Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Celtic Frost - Morbid Tales

Today (June 24th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Morbid Tales, the debut album from the Swiss metal band Celtic Frost. The band initially included Tom Gabriel Fischer (guitars and vocals), Martin Eric Ain (bass) and Stephen Priestly (drums). Additional performer on the 1984 record included Horst Mueller (vocals), Hertha Ohling (vocals) and Oswald Spengler (violin).

Side one journeys recklessly "Into the Crypts of Rays". The guitars are heavy and fast, the drums are pounding, and the vocals are gravelly. Yes, we are diving into the world of speed death metal.

"Visions of Mortality" reminds me of Black Sabbath. About halfway through, there is a series of high-octane riffs that eventually take over completely.

"Dethroned Emperor" is next.

The title track "Morbid Tales" closes out the first half.

Side two opens with "Procreation (of the Wicked)". This one does change it up a bit by going with a slower, more drawn out guitar groove.

"Return to the Eve" has an added element - a brief bit of a female vocalist. I suspect she is supposed to be Eve in the song.

"Danse Macabre" opens with a twisted music box kind of sound. It then spirals down into a deep pit of darkness and despair. The track is very different from the others, and that sort of makes it stand out.

The record closes with "Nocturnal Fear".

While I did not totally hate Morbid Tales, I definitely concluded that this is not a genre of music I would find myself listening to very often. Once in awhile is good for a palate cleanser, but then I am set for a few months. One plus for me is that most of the tracks are four minutes long or less, so they don't go on endlessly. As you can guess, I won't be picking up any Celtic Frost.

However, if this brand of metal is something you like, you can check the album out over on Spotify. There are a number of extra tracks included on that version of the record, taken from the band's 1985 EP Emperor's Return.

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