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★★★★½
(44 Reviews)

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  • This is Celtic Frost’s second album. Released in 1986, this album was set with intrigue right from the beginning. Co-founder and bassist, Martin Eric Ain, was dismissed from the group two weeks prior to the recording of this album. Despite the fact that Ain had helped arrange most of the songs for this album, a replacement was found in Dominic Steiner. The band entered the studio in early 1986 and began recording this album. About half-way through the recording, Ain had been able to get his head together and patch things up with the other members. Ain finished the recording for this album. Did the distractions make this sophomore outing suffer? Here are my reviews of the songs based out of 5 *****:
    “Innocence and Wrath” – A funeral dirge sounding instrumental opens this album and tells the listener right away that this album is going to take you to purgatory and back. French horn and gong crashes really help to set the mood.
    “The Usurper” – Thomas Gabriel Warrior’s graveled “OOOOH!” punches the listener in the stomach as heavy double-bass drumming and thumping bass lines kick in this Slayer-esque tune. The tempo changes to a thrash style and ends with another “OOOOH!” from Warrior. Rating – ****
    “Jewel Throne” – Chugging guitar and thick bass lines punctuated with Warrior’s gravel-throated vocals introduce a pounding/pummeling sludgefest. Tempo changes are incorporated throughout this song. Guitar solo reminds me of KK Downing with the heavy whammy-bar and distortion. fantastic lyrics help add the flavour of mysticism to the tune….”As I gaze from the jewel throne to the portal of infinity. Fallen have the ‘Chosen Ones’. Debris remains in the dust.” Tell me about it! Awesome song! Rating – *****
    “Dawn Of Meggido” – Sabbath like fuzzbox guitar and a slow, pounding tempo intros this piece. The french horn is back helping to add color and tension. Multiple tempo changes throughout this song. “We’ll never be reborn. Prenatal death’s redeemed our lives. (Into his hand) we demand our hearts. The lord and we are one.” And so it is. Another tremendous song! Rating – *****
    “Eternal Summer” – Galloping guitar and drum rolls propel this thrashed out tune into being. Superheavy double-bass kicking pounds your senses. The tempo slows to a quagmire like pace and slowly resumes it’s thrashy speed for the final few bars. Another song with mystical lyrics…”The Gods wince. Human pride and megalomania. The Titans watched it all. The trace led to nowhere. Wrath had to come.” Those bastards! GREAT TUNE! Rating – *****
    “Circle Of The Tyrants” – This song also opens with Warrior pounding you in the gut…”OOOOH!” bellows out Warrior and a very heavy bass and double-bass drum thumping then whallops you in the head. The tempo changes to thrashed-out guitar during the vocals. Garbled, Satanic sounding effects and numerous drum rolls really flattens the listener into submssion. Another tune with thoughtful lyrics…”After the battle is over and the sands have drunken the blood. All that remains is the bitterness of delusion.” Ain’t that the truth. Will we EVER learn? Fantastic piece! Rating – *****
    “(Beyond The) North Winds” – Fast and fat double-bass kicks and high-hat cymbal playing, along with a thumping bass is all you need to know. Great lyrics abound. Rating – ****
    “Fainted Eyes” – Opens very fast! Uber bassing from Dominic Steiner (he hits his bass so hard it sounds like he is clanging a bell!) This piece feels like your in the middle of Tiger tank panzer steamroller! Makes Hulk want to SMASH! Again, multiple changes in the tempo and Warrior’s “OOOOOH!” shouts punctuate this piece. A true classic! Rating – *****
    “Tears In A Prophet’s Dream” – Another spooky/eerie instrumental dotted with distorted cymbal, Bass and guitar effects. Background howls and feedback makes one feel like they’re in Satan’s torture room.
    “Necromantical Screams” – Sabbath like intro gives way to high pitched female vocals giving this piece an etheral quality. French horns make their third appearance on this album, and they are accompanied with the Slayer “Reign In Blood” guitar intro/riff (I wonder who came up with this riff fist?) Once again, numerous tempo changes abound. Great song with interesting lyrics. Rating – *****
    This album has the added bonus of being decorated with HR Geiger’s drawings! Sadly, this album was overshadowed by Slayer’s “Riegn In Blood” that was released the same year. This is a definite classic that helped to transcend the “metal” genre and spawn a new “Gothic” metal style. This is a GREAT piece of MUSIC that deserves to be in any serious music fan’s collection. Feed your soul. Get this album!

    Posted on February 17, 2010