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Classic Review: Celtic Frost - Morbid Tales
Celtic Frost
Morbid Tales

Label: Noise Records
Year released: 1984
Duration: 46:11
Tracks: 12
Genre: Thrash Metal


Review online: February 23, 2004
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.42/5 (88.46%) (52 Votes)

Tom G. Warrior himself admits that they didn't know how to play in Hellhammer, and not much better when they started Celtic Frost. Well, it kind of shows. :) What do you do when you're still learning your instrument and can't yet play very well? You compensate in the other aspects of the music. After all, music is more than just a bunch of notes. How many technically-perfect bands are a total bore? Don't get me started. :)

Morbid Tales is hailed as one of the early precursors of death and black metal (OK, let's just say extreme metal), kind of a starting point if you will. While the music here is far from a technical prowess, Celtic Frost make up for it in atmosphere and attitude - in that sense you could say they used the same winning formula as Venom (who also admittedly couldn't play very well.) C.F. sure have successfully carried the "morbid" aura into this album, brought by a successul combination of primitive Thrash and Tom's low and raw vocals. The vocals are sometimes almost devoid of any sign of life, while at other times they turn into an almost comedic tone (in a good way.) Simplistic but amazingly addictive beats bring this all together for some heavy and sometimes doom-ish Thrash. Want it or not, at some point you'll end up either headbanging or tapping your foot - or both. This album shines in its simplicity. "Morbid Tales" is a classic proof that a band doesn't need to be too technically proficient to write something good. Of course, not all of them can pull it off either! :)

Couple of annoyances, the opener is pretty much just noise that's gonna be hit or miss with most people - I honestly think it was put there only to annoy the parents of kids who bought the album way back when (and I'm sure it worked. :)) "Danse Macabre" is macabre in essence, but goes on too long for its own good. Other than that, this is pretty much all good to excellent tracks.

Short version of this review: Simple but effective.

Additional Information

Reissued in 1999, combined with the "Emperor's Return" EP.

More about Celtic Frost...
Review: Into the Pandemonium (reviewed by Brett Buckle)
Review: Monotheist (reviewed by Lars Christiansen)
Review: Monotheist (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: To Mega Therion (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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