OK, so this isn't the album myself and many other die hard Frost fans had anticipated. Maybe we were expecting 'Into The Pandemonium Part II'. However, Celtic Frost were never a band that could stand still for long and their sound has evolved and moved into the 21st century. And it has to be said that considering band have been away for so long, they've come pretty damn close to creating a monster.
Monotheist isn't the type of album that you can listen to once or twice and decide whether you like it or not. It's a real 'grower'(which personally, is how I judge quality) but even in the early stages, there is plenty to keep the listener interested.
'Progeny' opens the album in barnstorming fashion and we are treated to a death grunt within the opening seconds of the song. 'Ground' is a slower number but still intensely dark and heavy. 'Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh', 'Drown in Ashes' and 'Obscured' represent a departure from the thrashy opening numbers and in my view, these tracks represent some of the Frost's most mature work to date. 'Domain of Decay' is really the only track that reminds me of the old CF material, and I can imagine this one will be a real crowd pleaser when they play live.
The only reason I've not given this album the 5 star treatment is because I believe that the quality of the album tails off towards the end. 'Synagoga Satanae' has its moments, but becomes a little boring and is overly long. 'Totengott' is interesting although perhaps pointless, and reminds me of a modern day 'Danse Macabre'. 'Winter - Requiem III' is a haunting and emotional piece of music, but I would have preferred another track in the vein of 'Domain of Decay' or 'Progeny'!
However, that's the Frost for you. They're different and that's why they're loved and (maybe) despised in equal measures. My advice to anyone who likes any of CF's previous material, or to anyone who enjoys gothic, ultra powerful, heavy music is to go out and buy this. But please stick with it - and give it a few spins before you make your mind up about it. I'm sure you'll find that it's well worth it.