There was a time when punk and metal were churning in a filthy, viscous primordial ooze with this lithe behemoth of a record lurking just beneath the surface. Celtic Frost took the chromatic, syncopated riffing of Discharge, dragged it down to the depths in their earlier incarnation as Hellhammer, and rose again with their own sliding power chord method that stands out immediately on all of their releases.
Melodies move through half-steps, syncopating emphasis in an intuition-defying rhythmic framework. Each phrase has its own conflicts and resolutions, as narratives are relentlessly pushed forward by a dizzying command of atonal melody and rhythmic intuition. Themes are created, then endlessly varied in the classical tradition. Sprawling song structures alternate between the near-ambient D-beat and the plodding Black Sabbath dirge, until all forces inevitably focus on a single theme as Tom G Warrior delivers his unparalleled primal prayers.
Slower tempos allow Celtic Frost to utilize longer phrases that move through chords like geologic eras. Planets collide and new forms of life evolve as each riff lives and dies on a scale that dwarfs individual human experience.