Band Photo: Celtic Frost (?)
From: Zürich, Switzerland
Last Known Status: Active
Formed from the remains of seminal death/black metal pioneers Hellhammer in June 1984, with every one of their releases both in the Billboard and UK charts, the Swiss-American Celtic Frost were a pivotal influence on both the extreme metal and gothic metal genres, establishing many of the musical elements that have since become synonymous with bands such as Sepultura, Pantera, Therion, Emperor, Melvins, Paradise Lost, Cradle of Filth, Foo Fighters, Darkthrone, Dimmu Borgir, Obituary, Nile, and uncounted others.
The primal fury captured on Celtic Frost's first album, "Morbid Tales" (1984), and the subsequent EP, "Emperor's Return" (1985), have been widely emulated and are cited as influences on such recordings as Nirvana's "In Utero" (1993). Co-founders and co-writers Tom Gabriel Fischer (a.k.a. Tom Gabriel Warrior, voice and guitars) and Martin Eric Ain (bass) created stark and compelling vistas reminiscent of the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Aleister Crowley, and Charles Baudelaire. Fischer's trademark nordic warrior vocals and Celtic Frost's unique combination of a primitive yet at the same time highly intricate sonic assault soon made the group one of the leaders of extreme metal. Lyrically, Fischer and Ain depicted civilizations crumbling into decay, capturing the parallels between the corrosive and dark nature of a year's concluding seasons and the recurring collapse of human empires. The addition in early 1985 of legendary US drummer Reed St. Mark enabled the group to take a quantum leap both in the studio and on stage.
The group's second album, "To Mega Therion" (1985), was an epic evolution of the concept, now adding orchestral instrumentation to increasingly heavy songwriting. Swiss surrealist artist and Oscar-winner ("Alien") H.R. Giger's mentorship yielded visually brooding counterparts to Fischer/Ain's artistic vision, with Giger's paintings "Satan I" (1977) and "Victory III" (1981-83) gracing the album's cover. "To Mega Therion" would become a landmark release for an entire scene.
The "Tragic Serenades" EP (1986) featured cover art reminiscential of the "Sisters of Mercy", and the subsequent successful second tour of Europe and North America set the stage for the milestone experimental album "Into the Pandemonium" (1987), often regarded as the band's most pivotal release next to "To Mega Therion". Merging extreme metal with the band's passion for an early Wave scene dominated by acts such as Bauhaus, Wall of Voodoo or Siouxie and the Banshees, the album included sheer brutality ("Inner Sanctum" and "Babylon Fell"), Goth/New Wave vocals ("Mesmerized"); sampling/EBM fusions ("One In Their Pride"); melodic metal ("I Won't Dance"), and bombastic orchestral pieces ("Rex Irae" and "Oriental Masquerade").
Adorned with a detail scene of the "Hell" part of Hieronymus Bosch's famous triptych "Garden of Delights", and foreshadowing complex neo-classical metal artists like My Dying Bride and Apocalyptica, "Into the Pandemonium" received raving critical reviews all over the globe. The subsequent "I Won't Dance" EP (1986) with its legendary Isolde Ohlbaum cover art completed what was the band's most pronounced statement so far.
But Celtic Frost's line-up, now featuring an additional guitarist in order to enable the live performance of the increasingly complex songs, disintegrated at the end of an extended and highly successful UK/US tour, in late 1987. More than twelve months of legal disagreements with record company Noise Records, who had repeatedly tampered both with "Into the Pandemonium" and the group's artistic freedom, had exerted too much pressure on the line-up and also taken a devastating financial toll. Celtic Frost had defended the group's paramount principle of artistic integrity virtually to the point of total destruction.
On the basis of a new recording contract negotiated between the bands then manager and with CBS/Epic, Celtic Frost regrouped in mid-1988 and began work on a new album. The sessions initially included Ain and drummer Reed St. Mark, then a new line-up that Fischer would later find "completely unsuited" for Celtic Frost's conceptual vision. The resulting album was not the much-rumored mythical and ultimate Celtic Frost project "Necronomicon" but the dysfunctional and radically controversial hardrock album "Cold Lake" (1988), a release which virtually alienated many fans due to its visuals alone.
Two years later, Celtic Frost concluded months of recording sessions at Berlin's Hansa Studios by releasing the complex and metal album "Vanity/Nemesis" (1990), produced by Roli Mosimann (Faith No More, Young Gods, Marilyn Manson, Björk). It was widely regarded as an exceptionally strong comeback. Along with drummer Stephen Priestly, who had already played on Celtic Frost's first album, Martin Eric Ain had returned to the fold. Cover versions of David Bowie's "Heroes" and Bryan Ferry,'s "This Island Earth" paid homage to some of the artistic roots of Celtic Frost.
The group was now active almost exclusively in the UK and in North America and thus began the two-year development of the long-awaited successor to the dark visions of "Into the Pandemonium" overseas. It was intended to be a double album with the title of "Under Apollyon's Sun". Following the release of the unique career retrospective "Parched With Thirst Am I And Dying" (1992), featuring much unreleased musical and visual material, the group mutually decided to terminate all work on "Under Apollyon's Sun" in spite of its advanced state and to pursue separate paths instead.
