressed by the CD and another friend who was there was going ballistic at how the CD screwed up the music.
'Bullshit.' I thought at the time. 'CDs make the music better!'
At that time CD technology was still relatively new and my friend was one of the last of the dying "Record" fans.
I'm not joking, he was really getting carried away about the situation! With his dramatic insistence that we should carry the party over to his apartment, where he had CELTIC FROST on record, we picked up and left.
So we all went over to his place where he presented his 3 records of CELTIC FROST. The first one he put on was TO MEGA THERION. We weren't any deeper than 30 seconds into the first song when I realized that this was a piece that freakin' JAMMED! We were all blown away by the incredibly fast, ripping, knock-down drag out music, but also by the subtle complexity within the headbanging crunch!
FUrther, the singer didn't sing so much as speak over the music, seeming to throw out words not in time with the song, but whenever the hell he felt like it. We spent the rest of that night drinking and listening to nothing but CELTIC FROST, over and over.
I'd become one of the converted.
Flash forward to this year (1999) when Noise Records picked up the entire CELTIC FROST catalog and re-released it with proper digital mixing overseen by band leader Tom G. Warrior (Tom Gabriel Fischer). As soon as I saw the H. R. Giger artwork on the cover and realized it was CELTIC FROST, I bought that sucker on the spot. When I got it home I naturally recalled the mediocre sound of that first CD, but again, within the first 30 seconds into the album, I was hooked. It was All There, hardcore crunchy yet melodious as ever! A classic orchestra interpreted through electric guitar.
TO MEGA THERION still rocks as hard and punishing as ever equal to and even eclipses much of what is being made today in Black and Death Metal
Not all the songs just rip through, one after the other though. There are some intriguing mood pieces. The album's first intro piece "Innocence And Wrath", is reminiscent of the classical Russian, Modest Mussorsky while "The Tears In A Prophet's Dream" is more in keeping with hardcore Industrial bands more like COIL than Heavy Metal.
CELTIC FROST: TO MEGA THERION is an outstanding album and once you hear this great re-issue, you'll be buying everything CELTIC FROST has in print.
5 Perplex Skulls all the way
This review copyright 1999 E.C.McMullen Jr.