Celtic Frost

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Celtic Frost is an extreme metal band from Zürich, Switzerland, best known for their influence on the Thrash metal, Black metal, Doom Metal and Death metal genres.

Celtic Frost's frontman, guitarist and singer Tom Gabriel Fischer, changed his name to Tom Warrior. With Steve Warrior on bass, he formed one of the earliest extreme metal bands, Hellhammer, in 1982. Steve Warrior was later replaced by Martin Eric Ain - also a pseudonym. The band attracted a small international fan base, got signed to Noise Records in Germany and recorded their debut EP Apocalyptic Raids in March of 1984, now a rare finding on e-Bay or second hand record stores around the world.

By May of 1984, Hellhammer had disbanded; Fischer and Ain, along with session drummer Stephen Priestly, reappeared with Celtic Frost. Their 1984 debut LP, Morbid Tales was a hit in the metal scene, and the band set out on its first tour, through Germany and Austria. This was followed up with an EP "The Emperor Returns". Both early releases are now available on the one CD, although vinyl copies are still around. One of their most influential recording was 1985's "To Mega Therion", followed in 1987 by Into the Pandemonium. These albums were some of the pivotal LPs for underground metal and inducted a new and more varied sound. Celtic Frost, along with Venom and Bathory were pioneers in what would be called Black Metal, although Celtic Frost were much more experimental with the addition of classical instruments, opera vocals and sampling. They were given the new title of avant-garde metal.

After a subsequent North American tour (which saw the addition of a second guitarist, Ron Marks to the groups ranks), financial trouble, personal tension between the band members and an ill-fated relationship with their record label led to a complete dissolution of the band. Six months later, Warrior decided to reform the band with Stephen Priestly back on drums, Oliver Amberg on guitars and Curt Victor Bryant on bass. The resulting album Cold Lake was a major disappointment to most of the group's established fan base but achieved notable success in the North American market. Bryant fired Amberg and former live guitarist Ron Marks returned as a guest for the recording of Vanity/Nemesis in 1990. The most significant change, however, was the return of early bassist Martin Eric Ain. But Celtic Frost's reputation did not fully recover. The group's next (and, as it would turn out, last for several years) album was a collection of rare and unreleased recordings called Parched With Thirst Am I and Dying (1992). It featured unreleased material, re-recorded versions of older songs, and some studio session versions, closing the chapter on one of the most brutal and experimental bands of all time.

In late 2001, Fischer and Ain began to write music together again, along with Unala on guitar and, from late 2002, experienced Swiss drummer Franco Sesa (also known within the group as the Inverted Cross). The aim was to develop and record a new, very dark and heavy album. The completion of the project took far longer than anticipated (in part due to the DIY nature of the project and the project's financing) but finally resulted, in late 2005, in what Fischer and Ain describe as "perhaps the darkest album Celtic Frost have ever recorded", based on a combination of the musical aura of To Mega Therion and Into The Pandemonium.

The newest and seventh Celtic Frost album was financed by the group itself through their own record label, Prowling Death Records, and publishing imprint, Diktatur des Kapitals. Prowling Death Records originally was the self-founded underground label which released the Hellhammer demos and managed Hellhammer's career in 1983/1984. The album was produced by Celtic Frost with Peter Tägtgren (of Bloodbath/Hypocrisy/Pain fame) and mixed by Fischer and Ain. Celtic Frost and Prowling Death Records subsequently entered into a worldwide licensing deal with Century Media Records. The album, titled "Monotheist", was released on May 30th, 2006.

On May 29, 2006, Celtic Frost embarked on the most extensive tour of the band's career, the "Monotheist Tour", initially headlining festivals (e.g. the Wacken Open Air festival, in front of an audience of 50,000) across Europe throughout summer 2006 and then commencing the tour proper with 46 headline concerts in the United States and Canada in fall 2006, and the group's first ever shows in Japan in January 2007. Spring 2007 is to see the European leg of the tour and a return to the United States to reach new audiences as a special guest to Type O Negative. Further festival appearances and concerts are to follow throughout summer 2007.

Onstage, Celtic Frost play with an additional tour guitar player. This position was initially filled by Anders Odden (Cadaver, Apoptygma Berzerk, Magenta), now by V Santura (of Dark Fortress).

As of early 2007, Celtic Frost have begun writing material for a new album, possibly due for release in 2008. (Celtic Frost - Wikipedia)

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