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Danse Macabre

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Songs like “Mezmerised” and “Sorrows of the Moon” pulled in the trippy feel of classic rock and wound them into at-the-time modern metal numbers. But as we saw with Black Sabbath, new doors can be kicked open with very little in the way of planning, with revolutionary results; perhaps what is more interesting is looking at which artists stride purposefully through these doors that have arguably only been booted open accidentally. Intensely heavy, nuanced and experimental, the record was a radical musical statement of intent; a stunning synthesis of Warrior and Ain‘s disparate influences.

From the furious opening riff of "Into The Crypts Of Rays" through to the avant-garde experimentation of "Danse Macabre", "Morbid Tales" heralded the arrival of CELTIC FROST as a profoundly unique and uncompromising band. It’s easy to see this as one of the most important ur-documents of black metal after the first two Bathory albums and Venom’s honourable mention for naming the whole shebang, and that’s before we get to its foundational status in the soon to emerge death metal genre. I guess that makes this one more unique, but personally I'd have preferred all Vinyls in this set to reflect the original tracklistings, still a fantastic box set regardless. We all said before we make this decision, we all meet in a rehearsal room somewhere and play a few of these songs and see what it even sounds like.One of the first bands to follow in the rupturing aftermath of Venom’s first single and two albums, was Swiss metal group Celtic Frost. Number one, we were a small underground band originally, and we never thought that anybody would still talk about this; Hellhammer or Celtic Frost 40 years later, or on a global basis. So we talked about this among the members of Triptykon, and I wanted to be sure everybody does it for the right reasons, and nobody’s against this. From the very beginning, Triptykon when we play live, it’s always 50/50; 50% Triptykon music/50% from the Celtic Frost catalog. Read more about the condition New: An item that is still in its original shrink wrap from the manufacturer and the original manufacturer’s seal (if applicable) has not been removed.

Celtic Frost, together with Venom and Bathory, are considered pioneers of extreme metal (especially black metal). Of course, if you look at the decade dispassionately now with the benefit of hindsight, you can see clearly that the true epitome of modernism in new music was happening in heavy metal, hidden in plain sight. One ingrained narrative of the modernist 1980s is that music slumped midway through the decade, with all of the creative verve that powered post punk sedated until acid house culture livened things up once again. I am happy for you that all three bands are represented and it’s just really cool that fans are still enjoying it.Certainly, especially with the non-traditional instruments, you get the feeling from this point that Celtic Frost were a band prepared to push a few boundaries. The first full album was released the next calendar year and you can tell the band have gone a little nuts with the addition of a brass band for the introductory opener (who reappear for other songs such as “Dawn of Meggido”). As is known from uncounted stories from uncounted bands, Noise Records was a label that made it very difficult for artists to be creative and to work with any kind of strategy. Whether this was the fuel that propelled Celtic Frost or not (other potential power sources include an obvious emerging zeitgeist, geographical isolation from nearly all other metal groups and Fischer’s weird and unpleasant childhood), in three short years they would come to represent the best of the spirit of innovation in heavy metal during the mid-80s. The sobering process of recording Apocalyptic Raids for Noise Records in 1984 and realising that their intense love for extremity and teenage/young 20-something tunnel vision wasn’t going to be something they could transfer to record without a fundamental overhaul of values led them to a move that very few young bands have the nous for.

While the recordings are rough, they’re very easy to listen to and surprisingly better quality than I would have expected for what amounts to a microphone in a rehearsal studio.And into this situation, the promoter from the Hell’s Heroes Festival in Texas came and asked us if we would be interested in playing the first few Celtic Frost albums in their entirety. Black and Death metal with occasional hints of doom and ambient and strong lyrics too, an intelligent and professional touch that put Celtic Frost above many at the time. Originally a mix of thrash and black metal, later material would mix other more experimental threads (gothic, for example).

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