Celtic Frost - To Mega Therion
Noise Records
Thrash Metal, Doom
10 songs (40:23)
Release year: 1985
Celtic Frost, Noise Records
Reviewed by Goat

It’s impossible to choose, really, as to which of Celtic Frost’s earliest releases were most influential on the then-burgeoning Extreme Metal underworld. Whilst 1985 was a pretty significant year for Metal – Destruction’s Infernal Overkill, Possessed’s Seven Churches, ExodusBonded By Blood, Helloween’s Walls Of Jericho and Slayer’s Hell Awaits all came out that year – few other albums are half as experimental as To Mega Therion, or possess a tenth of the songwriting skill. This is simply a joy to listen to – the mixture of Doom and Thrash Metal so perfect and natural that you’ll never question it, the riffs given their wonderful atmospheric gloom by Tom G’s downtuned sound and infamously ‘drunk’ sounding vocals riding over the top like joyriding hooligans.

From the moment that the epic French horns of Innocence And Wrath begin their ominous song, it’s pretty damn obvious that To Mega Therion is as close to perfection as Thrash Metal could get in the mid-80s, or indeed has been since. More twisting and complex than the two EPs that preceded it, this is Celtic Frost’s real debut and their best release, without a doubt. Every element comes together so perfectly, from Tom G. Warrior’s perfect guitar tone to Reed St. Mark’s drumming, both much better and more technical than before, and whilst Martin Eric Ain may not have been around, Dominic Steiner does an excellent job on bass. The unified way that the band plays together on moments like Necromantical Screams is amazing, and the sheer awesomeness of the album is undeniable and indescribable if you’ve not heard it. Take it on faith, there are few albums better than this to get drunk and rock out to, from Tom’s vocals which gleefully butcher the English language to his riffs which are a stake in the heart of non-Metal and, on a personal level, make me ashamed to even have the likes of U2 in my playlist when the sheer visceral pleasure of this exists. Heck, look at the artwork; if that’s not reason enough to buy the album, what sort of Metalhead are you? It’s a complete package of awesomeness.

I meant to review this many an aeon ago, but the plain fact is that To Mega Therion has such a base, animal punch that trying to describe it for those that haven’t heard it is next to impossible. Of course, for 1985 this is surprisingly intelligent and technical, the Doomy likes of Dawn Of Megiddo with the epic trumpets a jump beyond what other bands were creating at the time, and little touches like the echoing vocals on Circle Of The Tyrants are very effective. Of course, the more ‘straightforward’ Thrashers like The Usurper and Jewel Throne are excellent songs, too. Album finale Necromantical Screams, with its operatic backing vocals and epic punch, is the perfect way to finish the album off, bringing the emotional impact to a head and hinting at some of Celtic Frost’s later experiments. Of all the classics I have written, To Mega Therion deserves to be held above them somehow, perhaps a Classic of the Classics; few Metal albums are as important to the genre or as timeless, and if any one release from the genre’s past deserves true God-like status it would be this. Absolutely vital, without a doubt. Now, altogether: “HEY! AH SAID... HEEEEEEEEY!” .

Killing Songs :
Classic songs, one and all: The Usurper, Jewel Throne, Dawn Of Megiddo, Circle Of The Tyrants, and so on
Goat quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Celtic Frost that we have reviewed:
Celtic Frost - Cold Lake reviewed by Goat and quoted 10 / 100
Celtic Frost - Into The Pandemonium reviewed by James and quoted CLASSIC
Celtic Frost - Morbid Tales/Emperor’s Return reviewed by Goat and quoted CLASSIC
Celtic Frost - Monotheist reviewed by Jeff and quoted 66 / 100
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