One day a theatre critic had been invited for dinner. He hinted that, having watched a play in which [Klaus] Kinski had a small role, he would mention him as outstanding and extraordinary. At once, Kinski threw two hot potatoes and the cutlery into his face. He jumped up and screamed: I was not outstanding! I was not extraordinary! I was monumental! I was epochal!
– Werner Herzog, My Best Fiend
Every time I think about Monotheist I think about Herzog’s story about the actor Klaus Kinski. Celtic Frost’s 2006 comeback album is not simply outstanding. Or excellent. It is monumental! It is epochal!
It’s also pulverising, esoteric, gothic, grand, terrifying, seductive and totally dark. Monotheist doesn’t let up until its Nuremberg Rally climax in Synagoga Satanae gives way to the beautiful strings of Winter: Requiem.
I’ve been listening to it again as I just bought the new reissue on vinyl. It sounds great and, as an added bonus, it features a different bonus track to my old CD version. The CD had a track called Temple of Depression and this edition replaces that with Incantation Against You. The vinyl version has a better, more varied, flow. Temple of Depression was always a touch samey to me, creating a mid-album lull. But, even then, Monotheist is so monumental etc… that I want every track I can get my hands on from it. It’s the best album released this millennium. You don’t get much more epochal than that.
[Celtic Frost – Ain Elohim]