Celtic Frost Monothiest

It didn’t seem like the mighty metallic extremism that is Celtic Frost was an emotional purging system for the likes of Tom G. Warrior, but reading through his interviews as of late, well, even heavily mascara-laden purveyors of the apocalypse have to let off some sentimental steam now and then too. Apparently in the case of the Frost, that only means more sonic fire and brimstone on this monolithic affair. Clocking in at over an hour of double bass mastery and lava-forged steely guitar crunch, Monothiest is a natural (although delayed) addition to the death/gothic Celtic Frost catalogue. Lyrics are more personal as exemplified in "Ground,” which asks God why Warrior (now back to Thomas Gabriel Fischer) has been forsaken instead of threatening to hang him with his own beard. In its entirety, Monothiest is a slow drudgery. This happens via riffs that are thick and imposing but somewhat laidback so as to create an overall tone of discomfort and lonely foreboding over typical doom and gloom. It’s as if the production of High On Fire’s Blessed Black Wings was implemented on the pacing of Cause Of Death-era Obituary and Warrior/Fischer’s unique vocals. Elements of subtle dynamic coming into play on tracks such as "A Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh” are welcome and while the entire affair lacks the bombast, fury and impressive flash one would hope for from this overdue disc, it’s still one hell of a lot better than what could have come burping forth — cough — Cold Lake. (Century Media)