Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Celtic Frost - Cold Lake (1988)

Cold Lake is the third full-length from the 'legendary' Celtic Frost. By this point, they had already defecated all over their legacy with the horrid trash known as Into the Pandemonium. With that album, fans witnessed the total pussification of this band, or so they thought. In 1988, Tom and Co. returned to finish the job. Remember, at this point, he was still completely disowning the Hellhammer material, and seemed even to dislike the early Celtic Frost stuff as well. Somehow, he got the idea that he could jump on the cock rock bandwagon, and cash in. In the end, he learned a hard lesson; when a Metal band tries to sell out, nine times out of ten, they only succeed in alienating their true fanbase and rarely, if ever, achieve the results that they had in mind.

The production of the album is even softer and easier to digest than the previous record, and the songwriting suits this pretty well. It's weak and uninspired, for the most part. Sadly, a few decent riffs manage to sneak onto the album, and the songwriting actually seems more consistent than on Into the Pandemonium. Of course, it's consistently bad, but consistent, nonetheless. Of course, upon closer inspection, one can detect that some of the riffs have been 'borrowed' from other bands. The latter part of "Petty Obsession" sounds familiar and the main riff of "(Once) They Were Eagles" is ripped off from King Diamond's "Twilight Symphony", released several months earlier on "Them".

One of the problems with this album is that some of the riffs are still too Metal for the crowd that they were trying to appeal to. The songwriting is tame and the production is weak, which goes along with the wretchedly awful vocals. However, this still might have been too heavy for the Poison and Cinderella fans (or whoever the hell they were hoping would buy the album and line their pockets with cash). This means that, at certain points, it is very clear that the music and vocals don't fit together very well. Actually, I cannot fathom what sort of 'music' Tom's homosexual mating calls were meant for, but it has no place in Rock or Metal. Some people simply cannot sing and are better served to stick with a style that hides this fact.

It is laughable that this is the album that the band seems to want to keep hidden away, as it hasn't been reissued along with the others. The one before this was just as bad, just in a different way, yet they still seem proud of that one. At any rate, regarding Cold Lake, this is one of those times when an album is completely torn apart and ridiculed for good reason. The following album, Vanity/Nemesis, is often called a comeback album. By comparison, it seems a little heavier and more Metal-based (especially with the stolen Megadeth riffs from "In My Darkest Hour", on "The Name of My Bride"), but it is more of the same. Avoid anything from this band, after 1985.