Mesmerized // A Tribute to Celtic Frost // Album Review
Italian label Time To Kill Records will release “Mesmerized – A Tribute to Celtic Frost” on January 26th 2024. Bringing together six of the most ultra-Italian metal bands within the current scene to cover some of the best & deepest cuts of the Celtic Frost catalogue to celebrate one of the best metal bands of all time.
After the release of the hugely popular “Discharged vol. 2- A tribute to Discharge”, Time To Kill Records is now ready to bring the curtain down on another murdersome tribute compilation curated once again by Alberto Penzin (SCHIZO original founding member and prime mover for the whole Italian extreme metal scene).
First up is Speed Thrashers Barbarian with “A Kiss or a Whisper”. One that suits the more thrash CF sound, A pulsing fast-paced track the band which they have even been able to tilt even more into the modern thrash sound. Sledgehammer’s drums are pounding on this track and give it a little more balls than the original but still keep its organic feel.
Vocalist Borys Crossburn has the snarl of Tom G, giving the track that little more violence & poison that keeps the dangerous feeling that CF always invoked.
Next up with “Juices Like Wine” Bunker 66 a Blackened Thrash group from Messina, Sicily can bring a more haunting tone to a deep-cut track. Where the original might be from the most unliked CF album by the populus this track still has a hard-hitting edge. Bunker 66 can build upon that & give the track an added tone of that more blackened edge.
Also giving it a huge & more epic sound the original deserved Bunker 66 treat this track gracefully but can elevate it & give it the update it needs. Also, that final yell from vocalist Damien Thorne is top-notch.
Now with a death metal take CO2 (Camera Obscura Two) have taken “I Won’t Dance”, given it a ton of steroids & a gym membership to build this monolithic cover. The CF has a great groove ruining through it & that’s something that C02 has been able to keep into their cover but turned to 11. Giving the track a complete transformation but still keeping the DNA strands strong. Andrea Zanetti’s deeper vocal takes are like a sledgehammer. Suiting the band’s style but it’s also a nice difference from the original. This might be a time when the cover is better than the original! Well done guys!
Now for the Doom metallers from Rome, Doomraiser tackles the classic “Procreation of the Wicked”. Right off the band, I’ll say the band has smashed it with this one. Such a big & noteworthy song from a classic band as CF can have some bands stumble either going too close to the original or just failing to come through with something different.
Luckily Doomraiser have been able to take one of the archetypal doom metal songs of all time, give it a great polish & give it their flair. A modern sound but still keeps the root of the song’s iconic sound. This cover is a nice 50/50. Giving the track a nice new production but still giving it the respect it well & truly deserves.
Blackened Death metal group Kryptonomicon tackled another landmark CF track with “Morbid Tales”. They two have been able to give it the justice it deserves. Like CO2, Kryptonomicon have leaned into their dark death metal sound to give the track a more punchy, aggressive sound which adds a great layer to their cover. Vocalist & Guitarist Stefano Rumich is a great highlight for the track, The vocal delivery & guitar tone on the song give it a nice thicker backbone & also channelling the inner Tom G gives a great performance.
The closing track “Necromantical Screams” is covered by an out-thrashing, blackened death metal maniac from Ligury Necrodeath. Keeping with a very raw but solid production this track is a great rendition of this cult gem. Using multiple vocal layers to give it a more harrowing & anguishing feel this track keeps that core feel of the original but perfectly builds upon it. The band as a whole here are phenomenal but standouts are said vocals from Flegias & Pier Gonella’s guitar tone. That perfect 80’s harsh but ballsy riffing sound but also a great balance to the elegant picking & melodic moments on this track. A great closing track for a stellar covers album!
Time To Kill Records have yet again chosen the perfect bands to give the perfect worship to such a great band & all have thankfully knocked it out of the park!
Mesmerized – A Tribute to Celtic Frost” is out via Time To Kill Records and will be released on January 26th 2024.
Barbarian – A Kiss or a Whisper
Bunker 66 – Juices Like Wine
CO2 – I Won’t Dance
Doomraiser – Procreation of the Wicked
Kryptonomicon – Morbid Tales
Necrodeath – Necromantical Screams
CAMERA OBSCURA TWO [CO2]
[CO2] is a new extreme musical project conceived by Alberto Penzin [ex-Schizo] on 09/09/07 and ultimately brought to life on 10/10/10. A one-way pathway to spiritual elevation filtered through a lifetime worth of obsession with metallic transgression.
Bunker 66 is an Evil Metal power trio formed in 2007 under the sign of the black mark.
Formed in 2004, the Rome-based band have evolved into an instantly recognisable figurehead for those pushing doom metal into crushing new directions. Through the years the band have shared the stage with acts such as Electric Wizard, Reverend Bizarre, The Gates of Slumber and Orange Goblin and have been experimenting and contaminating their music with raw heavy metal, psychedelia and other influences.
The moment you hear it, you know it’s Necrodeath. Formed back in 1984, the Italian act is one of the real iconic black-thrash metal bands. With an ongoing career of almost 40 years, the band has helped to shape the Italian metal scene and the international underground as it is today.
Kryptonomicon have been a plague on this Earth since 2019, composing fierce old school metal of death deeply influenced by Celtic Frost and Hellhammer.
Barbarian’s approach to metal is regressive. By means of Metal retrogardism they interrogate the present: do we really need so many sheep and shepherds today? Heavy Metal is the whip, and you bleed.