Among various projects evolving from the ashes of Celtic Frost was the Fischer-instigated industrial/EBM project Apollyon Sun, which continued to develop his unique personal vision with an advanced concept. Considered the "elder statesmen" of innovative metal, Fischer and Ain saw their uncompromising conceptual framework and intricate instrumental orchestration blossom into an influence for several cutting-edge genres of today's modern metal, while Celtic Frost have been name-dropped by fellow artists from Satyricon to Creed to Marilyn Manson.
By 1999, an overdue modernization of the Celtic Frost catalogue became possible in cooperation with a now significantly transformed Noise Records. Returning from years of extreme reclusiveness, and working together with the original members of Celtic Frost for the first time in as long a time, Fischer oversaw the re-construction, re-mastering, and production of the five key albums of the group in Berlin in 1999 and 2000. These luxurious official re-issues were released to overwhelming acclaim by media and fans alike and also featured the restored original artwork, EP covers, conceptual packaging, unpublished photos, individual liner notes, complete lyrics, and unreleased music from each album recording session. The re-issue project coincided with the publication Fischer's much-lauded first book, a Celtic Frost autobiography titled "Are You Morbid?" (2000). The book is one of the few first hand reports on the birth of extreme metal during the early 1980s and the resulting branch of the music industry.
The creativity disinterred in the course of the work on the renovation of the band's back catalogue was far more than the re-issue project was designed to absorb, and Fischer and Ain, together with former Apollyon Sun guitarist Erol Unala, eventually began work on an actual new Celtic Frost album, the band's first in over a decade. St. Mark's position in the group, initially left void due to serious health issues, was eventually taken by highly renowned Swiss underground drummer Franco Sesa. Moreover, Ain and Fischer reanimated their old production company, Prowling Death Records, which in 1983 had already released the Hellhammer demos, to finance the new Celtic Frost album and retain full control of the project by the group up to the day of the new album's release.
In late 2004, Fischer partially opened the secretive and protected realm of Celtic Frost's inner sanctum to the outside world by beginning to chronicle the making of the album on his high-traffic blog "Delineation". Surprising to many, this journal revealed a group again driven by misanthropic vulnerability and nihilistic darkness, a group aiming at surpassing everything it had created before, a group whose protagonists proceeded even more courageously than they had on ground-breaking works such as "To Mega Therion" or "Into the Pandemonium". The final days of 2005 saw Celtic Frost signing a worldwide licensing agreement with Century Media, paving the way for the release of the material. Titled "Monotheist" and scheduled for a release in spring 2006, Celtic Frost's new album was produced by the band and co-produced by Peter Tägtgren (Hypocrisy, Dimmu Borgir, Immortal). It is extremely dark, inventive, and radically heavy. The album is to be followed in 2006/2007 by concerts on all continents, allowing Celtic Frost to play for more fans on one single tour than they had in the entire previous history of the band.
official Celtic Frost website press release
Latest Celtic Frost News
Below is our complete Celtic Frost news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.
Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.
The following message has been posted by Celtic Frost:
With the release of "Demon Entrails" on February 18, 2008 the days of numerous sub-standard bootlegs of the classic Hellhammer demos "Death Fiend", "Triumph of Death" and "Satanic Rites" are finally over! Currently also working on a book dealing with the history of Hellhammer, founder Tom Gabriel Fischer points out the importance of this release:
"The release of these demos is very significant to both Martin Eric Ain and me. No matter how one looks at Hellhammer, this was our first recorded music so many years ago, and it represents the radicalness of our own lives at the time. These demos became the foundation to everything we later created in Celtic Frost. Hell reigned on earth."
"Demon Entrails" has been specially re-mastered from copies of the original master tapes under the supervision of Tom Gabriel Fischer, and the demos now represent Hellhammer exactly as the band sounded when recording these songs in June and December of 1983. Drawing from a wealth of previously unknown historical liner-notes, material and artwork, as well as plenty of unreleased Hellhammer photos from 1982 to 1984, "Demon Entrails" features all lyrics and essays detailing the individual demo recording sessions.
