By RFT Music
By Drew Ailes
By Bob McMahon
By Allison Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By Carolina de Busto
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
Ain admits that when he and Fischer created Celtic Frost, "we tried to get away from Hellhammer as much as possible. But [this time around] we realized this is where Celtic Frost actually started, with Hellhammer. That genuine emotion that we had, that teenage angst music that we had created we tried to rekindle that, not copy that. I think this is the most honest album this band has done since...my guess is, Apocalyptic Raids," Ain laughs, referring to Hellhammer's EP. "A lot of bands, even ourselves, would use technical capabilities to hide the fact that they're not able to bring across genuine emotion in the music."
On Monotheist, Celtic Frost succeed once again in creating something genuine, terrible, dark, passionate and, above all, metal. Monotheist is the pay-off to the dreams Fischer and Ain hatched two decades ago; it's as if they've learned how to harness their ambition, to ride it instead of letting it ride them. "Os Abysmi vel Daath" combines soaring female vocals, a classic Fischer hook boring away at your face, and a simple, pounding riff that drops with heart-stopping weight.
Halfway through the song, the plates of the earth lean into each other, a juddering upheaval and a lone howling voice mark the end of the world then the sky opens, and Fischer and Ain hammer away at the galloping riff. "Where I am there is no thing. No God, no me, no in-between," Fischer grunts from the sepulcher. Twenty years after their first release, Celtic Frost have achieved what was impossible when they were young; they've honored the past and created a future unimagined by their peers.