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News for July 2004

New Celtic Frost track for download:

Direct from Erol: "This Saturday I just finished mixing a new version of 'Ground', this time it's the full band, recorded live @ our rehearsal room." The vocals and lead guitar overdubs were added shortly thereafter.

Download the new version of "Ground" here.

News for June 2004

News about Tom G. Fischer's own release:

Yes, I am working on a solo album, and I am aiming at releasing it next year. This will in no way negatively affect or delay work on the new CF album. Quite the opposite - I began work on my own album because of my frustration over the extremely long gestation period of the CF album and my inability (in spite of a number of efforts) to speed up its completion. I am, after all, only one factor of many that influence the pace and the ultimate result of a new CF album recording.

I never seriously pursued the idea of a "solo album" (and I actually find that term ridiculous). But a little over a year ago, I began to complete music for an album of my own. I felt (and feel) barely able to contain my impatience and frustration over the slow progress of the CF album, no matter how happy I was/am about the music we have written for it.

The CF album has become extremely heavy over the past year, and I have written virtually all of that music, together with Erol. It is amazing and intoxicating to see and hear the band like this. But it is as important to me that a CF album also contains the typical ingredient of material that is different and that no other band would dare to include - just as we have done on our first three albums. But a key member of the band disagreed. There were numerous songs I submitted for inclusion on the CF album that were turned down; it was felt that these songs did not have a place on a CF album because they were too experimental. The rejected music is very closely related to my personal life and emotions, and there was no way I was just going to throw it away.

The delays and the above scenario are the two reasons why I am working on my first album of my own. I have the music for eight songs completed and will begin vocal recordings this summer. The album will not sound like Apollyon Sun. It is much more somber and utterly dark, as has been my life in recent years. The music can perhaps be described as dark wave, electronica... or, much better, as my innermost feelings and emotions turned into soundscapes, aural paintings. Since I was no longer bound by the identity of CF when working on this material, the songs have become far more electronic than how I imagined them played by CF. On the other hand, when I showcased some material to my close friends, they all said it sounds exactly like Frost. They were also rather taken aback by the darkness of it all.

Musically, I am very happy right now, as I have the opportunity to complete two different but related works side-by-side. As much as I hate that it takes so long, the CF album will leave no questions unanswered. Of that I am sure. And my own album is very important to me personally. The parallel existence of CF allows me to focus solely on my own needs and to not be bound by sales or sound expectations. I am doing this just for me, and if only a handful of people out there will understand the emotions contained therein, these people and me will share something very special and very personal.

With much love and gratitude

Tom Gabriel Fischer, Zurich, Switzerland

News for February / March 2004

Sanctuary Records, London, have approached their German office in Berlin, the former Noise Records (and original label of Celtic Frost in the 1980s), with the intention to compile a two-CD slipcase "Anthology" covering Celtic Frost's career. Steve Hammonds of Sanctuary London also proposed that he would compile the respective track listing. Although it was apparently not intended by the London office to involve the band in such a significant project, the inquiry was forwarded to us by Sanctuary's Berlin office. We are extremely grateful for this. On Thursday, February 19, 2004, the band responded as follows:

"We had a detailed discussion last night about the idea of releasing a Celtic Frost anthology. While we are generally sceptical of such proposals (not least because of last year's unspeakably cheap, inappropriate and unauthorized "Are You Morbid" compilation CD, released via "Delta Deluxe Records") we also believe that an anthology can be made into an exciting, fresh, convincing and valid product, if it is done right.

The aforementioned "Are You Morbid" compilation CD received ridicule and utterly bad re-views. Very deservedly so. It was not only a product of which the band had not been informed about and the timing of which was completely ill-advised, but it conveyed the very obvious aura of a quick-shot, money-greedy, low-attention-to-detail release.

Yes, a record company cannot realistically pay attention to every act's little peculiarities, but in the case of Celtic Frost, such shoddiness simply won't fly. Not with the target audience, not with the media, and certainly not with the band. Celtic Frost's reputation exists solely because we care for quality, originality and art. The entire "brand of Celtic Frost" is based on that. The very reason for this anthology (namely that the name Celtic Frost is still ever-present in the scene and as an influence quoted by many of today's major bands) is rooted is this distinction. Had Celtic Frost's own work been assembled as haphazardly as the aforementioned compilation, the band's name wouldn't amount to anything. If a record company ventures to release quick-shot CDs with our band's name on it, it will be more than evident to even the most simple-minded rock fan on this planet that the band has not been involved with such a CD and therefore doesn't back it, and that such a CD is designed with the mere intention of wringing money from wallets that have already paid for the very same music once before (albeit with a better packaging/presentation).

We, at least, don't really feel like screwing our audience like that.