Here is the tracklisting information for the CD format of the release:
Hellhammer – “Demon Entrails” 2-CD Tracklisting:
CD 1: "Satanic Rites" Demo, December 2/3/4/7, 1983 (45:57)
1. Intro (0:58)
2. Messiah (4:18)
3. The Third Of The Storms (Evoked Damnation) (3:02)
4. Buried And Forgotten (6:01)
5. Maniac [re-recorded version] (3:46)
6. Eurynomos (3:10)
7. Triumph Of Death [re-recorded version] (6:58)
8. Revelations Of Doom (3:03)
9. Reaper [re-recorded version] (2:28)
10. Satanic Rites (7:18)
11. Crucifixion [re-recorded version] (2:45)
12. Outro (2:01)
CD 2: "Death Fiend & Triumph Of Death” Demos, June 10/11, 1983 (56:18)
1. Crucifixion (3:04)
2. Maniac (4:01)
3. (Execution) When Hell's Near (2:38)
4. Decapitator (2:07)
5. Blood Insanity (4:22)
6. Power Of Satan (4:11)
7. Reaper (2:06)
8. Death Fiend (2:35)
9. Triumph Of Death (5:15)
10. Metallic Storm (2:19)
11. Ready For Slaughter (3:36)
12. Dark Warriors (3:03)
13. Hammerhead (2:48)
14. Angel Of Destruction (2:58)
15. Bloody Pussies (4:59)
16. Chainsaw (3:58)
17. Sweet Torment (2:09)
"Demon Entrails" will be available as an opulent oversized double CD media-book packaging and as a gatefold triple vinyl album. Click here to view each version. Both versions will feature a lavish booklet and a poster. There will also be a third, bare-bones lower-priced CD version. To check out the artwork and some rare Hellhammer photos as well as discover more info on this release, visit the official Hellhammer website at www.Hellhammer.org or go to www.myspace.com/Hellhammerband for further details!
CELTIC FROST mainman Tom Gabriel Fischer has posted the following message at his official blog:
"The weeks seemingly merged into one continuous, viscous current of day and night and information increasingly difficult to bear. Emotions decreased to slow-motion speed, he began to subsist in the dark, the shutters on all the windows of his place closed at all times. A self-exiled prisoner, escaping from life and the world therein by means of sleep; a never-ending sleep, pierced only by restless dreams. His existence reduced to brief periods of slumped perception, when he would hear the rain outside. He would open the window just barely an inch and attempt to sense the moisture in the air that caressed his face through the slits in the shutters."
The 2008 edition of Slovenia's Metalcamp festival (www.metalcamp.com) is scheduled to take place July 3rd - 9th in Tolmin.
The latest act confirmed is APOCALYPTICA.
Acts confirmed for the festival currently include: APOCALYPTICA, BEHEMOTH, BRAINSTORM, CATAMENIA, CELTIC FROST, DARK FORTRESS, HEAVEN SHALL BURN, HELLOWEEN, KATAKLYSM, MINISTRY, MYSTIC PROPHECY, PERSIHING MANKIND, RAGE, SKYFORGER, TANKARD, WINTERSUN.
More details to follow.
AMORPHIS and THE CLAYMORE are the latest acts confirmed for next year's Rock Hard Festival which will take place May 9th - 11th, 2008 at the Gelsenkirchen Amphitheatre in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
The festival line-up is now as follows: AMORPHIS, CELTIC FROST, THE CLAYMORE, DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER, ENSLAVED, HELSTAR,, IMMORTAL, JORN, MOONSORROW, NAPALM DEATH, SIEGES EVEN, VOLBEAT and Y&T.
More bands will be announced soon.
CELTIC FROST mainman Tom Gabriel Fischer has issued the following update:
"In the course of the past three weeks, while working on the manuscript of the HELLHAMMER book, I ventured twice to the godless rural settings of Hellhammer's rise in the early 1980s. I encountered an area that had been changed, to the point of being mangled, by greed, ignorance, and egotism. This was hardly a revelation. I had always been made aware by the local inhabitants that they felt I was vastly mismatched among their mental and behavioral structures.
It was an experience of distinctly mixed emotions and recollections to visit the places where, so many years ago, we enwrapped ourselves with the darkness of Hellhammer's music in order to seek distance from a world we detested and refused to surrender to. Now, it all seems dead. The aura of these locations, once so pronounced, has all but disappeared, in spite of the inherent personal history. The building under which we rehearsed, the paths we walked uncounted times, the spots in the forests where we took our earliest photographs, they are all lifeless now, and there exists no trace of the untamed fire that once affected everybody and everything around us. And yet it is alive within ourselves."
From the forthcoming book "Only Death is Real - An Illustrated History of Hellhammer and early Celtic Frost", by Tom Gabriel Fischer:
Hellhammer was much maligned, both during its existence and for years afterwards. It was maligned not only by much of the press and most of the metal audience, but also by me and several other former band members. It was, for a long time, difficult for most of us to come to terms with Hellhammer's often chaotic and radically varied legacy. Moreover, it was frequently very challenging to come to terms with how others interpreted Hellhammer and how they referred to and expanded upon what we had once created.
It took years for the accumulated unease to subside. It took years to disassociate ourselves from the perceived stigma, and to be able to properly evaluate Hellhammer within our own, very personal context. What many others knew long before me took quite a while for me to identify: that it was perfectly fair and overdue that we looked at Hellhammer realistically and in a manner sufficiently dignified to do justice to the work of a number of very unique people who shared the same vision at a very unique point in time.
There exist countless Hellhammer demo bootlegs, but they all utterly fail to capture the true aura, to represent the band as it actually was. They have been compiled from dismal multi-generation copies of the original tapes, and they are invariably riddled with factual and historical errors or outright lies. Former Hellhammer members Tom Gabriel Fischer, Martin Eric Ain, and Steve Warrior have decided to rectify this situation once and for all. "Demon Entrails" is the first official release of the legendary Hellhammer demos "Death Fiend"/"Triumph of Death" and "Satanic Rites" since the original limited cassette editions in 1983.
