Twisted deep in the silica-rich bowels of Earth, the plates are threatening to converge from the remaining shock waves inflicted by the elder minions in Celtic Frost. Rising from 20 years toiling in a shallow grave of obscurity, demon-in-charge Thom Warrior and company have dropped their crush on Bowie and descended deeper into those fiery circles that inspired Slayer to try and scare you. Monotheist, the Frost's sixth album, is purely terrifying. With ripping production courtesy of their new handshake with Century Media, this is easily one of the heaviest albums I've ever heard. Just don't expect the speed and thrash overkill of earlier classics Morbid Tales or Into the Pandemonium. We have been led toward much darker territory here.
The imminent doom of "Progeny" lets us know it'll be a neutral-paced descent into hell. "Ground" continues the tirade against a God who dares to forsake the Frost. Bassist Martin Eric Ain lends his writing and ghostly pipes to "A Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh." "Drown in Ashes" has guest Lisa Middlehauve taking them in a Lacuna Coil direction. Shit gets scarier with the crushing love letter to Aleister Crowley in "Os Abysmi Vel Daath." This is challenging music that may take some time to get into. It's art that doesn't creep around the work of most metal bands today. The conjuring persists with "Domain of Decay," and heads will surely bang to the devastating "Ain Elohim," an affectionate ode to atheism that roughly translates to "There is no God." Warrior's last words "We come into this world alone/And we die on our own/I live/I die/Ain Elohim" sums up an epoch of studied philosophy. Now if you manage to get that far unscathed, then "Totengott" will turn your treasured dream to a manic nightmare. The epic torment of "Synagoga Satanae" will ceaselessly stalk you with the poetic "My church is my sacrifice/Follow after me into the halls of my damnation/I wield death like a scythe, reaping my annihilation." And the final, instrumental "Winter" is sheer victory. 20 years have passed to secure these 72 minutes and in 20 more, musicians will still be biting ideas off of it.