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!