This release has been specially re-mastered from copies of the original master tapes under the supervision of Tom Gabriel Fischer, and the demos now represent Hellhammer exactly as the band sounded when recording these songs in June and December of 1983. Drawing from a wealth of previously unknown historical material and artwork as well as hundreds of unreleased Hellhammer photos from 1982 to 1984, "Demon Entrails" will also feature all lyrics and essays detailing the individual demo recording sessions.
"Demon Entrails" will be released as an opulent oversized double CD and as a gatefold triple vinyl album. Both versions will feature a lavish booklet and a poster. There will also be a third, bare-bones low-price CD version, designed to cater to markets which will not carry the standard CD due to its irregular size.
The release is scheduled for February 2008, through Prowling Death Records/Century Media.
Swiss rockers KRUGER were recently confirmed for the 13th Roadburn festival in Tilburg, Netherlands. They’ll be sharing the bill with CELTIC FROST as main headliner on Saturday, April 19th, 2008.
Kruger vocalist Reno comments: “We're actually totally, absolutely, excited to play one on Europe's fiercest festivals! I heard so many enthusiastic comments about the atmosphere and spirit of Roadburn that we look forward to hitting the road to Tilburg! Besides, the rest of the bill on our show date could be worse - have look : Swiss godfathers Celtic Frost, ISIS, CULT OF LUNA, CEPHALIC CARNAGE and ELECTRIC WIZARD."
Post-metal icons ISIS have been confirmed as the headliner of the Friday Roadburn Festival date — April 18, 2008 — at the 013 Club in Tilburg, The Netherlands.
Currently celebrating their 10th anniversary as a band, the Boston-to-Los Angeles transplants will help fans take part in their milestone anniversary by releasing their entire catalog in one deluxe 12 vinyl-LP box set, and their headlining slot at Roadburn 2008.
Throughout the years, ISIS have maintained their position in the vanguard of post-metal by consistently exploding the idiomatic strictures that have defined heavy music with each successive release. Roadburn reveres ISIS and feel they warrant discussion alongside such established pioneers as NEUROSIS and CELTIC FROST.
Roadburn Festival organizers have also announced that Swiss post-metal stalwarts KRUGER will play the Saturday Roadburn date — April 19, 2008.
The 13th annual Roadburn Festival will take place April 18-19, 2008. Also scheduled to appear on the Friday Roadburn date are WITCHCRAFT, TONY MCPHEE'S GROUNDHOGS, BABY WOODROSE, DANAVA, MOS GENERATOR, BLOOD OF THE SUN, GENTLEMAN'S PISTOLS, LA IRA DE DIOS, ZONE SIX and CHURCH OF MISERY, among others.
Seminal avant-garde/metal pioneers CELTIC FROST are confirmed as the main headliners, playing Saturday, April 19, 2008. YEAR OF NO LIGHT, ELECTRIC WIZARD, CULT OF LUNA, ACID MOTHERS GURU, THE HEADS, KONGH, LESBIAN, MY SLEEPING KARMA, ELECTRIC ORANGE and NADJA, amongst others, will also play the Saturday Roadburn date.
There will also be two additional dates added to Roadburn 2008: Thursday, April 17 [Roadburn's Pre-heat], and Sunday, April 20 [Roadburn's Afterburner — Kentucky's THE GLASSPACK will play an exclusive show, making their European debut]. The Roadburn Festival is currently talking to David Tibet/CURRENT 93 about a very special curated evening at the festival's main-hall on the Sunday, April, 2008. More info will follow shortly.
Originally a spin-off of the Roadburn web site, the Roadburn Festival has emerged as an event in its own right — it was even nominated for the prestigious "Festival Of The Year" award in the Netherlands this year. Roadburn brings together bands, fans and media from around the world. Despite its international acclaim, Roadburn retains an underground vibe and ethics, but with seriously big-league production values.
The following is a press release from Roadburn
"Swiss advant garde/metal pioneers Celtic Frost have been confirmed as the main headliner of the 13th annual Roadburn Festival, which will take place April 18-19, 2008, at the 013 Club in Tilburg, The Netherlands. Although Celtic Frost are recognized as a pivotal influence on both the extreme metal and gothic metal genres, Roadburn also considers Celtic Frost a seminal influence on the current stoner, doom and psychedelic scene.
Indeed, we feel Celtic Frost merits notice alongside such established pioneers as Hawkwind and Black Sabbath.
In celebration of this lesser-acknowledged side to the metal giants, Celtic Frost will perform a special one-off show at Roadburn, comprised of a repertoire which will be slightly different from the tour repertoire played in 2006 and 2007. They will be playing on Saturday, April 19, 2008.
