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Hammersmith Palais, London, England

May 11th, 1986

Tom G. Warrior and Martin Ain (Celtic Frost)
Pic: Tim Keenan

If I had asked you lot what Switzerland had given to the world before tonight, what would you have said? Cheese and chocolate I suppose. But many of you know another secret. Switzerland produced something far less friendly and far more harmful – Celtic Frost! Motörhead proved that three guys can be loud, gross and mean all at once and now Frost are out to prove that Switzerland too has the potential to be as mean and as gross, and what’s more, I love it – so there!

11.45pm is late, I agree, but I wasn’t going home. Unfortunately, few of London’s faithful seem to agree and it was a much reduced crowd that faced Tom G. Warrior as the first chords of ‘Into The Crypts Of Rays’ assaulted the PA leads. The faithful few went berserk and the atmosphere took over so that I momentarily forgot I was in London – true escapism man!

I had expected bass noise and bad E chords, but what emerged was quite a surprise. True, I didn’t hear one word of the vocals all night, but who’s interested in those when your neck’s on automatic pilot. The sound was alarmingly clear, even during Tom G. Warrior’s solos, and Martin Ain’s bass playing was impressive, particularly as he never stopped moving, stretching his neck muscles to incredible lengths. Also, very active was Reed St. Mark who attacked his kit with an array of rolling pins and beat the hell out of several good drum skins, and half the stage, showing that his skill in backing Warrior’s riffs is second to none; although the solo seemed pointless?

The crowd didn’t seem to care what each track was and were swept along in a sea of thundering riffs, including ‘Procreation (Of The Wicked)’ and ‘Jewel Throne’, which accelerated and decelerated like a perfectly tuned racing machine on its way to certain victory.

In no time Celtic Frost reached ‘Return To The Eve’ and ‘Morbid Tales’, and then departed. I don’t believe this gig should be judged on the fact that the vocals were nowhere to be heard, or that the image is too plain, or that Frost seem to be over doing a successful pattern; it’s true that a lot of the tracks don’t register their titles immediately, but I believe it should be judged on the riffs and the atmosphere generated in the gig. That’s why I like Celtic Frost. So come on, freeze together and join the legions of the Frost!

Mike Exley

Review taken from Metal Forces, Issue 18 (1986)

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