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Celtic Frost - Morbid Tales/Emperor's Return
Review: Where Hellhammer focused its strength on the ultimately granular, Celtic Frost is the extension of a shattered attention span to cover a developing theme and the consequences of its interaction in a complex system of complementary riff motifs. These majestically ambitious structures display the crude grandeur of stone fortifications, solid in design and clear in intent, with the neo-Gothic aesthetic enveloping in concept and sound.
Roaring standard form power chords rush to resonant states which, in the style first seen on the epic "Triumph of Death," augment or reduce those states for melodic motion instead of concluding them or in the hardcore style lingering on the essential rhythm and tone for the purpose of seamless looping. As a result, circular structures are longer and roll development of riff and theme from essential components fusing to unravel narrative to its culmination, allowing melody to appear not in the aspect of the riffs themselves but in a knowledge of the tones pursued and resonant change in harmony as structure having melodic aspects to its progression.
Epic rock had previously focused on the latter part of the epithet more than the first yet on this album a great consciousness is unleashed in a form that would inspire others to imitate and improve, hailing the exuberant spirit of inventiveness and fantasy that inspired Celtic Frost to create music resembling the fatalistic rumbles of a self-digesting world while celebrating the spirits of those laboring for life however perverse that is available within. Instrumentalism is basic: guitars use squealing feedback for great effect among the power chord textures, drums are tightly tucked into their own patterning and emphasize heartbeat structures of resurgence and completion; the hoarse chanted shout reads aloud a presentation of knowledge in rhythm to complement the song, instead of wrangling for counterpoint focus, and dynamic variance supports rising tension needs of song coherence.
While unrefined in some aspects of musical focus and raw in presentation, the music of Celtic Frost expresses a concept in songwriting where appearance defines setting and, in the style of Slayer, melody and structure demonstrate narrative and resonant properties in effect on the listener. Their label could only "afford" two EPs instead of albums and in this presentation they together demonstrate a journey toward the classic autumnal sound of the droning and majestic band that seeded all of black metal to come with its ideas.