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Into the Pandemonium

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Reviews

Average Rating
★★★★☆
(21 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • Where do I start? How about with “Mexican Radio,” the song that starts the album – and who in their right mind makes the first track a cover song by a band that is nothing like yours (Wall of Voodoo)? That’s Celtic Frost, at least when they recorded Pandemonium. Thomas Gabriel Warrior(whatever he called himself back then) wanted to be different, and strange, and heavy, and strange … boy was this album ever strange. It has death metal riffs, thrash riffs, a pop song (I Won’t Dance – yes, that could be played on the radio if Gabriel wasn’t growling) … anyway, there’s a rap-sample (One in their Pride), there’s an orchestra playing in other songs, some lady is singing in French … holy hell, and what’s with Gabriel’s alter-ego whining/mourning/melancholy voice? When I first bought this (think I got it when it came out), I was blown away. I would imagine a lot of bands who strived to be different, and open their horizons to create new brands of music (that would include Voivod, Tool, Therapy?, Isis, and maybe even the short-lived Nothingface) would look to this album with envy. Celtic Frost was way ahead of its time (this was released in the late 80’s, remember), and unfortunately it never received the credit it deserved.
    If they did, maybe Celtic Frost’s later days would be different. Unfortunately, Gabriel had a brain fart of epic proportions. It stunk so bad, that the rest of the band quit, and he signed off on the release of “Cold Lake,” which in my opinion, is the biggest sellout in the history of the universe (one of the band members in the album photo is wearing suspenders, and has his zipper down, and Gabriel teased his hair up!?!?!?!). You almost have to buy that album to believe it – but you’ll never listen to it again.
    Come to think of it, though, Celtic Frost was probably the first death metal band to transform into a Pop-Glam Metal band in a matter of a few years. Now THAT’S strange…but not as strange as “Into the Pandemonium.”

    Posted on January 20, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Into the Pandemonium is one of my favorite pieces of music. If I had to name my favorite Celtic Frost album, this would be it. I admire everything that Celtic Frost put out, but this disc is no doubt their most memorable and experimental. It offers many things throughout. The album kicks off with a cover of a song originally done by Wall of Voodoo called “Mexican Radio.” From beginning to end, this album never lets up. Favorite songs would be “Inner Sanctum” and “Rex Irae (Requiem).” “Rex Irae (Requiem)” is an amazing song that still fascinates me to this day with its melding of metal with classical music instrumentation. That song alone is worth owning this album for. Tom G. Warrior does a good job with the vocals also–everything from “Inner Sanctum” to “Mesmerized.” This disc is a mixed bag of styles and not just a standard metal album. The guitar work is great too. I believe that anybody that likes metal or just good music in general should own this album. I’ve never heard anything like it; a truly original album that stands on it’s own.

    Posted on January 20, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • If you want to have more-or-less the complete history of metal in 1 CD, you have to buy this one.There’s not much of exaggeration in this statement. Celtic Frost were known for innovative and genre-defying nature of their music in mid-80s. This album is the pinnacle of their career.What we have here is diversity beyond imagination. While the general mood of the album can be described as proto-death/proto-doom metal (sorry, folks, there’s only so-so of thrash here), it doesn’t say it all.The album starts with an up-tempo “Mexican Radio”, the track that would be best described as break-beat meets death-metal. :) A fun and strong number. 2nd track, “Mesmerized”, a doomy track with moaning vocals that creates a sense of depression.”Inner Sanctum” is more in the tradition of Celtic Frost4th comes the absolutely groundbreaking “Tristesses de la Lune”. This one, featuring heavenly female voice layered over disturbing violin, with guitar noises in the background, at that time was music unheard of. 7-10 years later these same ideas are all around in many gothic, ethereal and neo-classic bands.”Babylon Fell” and “Caress into Oblivion” are again typical CF songs with shifting tempos, unique Tom G. Warrior’s vocals and driving rhythms.”One in Their Pride” was another example of never-before-heard music on this CD. Featuring a drum-machine imitation by human drummer, with sharp staccato rhythms, with spoken words samples and distorted voice layered here and there, it was as industrialized as it was possible for metal in those days. Amazing!”I Won’t Dance” is more of a “Mexican Radio”-type of track. Very catchy. Very original.”Rex Irae” and “Oriental Masquerade” conclude the album on a high note, being close to symphonic music, with a usual Celtic-Frost-touch.I have the 1st print of this CD, so it doesn’t feature any bonus tracks.I can hardly name any 80s metal album that deserves your attention more than this one. That’s too bad that names like Celtic Frost are almost forgotten now, because people are missing a lot. Highest recommendations.