Tom Gabriel Fischer: 'We are very proud to have been invited to headline Roadburn. Much like Celtic Frost, Roadburn follows an artistic path which deviates slightly from the norm. We all think that Roadburn and Celtic Frost is a perfect combination, and we are looking forward very much to our concert there.' "
Legendary Swiss metallers CELTIC FROST have confirmed their first set of live dates for 2008. They are as follows:
9 - Gelsenkirchen, Germany - Rock Hard Festival
5 - Tolmin, Slovenia - Metalcamp
CELTIC FROST vocalist/guitarist Tom Gabriel Fischer has released the following update:
"I spent hours yesterday in the presence of HELLHAMMER's two iconic former bass players, Steve Warrior and Martin Eric Ain. We interviewed Steve Warrior in detail for the forthcoming HELLHAMMER book, 'Only Death Is Real', to be published sometime in 2008. Although I had spoken to Steve several times in recent months in the course of the research for the book, yesterday marked the first time I had seen him in many, many years. It was emotional and, I believe, a truly special experience for all of us.
"The book will be a veritable treasure trove. Between the archives of Martin, Steve, and myself, we are in possession of literally hundreds of photos, a great many of them never before published. There also exists an abundance of rare or never before seen original artwork, logos, sketches, and so on. Moreover, we have received remarkable material from collectors hailing from Japan, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, England, and the USA. The book will be huge, both in content as well as in format. And it will be the first time Hellhammer's story will be recorded correctly, and in the words of the former members. The information available today on the internet is, without exception, riddled with inaccuracies and outright misinformation.
"I began this book project on a much smaller scale a number of years ago, and it has grown beyond all expectations. It will mark the conclusion of a frequently difficult path for me and, I believe, for Martin, as well. It is no secret that HELLHAMMER was often a truly ambiguous, even outright destructive topic in my life. Or, likely, in the lives of all of the band's former main members. It was, for a long time, difficult for most of us to come to terms with HELLHAMMER's often chaotic and radically varied legacy. HELLHAMMER was much maligned, both during its existence and for years afterwards. Moreover, it was frequently very challenging to come to terms with how others interpreted HELLHAMMER and how they referred to and expanded upon what we had once created.
"I am very proud today to have been part of HELLHAMMER, and to have been granted to play with those who constituted the band. It was hard for me to get here. There were times of utter personal denial, for which I was criticized, almost certainly rightfully so. And yet many of those who felt compelled and qualified to voice their denigration with their big fucking mouths were so far off from the reality of what took place, both within my emotions and around me. It was pathetic. They all professed to know me, know my innermost thoughts, even though they at best had pieced together a distorted, moronic version of the actual reasons for my protracted path.
"There was only one person to have been there from the very first day of HELLHAMMER to the very last. That person was me."
CELTIC FROST mainman Tom Gabriel Fischer has issued the following update:
"It has been brought to our attention that there have been private messages and bulletins posted by a Hellhammer MySpace page, namely http://www.myspace.com/hellhammeronlydeath. We would like to draw attention to the fact that the above page is not an official Hellhammer page and not in any way affiliated with the official Hellhammer page or the former members of the band Hellhammer. It is a "fan" page (as stated therein).
The bulletins and messages posted by the above Hellhammer MySpace page frequently utilize a tone and language not compatible with the demeanor of Hellhammer and the band's heritage. We distance ourselves explicitly from such bulletins and messages.
Please note that the only official Hellhammer MySpace presence is www.myspace.com/hellhammerband .
This page is run by the webmasters of the official Celtic Frost website and by the former members of Hellhammer. It is the sole source for accurate information on Hellhammer as it draws directly from the band's extensive archive. It is also the sole and exclusive MySpace source for information on both the forthcoming comprehensive Hellhammer book and the forthcoming official Hellhammer demo releases on CD and vinyl (both to be released in 2008)."
Celtic Frost have announced that they will make up the previously cancelled Mexican shows on the following dates
Date: October 12, 2007
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Venue: Circo Volador
Date: October 13, 2007
Location: Monterrey, Mexico
Venue: Cafe Iguana
Celtic Frost have posted this message via their official myspace account:
"We were very proud and truly delighted to be invited to play our first headline concerts in Mexico this summer. As we stated many times, playing in Mexico was a long-held desire of ours. And almost everywhere we performed on this globe in the course of the "Monotheist" tour, there would be Mexican Celtic Frost fans who asked us when the band would finally come to their country.
It is with infinite regret, then, that we have to announce that we are forced to postpone the two Mexican concerts to a later date. Our drummer, Franco Sesa, has been diagnosed with an acute otitis media (an inflammation of the middle ear) which has affected the inner ear and severely impairs his sense of balance, among other serious symptoms. The inflammation first became evident when we traveled to Finland to perform our most recent show. Franco's condition deteriorated rapidly during the flight, and he subsequently checked himself into Oulu's hospital shortly before midnight. It was only due to luck and the abbreviated festival live set that he was able to perform with us the next night. Upon Franco's return to Zurich, he immediately reported for medical treatment.
We are extremely sorry to now have to announce that his condition has unfortunately not improved as quickly as hoped and predicted, and Franco was thus declared unfit to travel and perform by his doctor this afternoon.
We are of course aware that no words can make up for cancelled concerts, especially such highly anticipated ones. But we wish to express our sincere apologies to all of those who had intended to come to our Mexican concerts on August 10 and 11, to all those Mexican fans who have written to us in anticipation these past few weeks, and to the promoter in Mexico, who worked so hard to make these concerts possible. We are still very much looking forward to come to Mexico under better circumstances in the near future to make up for the disappointment that this situation is causing.
