Celtic Frost - Monotheist review


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Band: Celtic Frost
Album: Monotheist
Release date: May 2006

01. Progeny
02. Ground
03. A Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh
04. Drown In Ashes
05. Os Abysmi Vel Daath
06. Obscured
07. Domain Of Decay
08. Ain Elohim
09. Triptych: Totengott
10. Triptych: Synagoga Satanae
11. Triptych: Winter (Requiem, Chapter Three: Finale)

The Emperor HAS Returned

It would probably not be too much of an over-generalization to say that Celtic Frost fans are divided into two groups. The first group is made up of extreme metal fans who see the Swiss band's seminal records like Morbid Tales and To Mega Therion as the major influence and inspiration on the black, death and doom metal genres that they definitely and unquestionably are. The second group consists of the people who love Celtic Frost for their fearless avant-garde attitude that manifested itself on Into The Pandemonium, when the band incorporated gothic, operatic and even industrial elements into their abrasive metal style.

Monotheist, Celtic Frost's comeback album after 16 years of absence, will definitely appeal much more to the afore-mentioned second group. Although the band still knows how to make ultra-heavy extreme metal, the emphasis this time around is not on dynamic metal riffing but rather on creating a very dark and oppressive ambience. Thus, I interpret Monotheist as being a take onto the currently blossoming ambient metal scene and it makes Celtic Frost part of the 'front-line' again - they're not just old-timers rehashing ideas. Seen in this light, Monotheist is a very impressive achievement indeed. The band either smashes the senses with music as heavy as To Mega Therion ("Ain Eliohim", "Progeny", "Os Abysmi Vel Daath") or soothes them with somber and beautiful pieces ("Obscured", "Drown In Ashes", "Incantation Against You"). Finally, they conjure up "Synagoga Satanae", some of the most menacing 14 minutes I have ever heard. Everything here is droning, dark and absolutely overwhelming - a real experience to behold.

With all this said, I am not sure how the first group of fans that I described in the beginning will like this album. If you are expecting unadulterated and underproduced rage, you won't find it here. This album is very heavy but it is a very deliberate and carefully designed kind of heaviness. My advice to those who do not see the greatness of this album at first is to listen to it more and try to appreciate it on its own terms. It's well worth the effort.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 10


Written on 29.05.2006 by With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. He lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he does his best to avoid prosecution for being so cool.

Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 37   Visited by: 463 users
13.02.2009 - 16:17
Best album since "To Mega Therion"
17.02.2009 - 02:13
I'm so in love with this album
Their best... too bad they split up. Hope Warrior Fischer creates something like this with his new band.
20.04.2009 - 20:22
Liver Failure
Wow... I have listened to this one right after Vanity/Nemesis and... the difference in the production quality is almost scary.

This album is good, not 9.4 good to me. An 8 is enough. Best songs are the heavy ''Progeny'', the atmospheric ''Obscure'' and the catchy ''Domain Of Decay''.

member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
30.12.2011 - 01:55
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 28.07.2006 at 21:00

One of the biggest disappointments for me this year, nothing new, nothing spectacular, just didn't do a thing to me. But it is better than what I think is the most overrated album ever, INto The Pandemonium.

I think it's kind of a stretch to say that Into the Pandemonium is the most overrated album of all time. Many discredit the album and say that it's the first in a career decline, and I rarely see it rated that highly anywhere (81% on M_A and an 8 on MS--sad to say, but those are pretty much 'average' ratings for the two prime metal sites, especially the latter). It's not considered anywhere near the level of To Mega Therion by most, for example.
My lo-fi synth project: http://luciddreamer.bandcamp.com
09.05.2015 - 02:43
I can't leave to listen this album, it's varied and the atmosphere is awesome. IMHO it deserves a 10.

Call me strange, I don't like To Mega Therion.
06.03.2017 - 01:06
I'm a member of the "first group of fans" and I love this album. I really do. It's gigantic. I think Celtic Frost have not been given credit enough for the huge contribution to shape heavy metal as we know it today. I worship To Mega Therion and I love Monotheist to bits.
10.05.2019 - 15:12
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 28.07.2006 at 21:00

One of the biggest disappointments for me this year, nothing new, nothing spectacular, just didn't do a thing to me. But it is better than what I think is the most overrated album ever, INto The Pandemonium.

Who is this idiot?

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