The wedding of Heavy music and deathrock
As 2017 closed its curtains with the death of Martin Eric Ain, we saw it was a fitting opportunity to shed a light on one of the most underrated album in Metal music.
Yes people, it’s the one and only third studio full length album ” Into the pandemonium ” by the extreme metal Gods Celtic Frost. CF gained a notoriety over the years, and caused a lot of discussions, back and forth contradictory reactions from the audience with their constant change and progression in their music and artistic mission. Since the “Hellhammer” days, these guys were nothing but ruthless experimenters and explorers : Heavy and brutal thrash with dark atmosphere in ” Morbid tales ” and ” To mega therion “, avant-garde with some gothic and progressive rock undertones in ” Into the pandemonium “, then brutally shifting without any “foreplay ” into glam metal in ” Cold lakes “, then an industrial experiment in ” prototype “, then in the end of their career they blasted everyone with a sludge /doom classic ” Monotheist ” which will be the musical and artistic milestone for Tom Warrior’s current project ” Tryptikon “.
Musically speaking, the album has a lot of influences from the deathrock / post punk gothic bands, from “Bauhaus”, to “The cure” and the legends of deathrock “Christian death “. In general, the album sound is different than the first two CF albums, although it still kept this fresh dark and brutal aura, yet it tried to experiment with other subgenres especially gothic and deathrock music or what was called back in the day ” late 80’s and early 90’s ” New wave and post punk.
We have what we can call traditional CF tracks like ” Mexican Radio –Inner Sanctum – In the chapel, in the Moon “, however in my opinion these songs – good as they are – are not what we can call the gems of innovation in this artistic endeavor, however the other tracks are what make this album so special.
The first unorthodox track is ” Mesmerized ” a complete embrace of deathrock style riffs, and Tom ‘s singing style mimicking Rozz Williams( From Christian Death ) style was quite a surprise ” or shock if you are braindead of course “, another post punk-ish influenced track is ” I won’t dance ” featuring the female singer from the goth rock band ” The Vyllies ” was another moment where they surprise you with their creativity, the song was a heavier reincarnation of ” The Cure ” !
Then we have what I call the mutation tracks, where we can see the fusion of all the metal and deathrock roots come at hand and the result wasn’t less worthwhile trust me. First on the list is ” Caress into oblivion ” which had a very good mix of oriental influenced music, progressive rock riffs, Tom’s switching back and forth from the “Rozz Williams” singing to the monstrous roars of the “warrior “, then ” Babylon Fell ” and ” Rex Irae” are the epitome of this hybrid style, we have a brutal traditional To mega therion riffs, slowed down by gothic influenced melodies and vocals, ” rex irae ( requiem) ” in my opinion is one of the best tracks that incorporated the beauty of classical and heavy music. And last but not least the best track in my opinion ” sorrows of the moon ” which is CF’s musical adaptation to the poem ” les tristesses de la lune ” by the French poet Charles Baudelaire.
Lyrically, we see the first attempts by Tom Warrior to really write good lyrics, in the mutation tracks all the lyrics are nothing but fluid harmonious poetry, a thing that will last with Tom and will triumph in Monotheist and then in his Tryptikon songs. The themes too ranges from religious symbolism, personal struggles to dark romanticism.
Overall, this album is an absolute and underrated gem !