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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2009
After the misstep of Cold Lake the Frosties had to come back with an album that was so killer hot it would melt your face (to quote Manowar). The result of this is Vanity/Nemesis. Interestingly the band veered away from pleasing their hard core fans, who were baying for a return to the death metal, avant garde Frost of old, and plumped for the middle ground of metallic thrash largely dominated by Megadeth at the time. This crime against the hardcore followers would be unforgiveable if the output wasn't any good. Fortunately for less partisan fans, Vanity/Nemesis is a refreshing triumph. The overwhelming feeling when listening to this is one of high confidence, purpose and exhuberance. It is heavy, but in a light and shade melodic and controlled way, and it is well produced to give maximum sparkle and sledge hammer crunch to the sound. Tom 'sings' better than he has ever sung, traditional guitar solos abound and each piece stands on its own merits. Highlights are the meandering pairing of the catchy Vanity and Nemesis (aka Barrel of Fear in demo form) and the brutal sounding barrage of Wine in my Hand (to name but two).

In the grand tradition of say the Sisters Of Mercy, Tom marries up the band's quirky and distinctive style (particularly in the vocal department) with a female foil on a number of tracks (e.g. Nemesis and The Wings Of Solitude), an effective trick that he continues in his later work on both Monotheist and with Tryptikon. Also similar to the Sisters, who personalised say Hot Chocolate's Emma, Dylans' Knocking On Heavens Door or Parton's Joleen, Tom completely reworks Bowie's 'Heroes' and Ferry's 'This Island Earth' to great effect on this CD. Finally there is a touch of wry humour in the throwaway thrash cut of 'Phallic Tantrum', which follows in the tradition of say including 'Mexican Radio' on 'Into The Pandemonium' or 'Return to the Eve (Party Mix)' on Parched with Thirst (or pretty much all of 'Cold Lake' for that matter - ie Petty Obsession, Seduces Me Tonight - take your pick really....and of course the now infamous band photography on the cover).

Showing my cards, I actually quite like the aforementioned 'Cold Lake' and there is a small element left in the DNA on this CD (the resulting tour had both Vanity/Nemesis and Cold Lake tracks left in the mix, so Tom hadn't quite got over his Cold Lake phase). But this weakness shouldn't deter people from going out and buying this. Crank it up loud and this will compete and beat hands down any contemporary thrash in the late 80's - heavy, slick, intelligent and in the great tradition of Celtic Frost, maintaining that feeling of being somewhat arty.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 19 April 2002
This album, like Frost's previous release (Cold Lake) is somewhat unfairly maligned by the vast majority of fans. Musically it is certainly more mainstream than their first four albums but that doesn't make it a bad album. The main reason this album is shunned so much by so many is purely one of image in my opinion. As far as the music is concerned it's a well polished performance with some very catchy riffs and lyrics. That classic Frost sound is still there and Tom G Warrior's vocals are still as strained and longing as ever before. The track 'Vanity/Nemesis' has got to be one of my favourites along with a cover of Bowie's 'Heroes' which is a pretty good rendition of the original. All in all this is a good album. Every band has to evolve and mature, and this album is a part of that logical progression. Go and give it try.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 December 2009
I spent ages before the time of internet finding out what song was used in an advert that was used at the start of manga movies.I searched but i had no clue and finally when internet came around i trawled through google and found it on some forum.Heart beneath is fantastic and i defy anyone not to agree that it has one of the best riffs ever and trust me when i tell you i'm old school and own over 1000 cds of various metal and this song is amazing and stands out amongst them.
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This was Celtic Frost's chance to redeem themselves after the "Cold Lake" debacle and although the album is infinitely better than "Cold Lake" it isn't "as good as the early releases. Musically the album has a more upbeat sound to it and is quite heavy and fast in places but the damage done by "Cold Lake" is almost irreversible. "Vanity/Nemesis" has very little or none of the dark atmosphere of previous glories and is worse off for it. Art Rock style female vocals a la Marion Faithful pepper some of the songs but don't really enrich them. Maybe the chasm between "Into the Pandemonium" and "Cold Lake" is too vast to bridge as "Vanity/Nemesis" falls short of the mark. Unlike "Cold Lake" which I cannot abide "Vanity/Nemesis" is easier to listen to and doesn't make me want to use the vinyl as a frizzbee but I really have to be in the mood to listen to it before I take it out for a spin. "Vanity Nemesis" is not essential Celtic Frost, so if you love the earlier albums then listen to this thoroughly before you spend hard earned cash on it as there are literally thousands of better albums out there for you to buy instead.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 March 2006
A vast improvement on cold lake(not too hard) this album sees the mighty frost return to their thrash roots although not as heavy as previous offering that doesn't really matter when you consider the sheer quality, musically, that this album shows.
This collection of heavy commercial thrash; hinted at in previous songs (morbid tales, (beyond the)north winds, I won't dance(the elders orient)) comes to the fore rather than the brutal noise that they where famous for. Not to forget their experimental vision as this album is another experiment and that is probabaly what they do best. Rather stick with the same sound that a lot of bands do they lead rather than follow and I for one am willing to follow where their music leads me.
Buy this album it really is very good.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 20 December 2007
After the diabolical Cold Lake that saw Celtic Frost lose a lot of respect amongst their fan base, Celtic Frost rather than continue down the route set by Cold Lake attempted to regain some credibility amongst the metal scene, amidst an ever shaky lineup and deepening resentment towards the music industry that led to the attitude of Cold Lake in the first place.

The resulting album Vanity/Nemesis appears confused and tired, with a strange extension of the experimentation present on Into the Pandemonium but lacking the clear purpose and fire that Into the Pandemonium possesses. It does not come as a big surprise that this is the last album before the split of the band.

Whilst some sections are quite moving, Celtic Frost failed to connect the lyrical and musical content together with anything truly impressive.
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