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4.7 out of 5 stars23
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 1 June 2006
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.
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on 1 May 2007
Monotheist is awesome.

Monotheist is extremely heavy, possibly the heaviest of them all.

Indeed, Black Sabbath should write something like this before it's too late.

The compositions are mature whilst the arrangement, dynamic, and production each convey the heaviness perfectly.

The lengthy Synagoga Satanae/Winter(Requiem, Chapter Three:Finale) is surely Celtic Frost's finest piece to date.

Metallica take note.
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on 5 March 2007
Well, I've been listening to this album since it came out early last summer and it still sounds awesome. Enough has been said in other reviews to recommend it - what I'll add is that it doesn't lose its power after a couple of months. This is a record that will stand proudly in your collection for years to come, just like the classic 'Into the Pandemonium', which sounds as great as it did in the 80s. A magnificent comeback for Celtic Frost - they're still uncompromising and they still do things totally on their own terms. 'Monotheist' is a magnificent album, full of talented and heartfelt songwriting and musicianship, and imbued with an honesty so often lacking in many a band's output.
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on 6 October 2008
holy cow - now THIS is how to do it kids! talk about comeback album of the century. i always thought this band was the best of all the 80's thrash outfits, even including metallica and slayer. they werent afraid to experiment a bit, with mixed results. but when they were on the button they really smoked.
this is something else again and i got to agree with a reviewer here who says this is the kind of album sabbath should make if theyre gonna work again. in fact, this has gotta be the template for any metal band out there thinking of cutting an album

the production on this album is so massive that it defies description. this has gotta be the loudest, most ferocious album ever made. even at low volume it comes raging out of the speakers. the songs are a mixed bag of seriously heavy tunes and almost pastoral, orchestral type moments which are not too strong on their own but act well as a buffer to the overwhelming heaviness of everything else. the heavy songs themselves are extremely well written peices, with big hooklines, choruses and intelligent structure. and in the track 'ground' the frost have come up with their finest song ever and is perhaps the final word in heavy metal as it should be played.

buy! buy! buy! this is fantastic stuff. your neighbours will love you for it!
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on 29 July 2006
This sounds like the album that should have come after Pandemonium. The band seem to have done some near-mainstream stuff (Cold Lake, Vanity/Nemesis), gone away and had a think for 15 years, then come back and deliver their best album yet.

The first 30 seconds are so are taken up with Celtic Frost saying "Look, sunshine. We were dressing up like tossers and calling each other silly names before you were bloody born." Having got that off their chests, they then go on to create such a huge range of styles and moods that the reason they were always so highly regarded comes flooding back.

If only more of the modern black metal bands were capable of cramming so many ideas into a single album.

This is good stuff.
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on 28 February 2008
Monotheist. Hmmm. I've just come back to this album, several months after its release. Initially on first spin I didn't enjoy it at all and was pretty unimpressed. But following five to six re listens this week (after purchasing the new double Hell Hammer demos re release- what a corker), I don't know where my head was at!! A heavy duty, rumbling, earthshaker of an album. Having seen the Frost on tour in 1988 (Into The Pandemonium tour), my opinion of this excellent album has been completely turned around, and I have realised that I'd love to see them live again. I suggest if you were initially unimpressed, give it a break for a while, come back to it and you will fall in love with Monotheist! This album is way ahead of the usual metal pack and moves me in the same way like the classics Morbid Tales, Mesmerised, Circle Of The Tyrants et al!
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on 18 April 2008
This is an extraordinary album. Deep, dark and mesmerising. Raw power injected into your ears via an earthshaking guitar sound. Classic old school metal as it was in the '80s, yet updated for the new millennium.

Quite simply: astonishing and unexpected in this era of commercial blandness. And all the more sad to discover this just as the band has split up again, seemingly for the last time ...
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on 11 March 2009
Possibly the heaviest album of the decade - certainly the bleakest.
A friend of mine loaned this album to a fourteen year old relative who wanted to hear something "really heavy". He found it frightening and extremely disturbing. Result!
This is a wonderful piece of work, superbly crafted and produced. It has everthing - Goth, doom, full on gonzoid metal and finishes with a classical piece which is simply haunting.
Not for the faint hearted but worth the effort. If this turns out to be their swan song The Frosties have gone out in style. Check out the sleeve notes for some light hearted bedtime reading (!!).
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on 31 December 2006
A dark, poetic masterpiece with great musical hooks, superb singing, well-produced with a range of heavy crushing music given space with string arrangements and chant. A cool treat to hear Mr Wongraven singing the Latin on Synagoga Satanae! A very satisfying listening experience straight thru beginning to end.
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on 2 June 2006
This is an amazing album, I knew not to expect another into the pandemonium 2 but little else except that ground kept changing from the original version but the final version is proabably the best other than that had heard nothing else nor wanted to, I really needed to listen to this album whole instead of bits and pieces and it was worth it, this album sounds different to all the previous albums but of course there was always going to be female singers and some orchestration.

This album is both powerful and groovy with some of the heaviest riffs I have ever heard as well as faster thrasier riffs. At times monotheist remind me of the sisters of mercy and bauhaus (but with huge f&*(&^g monstorous riffs) as well as the worst nightmare you ever had. Monotheist isn't grey it's pitch black.

Tom's voice is even more powerful than usual favouring deeper harsher vocals than his previous death like growls also changing his vocal style to breathless chants or laid back throaty vocals as well as the electronically altered screams of totengott the first part of triptych before synagoga satanae (witch references the sound of triumph of death from hellhammer)

This is a varied album none of the songs sound like any of the others although drown in ashes and obscured are commercial without selling out their heaviness . All the songs on the album work together that is there is nothing there that shouldn't be there.

The best album they have ever made(it may not be as out there as into the pandemonium but songwise the quality is a million times better) This is a band that know exactly what they are doing and doing it with great style.

Long live Celtic Frost.
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