    Posted on January 20, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • 1987 was a good year for extreme metal, with Slayer and Anthrax both releasing classic thrash records. In Florida, Death had released the prototype Death Metal opus ‘Scream Bloody Gore’ and Napalm Death had recorded the benchmark Grindcore classic that was ‘Scum.’ But perhaps the finest achievemant of that year was the Avant Garde, Death/Thrash album ‘Into The pandemonium’ by Swiss metal pioneers Celtic Frost. The first two Celtic Frost records, ‘Morbid Tales’ and ‘To Mega Therion’ had already earned them a place in the elite of extreme metal and had already influenced bands such as Anthrax, Napalm Death and a whole host of Floridian Death Metal bands. However it was on ‘Into the pandemonium’ that that the true Celtic Frost sound was engineered. How do you describe it? Not a very easy job. Songs like ‘Inner Sanctum,’ ‘Babylon Fell’ and ‘I Won’t Dance (The Elders Orient)’ are true Death/Thrash classics that are natural emancipations from the previous two albums. However it is at track four that the album goes beyond experimental. Remember at this time Metallica were considered experimental for using Folk acoustic guitar on ‘Ride The Lightning’ and ‘Master of Puppets.’ But nobody would ever think of using french Horns, Female Operatics and Hiphop drum beats in an entire album would they? The answer is forunately yes. ‘Tristesse De La Lune’ is a bizarre orchestral metal piece complete with a Charles Baudelaire influenced Narration, by a French female who’s name I cannot recall. ‘Mezmerised’ and ‘Caress Into Oblivion’ are Gothic tinged compositions that can be considered as ‘GothMetal,’ long before the likes of Paradise Lost, Anathema and My Dying Bride spearheaded the scene of the nineties (although let’s be honest these three bands all took an influence from the Frost but pioneered their own exqusite sound). ‘Rex Irae’ is a trade off between frontman Tom G. Warrior and a female singer and is a highly intense and innovating Death orientated song that would go on to influence basically any band that experimented with the paradox of using extreme vocals and female voice. ‘One In Their Pride’ is a song complete with Drum Machine and a concept based around Space and ‘Sorrows Of the Moon’ is another Baudelaire influenced song, that shares the same concept with ‘Trisstess De la Lune.’ So you may ask yourself is there anything wrong with this ambitious album? The answer is no, but a few minor points are noticable. The guitar solos are quite poor and rough sounding (which is not intended) but the overall rhythm by Tom, is absolutely spot on and brutally heavy. Drummer Reed Saint Mark is quite astounding and bass player Martin Eric Ain is also stupendous in the compositions. Nowadays you can see the influence that Celtic Frost had on bands like Emperor, Cradle Of Filfth, Therion, My Dying Bride and Mayhem, plus countless others bands. You could argue that along with Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth, Celtic Frost were the most influential band of the mid to late eighties in extreme metal and they still get covered by bands like Sepultura and Anthrax today. This is where metal really ventured into the unknown, and remember that in 1987, nobody had heard anything like this!

    Posted on January 20, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Either you love this album or you hate it. This was Celtic Frost’s chance to put forth something really weird. For some it was too much of a deviation from the original ‘Frost sound, but for others who listened with unbiased ears and took the music for what it was, it was an epic masterpiece. Into The Pandemonium was one of the first Metal albums to incorporate classical Orchestrations and soprano vocals. No doubt a big influence on bands such as Believer, Dimmu Borgir and Emperor. Also it could very well be considered the first Goth Metal album as it incorporates many depressive Goth elements and Vocalizations that are uncannily close to Rozz Williams of Christian Death. Then of course there is the funky dance number but you can always hit the skip button right? Overall, Into The Pandemonium is essential. Immense, heavy, ultra dark and disturbing. Not to mention extremely intelligent and sophisticated.

    Posted on January 20, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now