Talk about dismal. This soul-eroding omen from the abyss is about as bleak as it gets. Perturbing and morose, overwhelmingly nihilistic and seasoned with enough Swiss winter residue to blot out the sun for eternity, “Monotheist” the newest audio document from Celtic Frost hearkens back to their Helicon days of yore. Think "To Mega Therion" and "Into the Pandemonium" subtly spiked with diligent lacerations of 'post Frost abomination Hell hammer’s might E note bends and you’re halfway there, but only halfway. The definitely defiant duo of Thomas Gabriel Warrior and Martin Eric Ain have returned from a secular slumber of nearly 15 years to corral more hapless souls into their abattoir of grandiose sacrilege.
Produced by lifelong Frost aficionado Peter Tagtren (Hypocrisy, Pain)at Abyss Studios in Sweden but recorded at various "Bunker" locations in Switzerland these pioneering originators of the self proclaimed "Avant Garde" have (Witch) crafted a stellar watermark of doom laden, atmospheric rancor guaranteed to unsettle even the most jaded cynic. “Progeny" cracks open the coffin lid fervently, letting loose the acrid fragrance of a rotting corpse with a still beating heart; ominous and brooding it hits you in the stomach like a ton of bricks. Warrior’s guitar serenades like a banshee signaling impending death as it clashes (dis) harmoniously with newcomer Erol Unala's acrimonious axe, which is in itself a harbinger of doom. The next dirge (as it were) entitled "Ground" fell a tad shy of initial expectations but eventually grew on me like century old sarcophagus fungus. Repetitive, lurching, brooding and ultimately victorious it's a geriatric hag stabbing slowly and repeatedly yet you are paralyzed and unable to defend yourself from her unrelenting motive… definitely a grower this one.
Switching gears to downward shift (as in downtrodden) is the introspectively dour leaning's of "A Dying God Coming into New Flesh" just a beautiful piece, it places visions in my brain of new flowers sprouting from scattered crematorium ashes, the birth process compensating for life's unwilling resignations and bodies writhing in incinerators. Oh! the joyous dreams it so ruthlessly conjures. Unfortunately, there are only two minor complaints on my part, well one maybe. The lack of speed (although never a predominant factor in the Frost repertoire), and the fact that every decibelic tome is so mysteriously transfixing, that I find new and undiscovered gems anonymously infiltrating in the backgrounds of every song. Kind of like that quiet and perturbing loner in High School eternally relegated to the back of the class, who in his silent wisdom is mocked and scorned by most of his inferiors (as in more socially outgoing yet infinitely dumber classmates). But woe to you if he is plotting the blueprint of your demise, for his mute persona speaks volumes without even opening its mouth.
"Drown in Ashes" is eerily akin to classic Christian Death being raped by Sopor Aeturnus. It conjures the dreaded feeling of a sudden profuse nosebleed that never ceases and the panic that follows suit. Somehow, it never lets you quietly escape into the vast infinity of the great beyond. Tapping the adrenaline meter just a bit is "Domain of Decay" which incites (Or should I say "Ignites") itself like a mad kamikaze committing hari-kari. Memories of "Morbid Tales" invade my stream of recollection especially since Tom has genuinely reacquainted his cigarette embellished vocal chords with the infamous Death Grunt (TM) of yore. Now all we need is that clanking reverberation of a cowbell that sounded as if it was recorded in the empty catacombs of an immolated synagogue and then we can all rejoice in the fact that it's nineteen eighty...err, 2006.
Regardless of the retro armor enhanced with 21st century upgrades this is timeless, musical grandiosity created specifically for the demented and in the church of Frost we are all fervently devoted worshippers.
- Tom Gabriel Fischer - Vocals / Guitar / Programming
- Martin Eric Ain - Bass, Vocals
- Franco Sesa - Drums, Percussion
- Dying God Coming into Human Flesh
- Drown in Ashes
- Os Abysmi Vel Daath
- Domain of Decay
- Ain Elohim
- Synagoga Satanae
- Winter: Requiem/Chapter Three: Finale