CELTIC FROST

Kerrang! 292 June 1990

CELTIC FROST – THE ASTORIA, LONDON

I have to confess here and now that I wasn’t overly impressed with the Frosties’ musical change on their ‘Glammy’ ‘Cold Lake’ album, and their Hammersmith show to promote that work also left me feeling cold.

So how have the Frosties changed? Well first and foremost we welcome the return of former bassist Martin Eric Ain, who has replaced the departed Olly Amberg. That may sound confusing, considering that Olly played guitar and Martin in a bassist. But fear not because Curt Victor Bryant, who played bass on ‘Cold Lake’ is really a guitarist – hence the new post for Martin.

I arrive during ‘Inner Sanctum’ having sadly missed ‘Usurper’, ‘Mexican Radio’ and ‘Dethroned Emperor’ due to the Cup Final replay. Master Priestly was playing his drums like a man possessed and Tom Warrior was in fine fettles as he announced “We’d like to go back to the ‘Morbid Tales’ album and ‘Return To The Eve’.”

A classic from the past of course and the ultimate in Death (grunt) Metal, although I wasn’t so sure that Tom Warriors ‘Ball and Chain’, the delightful Michelle, should have sung the back-up vocals. Her sweet innocent voice was drowned out by the cacophony of noise surrounding her.

Martin Eric Ain is looking less ‘Goth’ these days and took time out to introduce ‘Wings of Solitude’ from the recently released ‘Vanity/Nemesis’ album. Once again Michelle Fischer’s voice was sadly lost in the mix, but the general overall sound, it has to be said, was excellent.

‘Mesmerised’ popped up next, and was played as a tribute to the late Sammy Davis Junior who had just passed away. Other high points included another trip down ‘Morbid Tales’ lane for a rendition of ‘Into the Crypt of Rays’, causing the crowd to Mosh madly.

It could only get better from here, and sure enough ‘Procreation of the Wicked’ saw a surprise special guest guitarist – Isabella from the defunct Ice Age. Despite bumping into virtually every member of the band she seemed to be enjoying herself, and the added sound of the third guitar certainly helped in the DOOM AND GLOOM department.

And here we are in extra time with a surprisingly good version of ‘Down Town Hanoi’, the show stopper ‘Circle of the Tyrants’ where Messrs Warrior and Bryant literally smashed up their guitars with happiness.

A thoroughly enjoyable night out.

Xavier Russell.

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