Tom Gabriel Fischer, August 7, 2007"
CELTIC FROST frontman Tom Gabriel Fischer has posted this message on his official blog:
"In my eyes, one of the true pioneers of combining Rock music and drum machines is Andrew Eldritch with the SISTERS OF MERCY. And that was some ten years before CELTIC FROST recorded the 'Under Apollyon's Sun' demos. Not to speak of groups such as Kraftwerk, which I began listening to in the late 1970s and which also utilized programmed drums in the studio and on stage.
'Under Apollyon's Sun' could have been a exceptionally varied and interesting album, that is true. But in all honesty, it is futile to interpret anything into it so many years later. The music for this album was far from being finished. And I mean far. The demos for 'Monotheist' are a perfect indication of how CELTIC FROST's music goes through substantial cycles of change and evolution over the years. The early demos for 'Monotheist' (including the music fragments that survived up to the finished album) are radically different from what we eventually released. It was the same for the 'Into The Pandemonium' album (although none of its rehearsal room demos survive), and it would have been the same for 'Under Apollyon's Sun'.
The 'Under Apollyon's Sun' demos that found their way into the public are thus largely simply fragments of songs. There were a total of three demo recording sessions, two of which only took place because our music publisher at the time, Warner Chappell/Equinox Songs, requested that we submit samples of the music we were working on. 'Pearl Of Love' was hugely unfinished both musically and lyrically; a later incarnation that was more developed became 'Pearl Beloved'. 'Icons Alive' was later substantially changed and became massively heavier. 'Primeval Rapture' was also far from finished; it is essentially the demo for the first two verses of a song. Even the title song, 'Under Apollyon's Sun', was a work in progress, and I later decided to drop 'Idols Of Chagrin' entirely instead of ever working on it again.
The songs from the early 1992 New York demo were even more undeveloped, and most were later dropped in the course of the songwriting sessions, with only parts of them to be used later. I quickly began to loath most of the fragments on that demo. To me it lacked just about everything that defines classic, epic, and heavy CELTIC FROST. It is a fact that songwriting and recording sessions can occasionally result in a failure, in utterly unusable material. And the New York demo is a perfect example.
There were quite a number of additional songs in countless stages of development, but nothing was even close to be ready for an actual inclusion on an album. As such, the 'Under Apollyon's Sun' album is a myth, and the whole thing is a moot point.
This is why so little music from that time has survived to be later developed any further. The only 'Under Apollyon's Sun'-era music on 'Monotheist' is one single riff I wrote in 1992 for various incarnations of a never finished song which would eventually be named 'Pearl Beloved'. In 2005, this riff became part of an entirely new song, 'Domain Of Decay', now featured on 'Monotheist'.
As for lyrics, again very little from that ear was ever even considered for inclusion on a later CELTIC FROST album. Some of the lyric fragments (i.e., individual lines) that made it on 'Monotheist' are, for example, in 'Temple Of Depression'. And the initial idea to that song, in its earliest form, actually was created some time after 'Into The Pandemonium'.
As for my later industrial project, APOLLYON SUN, the comparison of APOLLYON SUN's 'Sub' album with CELTIC FROST's 'Into The Pandemonium' is a distinctively two-sided affair. On one hand, it is likely that CELTIC FROST eventually would have written some songs in that vein, had the band continued healthily and without the record company induced cataclysm that befell it after 'Into The Pandemonium'. On the other hand, APOLLYON SUN was a completely different project, made up if people who had absolutely nothing to do with CELTIC FROST (some were not even into CELTIC FROST's music), and I was merely one of five songwriters in that band. I hardly even played guitar on 'Sub', save for one song or so. There again, 'Sub' is not the mythical successor to 'Into The Pandemonium' that many are looking for.
There will likely never be an album like 'Into The Pandemonium' again. Rock music has come of age, and every style, every combination of styles, has been done to death. Things like the inclusion of classical music, electronics, programming, female vocals, occult themes, and so on, have been trivialized, their fascination reduced to dust by a million bands that have more often than not recorded generic versions without any of the manic obsession and overflowing emotion that makes 'Into The Pandemonium' what it is."
Justin Donnelly of The Metal Forge recently conducted an interview with CELTIC FROST mainman Tom Gabriel Fischer. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
On the reaction to the band's latest album, "Monotheist":
"I'm very happy with the reaction to 'Monotheist', as well as very honored and flattered. In all honesty, 'Monotheist' is probably our most successful album ever. That's not something that we could have planned. CELTIC FROST is a very controversial band. We're not a band that has made it very easy for the fans to follow, so it was a very unpredictable situation for us to bring out an album out after such a long absence. On the other hand, I can honestly tell you that, I really didn't give a shit what the fans and the press thought about 'Monotheist'! (Laughs) This album was a deeply personal thing to make. I was very unhappy with some of the last couple of CELTIC FROST releases in the late '80s and the early '90s, and [Martin] Ain and I were determined to make an album that would be one hundred percent CELTIC FROST. That's what really counted for us. And it took us four and a half years to do that. We didn't set any limits. Whatever it took in time and money, we were going to do this album right. In the end, we came out of the studio with an album that we were really happy with. Anything beyond that fact was something that we didn't really care about. Even if the whole world ripped apart 'Monotheist', we were still very proud of the album, because it really is a true CELTIC FROST album. And let's face it, we can't say that about all CELTIC FROST albums can we?"
