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Celtic Frost/1349/Sahg

Date: 9/22/06
Venue: BB King Blues Club, New York
Reviewed By: Rich Catino


Setlist :
Procreation (Of the Wicked)
Dethroned Emperor
The Usurper
Jewel Throne
Ain Elohim
Necromantical Screams
Dawn of Meggido
Sorrows of the Moon
Return to the Eve
Visions of Mortality
Into the Cryps of Rays
Inner Sanctum
Circle of the Tyrants
Synagoga Satanae

Sahg coming from Norway just released their self titled debut combining the dark moodiness of bands like Kyuss and Pentagram mixing a brand of sludgy guitars, melodic leads, Sabbathy rhythms (you can hear it so much in “The Executioner Undead”) and psychedelic 70's overtones. Sahg was a fitting band for this bill since they were dark in sound but not as extreme as 1349 and Celtic Frost serving both as a compliment and dynamic to the night.

Very rarely, if ever, are the States treated you can say ?, to authentic Norwegian Black Metal bands like Marduk , Dark Funeral, Mayhem, Emperor, Darkthrone and 1349. Touring the U.S. for bands of this genre is rare as unfortunately their radical and at times more than ridiculous behavior in the name of “Satan” prevents them from doing so, and subsequently also gets them time in jail.

Named for the year the plague hit in Norway, 1349 are one of those bands carrying the flag for all that is against the blinding sheepish ways of organized religion, questioning God Jesus and stories told from the bible, and challenging tyrannical political forces.

Complete with corpse paint and spiked wrist bands that could make Kerry King's look like tooth picks (see my pics ), as the members hit the stage I noticed they greeted their audience as coldly as their native country is. Lead singer Ravn introduced a couple songs but other than that had very little repor with his audience. Said a thank you at the end of their set and that's it. You'd think they would be at least a bit happy there was audience for them in America? So that part of their performance I thought was inexcusable and is the first time I have seen this type of behavior from a European band's first time on our shores. Aside form that I have nothing negative to say about their performance as the musicianship was tight and executed well with the crowds reaction being all positive. Former Nile drummer Tony Laureano filled in as regular skinsman Frost is busy with Satyricon .

The band played tracks from all three of their album including “Sculptor of Flesh”, I am Abomination”, and “Slaves to Slaughter” off their latest release “Hellfire”. A band I highly recommend checking out.

After a 17 year absence from touring the States Celtic Frost return in support of their latest release “Monotheist” for two shows at New York's BB King Blues Club. The remaining original members are singer/guitarist Tom Warrior and Martin Eric Ain on bass. As an added bonus tonight original drummer Reed St. Mark was in the crowd to see the show taking pictures with fans.

As you can from my photos Tom and Martin look pretty much the same with similar black makeup and dark clothing from when they had their start in the early 80's, just minus all the spikes and leather. Live I was pleasantly surprised to hear them recreate the same devastating heavy tones found on earlier records like “Morbid Tales” and “To Mega Therion ” and on the latest monster “Monotheist”. Sometimes bands don't always have the same sound live as they do on disc but Celtic Frost really have no problem accomplishing what can be done in the studio. This is more so evident on the new album because “Monotheist” is really thick in the guitars and production department.

So Tom and Martin are joined by drummer Franco Sesa and with former Apollyon Sun guitarist Erol Unala . Song delivery was very tight and the power of those guitar riffs came across very well on classics like “Procreation of the Wicked”, two of my all time favorites “Dethroned Emperor” and “Circle of the Tyrants”, to new songs like “Ground” goes hand in hand with the early 80's material. Judging by the audience apparently Celtic Frost are not just on a nostalgia trip given new songs were well received like the classics and all the young faces pu shin g up against the barricade may be a sign to more music for the future.

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