May 2020 Feature Release - The Fallen Edition
It's now May which of course means that we'll be nominating a brand new monthly feature release for each clan. This essentially means that we're asking you to rate, review & discuss our chosen features for no other reason than because we enjoy the process & banter. We're really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on our chosen releases so don't be shy.
This month's feature release for The Fallen is 2006's stunning comeback album from Swiss thrash metal legends Celtic Frost entitled "Monotheist". This record sees Frost heading in a more consistently doomy direction than ever before & represents one of the more complete forms of artistic expression you'll find in metal in general. How do you think it compares with the band's glory days? Do you feel that it's a worthy successor or perhaps even think it's surpassed the Frost's impeccable legacy? We can't wait to hear what you think.
When you look back on the legacy of Celtic Frost, I don't think you will see such a drastic pivot in musical style and timbre than that of Monotheist. This is a group that had not released an album in over a decade, so expectations were incredibly high for some, and for others, theywere absolutely certain that this album could NEVER live up to the sky high expectations.
This album helped pave the way into the 2010s for some of those in the darkest side of metal. The lyricism on display is top notch and makes you feel uncomfortable and cold. It isn't a moshing album that's for damn sure, but it hits like a ton of bricks either way.
When I listen to the modern era of doom metal, this is the gold standard that all other albums are compared to. The breakdowns are rewarding, the lyricism is dark and sombre, and the tinges of drone and black metal make it stand out among its influences and influencers.
I completely agree Saxy. In fact, "Monotheist" is my favourite Frost release these days.
Celtic Frost is a massive classic metal name that I've only checked out a few times, meaning I listened to To Mega Therion once or twice, thoroughly enjoyed my time, and sadly never really went back. When I saw a Celtic Frost album as part of The Fallen monthly release, I was very, very interested since for Monotheist to be considered Doom Metal it would have to be quite a departure from their earlier works. And wow, what an amazing departure.
Coming in with a pair of fresh ears and not having any sort of prior experience with Celtic Frost probably makes my opinion more interesting, since I don't have any attachment to what they were in the mid-80's, their downfall in the 90's, and their triumphant return in this 2006 album. Nonetheless, I thought this album was absolutely fantastic. There are very few Doom Metal albums I've heard that are able to create as much atmosphere and emotion as Monotheist does, and nothing sounds quite like it even to this day. The riffs are fantastic and have that grinding Black Metal tinged production quality that make them sound more weighted and raw, and coupled with an extremely passionate and evil sounding vocal performance, you can't go wrong. I think the album is a bit drawn out sometimes, but there's still enough variety and great moments that it doesn't every feel like a slog.
This is one I'm going to come back to for sure, there's just something about it that nails all the right ideas to create an incredibly dark and heavy experience that all heavier Doom Metal bands aspire to write. Even though I've given it only praise I don't think it's an instant 5/5 classic or anything from my first listen, but it has the chance to get there with some time. Very, very good stuff.
I'm so glad that this feature has successfully brought "Monotheist" to at least a couple of people's attention as I think it's a fucking brilliant record. I've been a Celtic Frost & Hellhammer fan since way back in the late 80's & early 90's when I used to parade around like a cocky fuck in my self-mutilated Hellhammer tank top but I have to admit that I hadn't ever considered any of their releases to be a genuine classic. "Monotheist" changed that & I now regard it as their finest work.
I posted a review of Monotheist a while back, so I won't regurgitate it here, other than to say that I have to admit to having come to the album a little late. The reason is that by the time of it's release I had given up on the band. I loved their first three releases and they are still some of my favourite albums of all time, but since Into the Pandemonium the band seemed hell-bent on self destructing. Cold Lake, Vanity / Nemesis and then the reformed band's Prototype demo were pretty much crap, not merely sub-standard with the band unable to put together a stable line-up.
So when Monotheist was originally released in 2006 my reaction was "so what?" Well more fool me, as Tom and the guys totally killed it with the slowing of their original thrash riffing to a more doom metal pace is absolutely right up my street. One of the great albums of the 2000s, and the springboard to Tom G. Warrior's next project Triptykon.
To Mega Therion will always remain my favourite CF album, as it means so much to me on a personal level, but this is a damn close second.