On whether there will be another CELTIC FROST album:
"There's been plenty of talk about working on a new album, and I know the band would like to do another album, but I'm not going to make a prediction as to whether there's going to be another album. CELTIC FROST, musically speaking, is an extremely exciting band to be in, and I think the band right now is at its pinnacle. I think that we could do an amazing new album if 'Monotheist' was just a start. We have only just reawaken the band at this stage. If there's going to be a new CELTIC FROST album, it will be amazing. However, on a personal level, I find it extremely difficult to be in CELTIC FROST. I have no idea if I have the stamina to sit through, who knows how many more years working with this band. There are certain egos in this band that make it extremely difficult within the context of this band. So at this point, I feel really unable to predict if there's going to be another album or not. I'm currently writing music for it, but I don't know if that's going to be for CELTIC FROST or not. I'm just being honest here. The thing that makes CELTIC FROST an unusual band, and the reason they're such a huge influence is that CELTIC FROST is comprised of volatile and very unusual characters, with very unusual egos. That's our strength. It makes everything we do very different from others. On the other hand, it's also our weakness. It's very difficult to deal with these characters, and this volatile creative force. I mean these are human beings with egos, and what powers us, also makes us weak."
On life on the road with CELTIC FROST:
"Touring is very difficult, because you are forced to be with each other in very closed confines twenty-four hours of the day on the tour bus, in planes, in a hotel or on stage. You always have to deal with each other. There's no escape, basically. That's not always very easy. Touring just never gives you the time to recover from that. And the situation never gets any easier with time. When I was a teenager, I simply wanted to make music. I was prepared to go to any lengths to do that. Nowadays, I'm an adult man, and I know exactly what I am prepared to tolerate, and where my limits are. There are some things I don't need in my life. Sometimes that's a very harsh reality. It is very difficult at times to be in close confines with this band. You have to realise that we brought the band back to life at the tail end of 2000, so we have been working closely together with each other every day since we started work on 'Monotheist'. And then as soon as the album was released, we went on tour. We haven't had a break from one another since 2000. We have been on top of one another since then. That's not necessarily an easy thing to deal with. This is a huge topic, and it's impossible to deal with in a simple way. Don't get me wrong, we all feel extremely blessed that we have this opportunity. Back in the old days, we were a very little metal band, and we never thought that we would get a record deal. Yet we got a record deal. Then we never thought we would get famous. Then we got famous. We never ever thought that CELTIC FROST would mean anything to anyone, but then we became a huge influence on the metal scene throughout the years. We never thought we would get a first chance, but we did. We never thought that we would ever get a second chance at this band, but we have. We never believed that we would ever really tour for any great length of time, but now we can. I don't want to be ungrateful or sound like someone who is always miserable, because this really is my life's dream. I'm doing everything that I ever dreamed of as a kid. It's amazing what we're doing. We're all enjoying it while it lasts. We all know that it's not going to last forever. The music industry changes all the time. Things change, so everything is always volatile. It's amazing to be doing this. I'm just telling you that it is very difficult at times to deal with the personal side of things, and I really don't know how long we all have the stamina to do this. If we are strong enough to keep this working, personally I think we could make an album that will top 'Monotheist'. Eventually we will have to talk about whether we want to do another album or not, and if so, how we will go about these things. We need to deal with these things. I guess by the end of summer, it will be time to do that. Who knows what comes after that."
CELTIC FROST mainman Tom Gabriel Fischer has posted this message on his official blog:
"In the course of the Giger Gang's gathering here in Switzerland on the occasion of the opening of the new H.R. Giger exhibition in Chur in early July, I was given a truly unexpected gift. Unbeknownst to me, the remarkable Eli Livingston, sculptor of Giger's and CELTIC FROST's jewelry amongst other things, had crafted a unique variation of my death mask after I left the United States in May. I am astonished and infinitely grateful."
Celtic Frost will conclude their epic journey in support of the band's "Monotheist" album with two co-headline concerts in Mexico. The "Monotheist" tour began in Switzerland on May 29, 2006, and Celtic Frost will play the final two concerts of the tour at Circo Volador in Mexico City on August 10, 2007, and Cafe Iguana in Monterrey on August 11, 2007. The co-headliner for both shows will be Amon Amarth. These concerts will be Celtic Frost's first ever in Mexico, signifying the fulfillment of a long-held ambition. Celtic Frost are very proud to finally play for the band's Mexican fans, many of whom have already come to Celtic Frost shows all over the world.
