Thursday, 3 December 2015

Various Artists - ‘Morbid Tales: A Tribute to Celtic Frost’ (Album Review)

By: Daniel Jackson

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 15/11/2015
Label: Corpse Flower Records


Child Bite, along with Phil Anselmo brings the biggest name to the tribute, and Phil sounds like he had a blast trying Tom G. Warrior’s unique vocal inflections on for size. He’s like a middle-aged kid blasting “The Usurper” in front of a mirror, doing his best impression of Warrior while his parents are out of the house, which kicks this album off with a really fun tone

‘Morbid Tales: A Tribute to Celtic Frost’ LP//Digital track listing:

Side A:
1. Child Bite w/ Philip H. Anselmo - “The Usurper”
2. Persekutor - “Procreation Of The Wicked”
3. Acid Witch - “Cherry Orchards”
4. Temple Of Void - “Os Abysmi Vel Daath”
Side B:
5. Municipal Waste – “Nocturnal Fear”
6. Hayward (featuring Scott Kelly and Jason Roeder of Neurosis) - “Jewel Throne”
7. Coffin's Slave (featuring Scott Carlson of Repulsion) - “Dance Sleazy
8. Evoken – “Dawn Of Megiddo”

MP3 Download Bonus: Black Anvil – “Dethroned Emperor”

Flexi Bonus: Coffins Slave - Hellhammer’s “Reaper”

The Review:

There was a time, particularly in the first half of the 2000s where tribute albums were a dime a dozen. In fact, there were bands with only a single album out with tribute albums arriving only a year after that album had come out, as was the case with Evanescence. In a more relevant metal context, Dwell Records released an enormous number of metal tribute albums in the late 90s and early 2000s, to wildly varying results. But those tributes also enabled them to get some great albums from the likes of The Chasm and Evoken into major US record stores, at a time when that made a huge difference.

In 2015, tribute albums seem less prevalent anecdotally, or at least more easily ignored. It’s for that reason, along with the sheer effort and reverence ‘Morbid Tales: A Tribute to Celtic Frost’ has behind it, that this tribute is more special than just about any other out there past or present. You can order the album with a 150 page illustrated comic released earlier in the year, as the album is meant to be the comic’s soundtrack. There’s no questioning Celtic Frost’s influence and impact on the heavy metal genre, but this album really drives that point home.

Child Bite, along with Phil Anselmo brings the biggest name to the tribute, and Phil sounds like he had a blast trying Tom G. Warrior’s unique vocal inflections on for size. He’s like a middle-aged kid blasting “The Usurper” in front of a mirror, doing his best impression of Warrior while his parents are out of the house, which kicks this album off with a really fun tone. Sadly, Persekutor drop the ball a bit with a thin-sounding, antiseptic cover of “Procreation of the Wicked”, which takes some of the steam out of the album early on.

Luckily, there’s more than enough here to make up for a couple of stumbling blocks along the way. Acid Witch’s cover of “Cherry Orchards” makes a case for being better than the original for sheer personality, besides being really well-conceived and executed. Temple of Void’s take on “Os Abysmi Vel Daath” from 2006’s ‘Monotheist’ and Evoken’sDawn of Megiddo” are powerful versions in their own right, and each band remembers that the best part of covering a song is making it your own.

With the level of care that went into producing most of these covers, combined with the awesome idea behind the illustrated book that accompanies the album, what you have here is all you could really want in a tribute. There’s a level of passion for the band of honor here that so often feels absent from other tribute albums. For that reason, along with the quality of music on offer, ‘Morbid Tales: A Tribute to Celtic Frost’ is a step above and beyond just about any tribute album I’ve heard to date.

You can pick up an LP/illustrated book copy here


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