353: CELTIC FROST

When Hellhammer broke up in the mid eighties, it gave frontman Tom G. Warrior and bassist Martin Eric Ain the opportunity to form a new band. One that would go on to be pioneers of multiple extreme metal genres as well as avant-garde metal. That band was, of course, the mighty Celtic Frost.

In 1985 they released their first full length album, โ€˜To Mega Therionโ€™ (which followed the EP โ€˜Morbid Talesโ€™). It combined thrash elements with those of the nascent death and black metal genres, and is highly regarded as an early landmark for both genres.

Three more albums were released by the start of the 90s, all of which continued Celtic Frostโ€™s expansion into more genre experimentation, including glam and traditional metal. Shortly thereafter, the band split up.

Celtic Frost returned in the noughties after a nearly decade-long break, eventually releasing their fifth and (as of 2021) final album, โ€˜Monotheistโ€™ in 2006. This was not just a return to form, but rather a newly invigorated and reborn Celtic Frost. The album was critically acclaimed and loved by fans, and was a summation of everything the band had done up to that point, but then expanded and evolved even further.

On โ€˜Monotheistโ€™, Celtic Frost adeptly combine and bounce between thrash, doom, black, and gothic elements, creating an all-encompassing journey through extreme metal. It somehow offers and incredibly varied and eclectic sonic journey, while never feeling disjointed or disconnected.

Celtic Frost disbanded again shortly after, leaving us with this album as a perfect example of just how fucking good this band was. Talk about going out on a highโ€ฆ

Luckily for us, Tom G. Warrior went on to form his new band, Triptykon. Having released two albums and an EP themselves (as well as a live recording from Roadburn that everyone should hear), Triptykon are absolutely the spiritual successor to Celtic Frost. It makes sense, really, because thereโ€™s nobody else capable of carrying that torch.

There is only one Tom G. Warrior.