Celtic Frost have just returned to Europe from playing their first concerts in Australia, and the band has now begun appearing at a number of Europe's summer festivals. As is the case with Mexico, playing live for Australian audiences has been an ambition ever since Celtic Frost released their first few albums, and Celtic Frost feel grateful and proud about the extremely favorable reactions by both fans and media down under.
Zonda Books has posted this press release:
Garry Sharpe-Young's latest book, "Thrash Metal", is being readied for publication this September. In addition, Zonda Books publishes Garry's "Death Metal", "Black Metal" and "Power Metal" all before the end of the year. These MusicMight titles replace the 2001 editions, which have consistently ranked number 1 on their Amazon.com searches for five years and more.
Thrash Metal. At first mocked by the Rock traditionalists Thrash would swamp the hard n' heavy world propelling one of its own - METALLICA, to the very pinnacle of Rock's elite.
In the early 80s Thrash breathed new life into the Rock scene providing older acts with a much needed kick. This new force opened the floodgates to armies of teens armed with flying Vs, bullet belts and a sense of purpose that would fuel genres such as Thrashcore, Crossover and technical Speed Metal. Without Thrash there would be no Death Metal, no Black Metal. That explosion of aggression has seen subsequent afterblasts, most recently Europe and South America has seen a genuine renaissance of Thrash Metal.
Without doubt, Thrash Metal still continues to make its mark in the biggest possible way. The "big four" - METALLICA, MEGADETH, ANTHRAX and SLAYER are all documented here in the greatest possible detail with full, up to the minute histories, exclusive photographs and global discographies, which include demos, albums, singles, chart positions, track listings and catalogue numbers. Over 400,000 words leave no stone left unturned in pursuit of knowledge of ex-members, rare recordings and career milestones. The author has interviewed all these major acts. Indeed, he interviewed METALLICA's late Cliff Burton just days before his passing. The early days of MEGADETH are straight from the mouth of Dave Mustaine.
Also covered are the legion of groundbreaking Bay Area acts such as METAL CHURCH, TESTAMENT, EXODUS, DEATH ANGEL and HIRAX. The European thrash explosion of KREATOR, RAGE, DESTRUCTION, SODOM, GRAVE DIGGER and HELLOWEEN is also covered in frightening detail. The Pagan Thrash of SABBAT, the avant garde eccentricity of CELTIC FROST and the Funk Thrash of MORDRED - it's all here. The second wave of thrash with major artists such as SEPULTURA, PANTERA and MACHINE HEAD takes the genre right up to the new breed of Thrashers, now a truly world-wide phenomenon. All examined in depth.
Having achieved its quarter of a century, Thrash Metal is not only alive, it is thriving. If you thought this rawest form of Heavy Metal was consigned to the past this book will deliver a rude awakening! Read the book, buy the records and bang that head!!
The scope of 'Thrash Metal' includes artists such as A.N.I.M.A.L., ABANDONED, ABATTOIR, ACCUSSER, ACID, ACID DRINKERS, ACID REIGN, ACROPHET, AFTERMATH, AGENT STEEL, AGONY, AGRESSOR, AIRDASH, AMEBIX, ANESTHESY, ANGEL WITCH, ANGKOR WAT, ANNIHILATOR, ANTHRAX, ANVIL, ANVIL CHORUS, APOKALYPTIC RAIDS, ARBITRATER, ARCH ENEMY, ARMORED SAINT, ARMOURED ANGEL, ARTILLERY, ASSASSIN, AT WAR, ATHEIST, ATOMIZER, ATOMKRAFT, ATROPHY, AZOTIC REIGN...
And that's just some of the "A"'s!
CELTIC FROST mainman Tom Gabriel Fischer has issued the following update:
"115 concerts into the Monotheist tour. Our 100th procession of musical morbidity since disinterring the prodigious Celtic Frost took place in Anaheim, California, on April 22, 2007. Incidentally, the venue hosted a 'gospel brunch' earlier that same day. A pitiable holy Sunday, serendipitously desecrated.
And time passes perennially, notwithstanding. Home, briefly, after two and a half months on the road in Europe, the US, and Europe again, we are to take Celtic Frost to an appearance at the Mystic Festival in Poland next week. This will be our first appearance in Eastern Europe, something we had always aspired to do during Celtic Frost's first incarnation many years ago.
And while on subject of touring. In the wake of Celtic Frost's return to the United States to tour as a special guest to TYPE O NEGATIVE in April and May 2007, after our extensive headliner tour last fall, we couldn't help noticing sporadic disparagement about this decision. It seems that some felt that Celtic Frost should not be a "mere special guest", and, more significantly, that we should not be a special guest to Type O Negative. Musical tastes are perhaps debatable. But Type O Negative's deeply respectful conduct towards Celtic Frost isn't. Hardly ever before have we been treated with such consideration, understanding, and appreciation, astonishingly not even by bands who toured with us on equal terms and with equal status.
Think what you wish about them, but we have come to know Type O Negative as a band of integrity and principles, far beyond the mere fact that both bands are mutual fans of each other's work. And not only do we owe Peter Steele, Josh Silver, Johnny Kelly, Kenny Hickey, their road manager Meg MacRae, and their crew a great deal of gratitude, we are also proud to now count them among our friends."