We have decided to propose to you a full cooperation between the band and record company on this anthology. It will be the only way this proposed 2-CD set will look and feel authentic to the public and media, and a way to make it enticing and worthy enough for people to seriously think about spending their money on it. It will enable the record company to promote the CD under the banner of "produced in cooperation with the band", since it will be a true Celtic Frost release. And it is the only way we feel able to back such an anthology. We will not stand for a single further unauthorized CD with our name on it, and we will go out of our way to make this known in a most public manner and on a truly global scale if this is to happen again with this anthology.

We therefore propose the following:

- The 2-CD anthology be divided into one CD of Hellhammer and one CD of Celtic Frost.

- Hellhammer has so far not been reasonably represented on CD, and this presents a significant potential due to that band's underground reputation and influence on today's hard music. We are also very proud of Hellhammer's legacy and enthusiastic about the importance and intensity of the band's body of work.

- We will submit the full track listing for both CDs and can do so as early as next week.

- We are in possession of Hellhammer demo tapes (and the rights thereto), which have never officially been released on CD. While the quality of these recordings is extremely basic, it will be a major selling point of the anthology if we include a handful of demo tracks. The administrative details for this can surely be worked out between band and record company.

- The Hellhammer CD would of course also feature selected songs recorded by Hellhammer for Noise Records in 1984.

- The Celtic Frost half of the anthology: we can put an exciting one together in our sleep.

- We will submit the entire artwork for the CD. One side of the booklet will feature Celtic Frost cover art, the other Hellhammer cover art. We will submit some photographic material which has not yet been widely seen. There are also a number of Hellhammer photographs in our possession which have never been released. We will include a few lines of explanatory text for each song featured on the CDs (timeframe, recording circumstances, trivia etc.), plus some brief anthology liner notes and detailed credits.

- All Celtic Frost songs will be taken from the Noise Records re-issue sessions of 1999 (the very detailed remastering performed at that time improved the sound quality significantly). The Hellhammer demo tracks would have to undergo only a basic mastering.

- The name of the anthology will be "Innocence and Wrath - An Anthology" (after one of Celtic Frost's classic songs of 1985).

- The gestation of this project would probably benefit if we would work as much as possible with the Berlin office, as we have enjoyed a very fruitful cooperation for the re-issue CDs.

Please think about these ideas and let us know your thoughts. All subsequent details could be worked out in the coming days/weeks.

Best regards,

Celtic Frost"


Starting in the second half of October, Celtic Frost have begun the initial part of the recording sessions for the group's new - seventh - album, tentatively titled "Probe".

As has been anticipated by a variety of sources, the group consists of Martin Eric Ain (bass/vocals), and Tom Gabriel Fischer (voice/guitars/keyboards), along with Fischer's long-time songwriting partner and co-founder of Apollyon Sun, guitarist / producer Erol Unala. After initial meetings with the original members of Celtic Frost in Zurich and New York in summer of 2000, Unala became an increasingly integral and important part of the re-envisioned Celtic Frost in the course of the subsequent extended development and songwriting sessions. H2CF understands that it has been Martin Ain and Erol Unala who together have written some of the forthcoming album's most unusual pieces so far.

It is expected that a number of guests will also participate on the album before the conclusion of the recordings (at present tentatively scheduled for early 2003).

The current recording sessions encompass pre-production, basic tracks, overdubs, vocals and initial guest performances. These early sessions are taking place at Oakland Recording in Switzerland, owned by longtime AS and CF engineer and friend, Walter Schmid.

Fischer: "We have taken eight songs to Oakland so far, and most of these will be finished to full album standard. Those that won't will still feature basic tracks recorded to album standard, and they will be production demos, later to be worked on to also become proper album songs. In parallel, we are preparing a further handful of new songs and are also still writing fresh material. At some point in the coming months, we will shift the recording sessions to England, where we will also mix the entire album, according to the current plans."

The recording sessions were preceded by months of writing and pre-production work at the group's rehearsal studio (named "Die Anstalt", on loan from Apollyon Sun) in Zurich, Switzerland, and at Fischer's and Unala's own home recording facilities, Blaswerk and DDR72 respectively.

The material so far being prepared for possible inclusion on the "Probe" album includes "Silence", "November", "Lore", "Seed of Tranquility", "Beloved" (a substantially rewritten version of "Pearl of Love" from the unreleased "Under Apollyon Sun" album), "Totgetanzt", "Lost Cynic Rover", "Patriarch", "The Dark", "Wanker God", "Winter (Requiem Part III: End)", "Leaves and Hunger", "The Dying I", "Resurgam", along with a cover version (with lead vocals performed by Martin Ain) which the group still keeps under wraps. At this time, some of the songs (such as "November", Totgetanzt" and the cover version) are already fully finished and await mastering.

Both Ain and Fischer describe the album as "dark, risky, adventurous, strange, and heavy in a variety of ways".


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