Celtic Frost

Monotheist

Century Media 2006

Celtic Frost have been one of the most influential bands on the shaping of my metal mindset with such ultra-godly albums as Morbid Tales and my favorite, To Mega Therion.  After the travesty known as Cold Lake and the disappointment with Vanity/Nemesis, it was with great trepidation that I awaited the birth of Monotheist.  Would it live up to the monumental expectations I held for it?  I guess the answer is "kind of."  The album is solid but still flawed.  It certainly is a dark affair that possess some monstrously powerful moments.  On Obscured, Tom G. "Warrior" does his best Peter Murphy(Bauhaus) impression.  Some of the stuff on here borders on Goth music while some of it has a feel of classic Celtic Frost that has been updated.  This gives Monotheist sort of a split personality and I feel torn in two different directions while listening to it.  But when the traditional styled material is on it hits like a hammer such as on my favorite track Ain Elohim, with its brutal Chorus of "Tet-ra-grammaton!"  Simply Powerful!  A lot of people have said that there is a a large doom influence on this album and I can agree to an extent, I mean I hear a some Turn Loose the Swans era My Dying Bride on A Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh, Drown in Ashes, and Os Abysmi Vel Daath but it has almost a Goth feel to it for those parts rather than a metal feel.  The classic sonic landscapes that were featured on the older frost albums such as Danse Macabre (from Morbid Tales) and One in Their Pride (from Into the Pandemonium) make an appearance here as well such as on Winter (Requiem, Chapter Three: Finale) The production is clean and thick.  It truly is stellar and a lot of time obviously went into this album.  The guitars have an especially heavy and "sawing: sound to them.  Though Monotheist has its ups and downs I think this is a solid album and gives me great hope for the future, I just think they need more consistent material and need a clearer focus on what they are trying to accomplish with the musical message of the album.  I for one am glad that Celtic Frost has made a grand return to the stage of extreme metal.