Interrogating the Origin Myth of Celtic Frost


Dear Readers, I’ve recently started writing for the International Society of Metal Music Studies blog. Some of my pieces will now be hosted there, but every time I write for them I will also post the lede paragraph of each article here. Please visit the ISMMS site to view this whole post, and while you’re there read through a few posts by their other excellent writers!

The history of Celtic Frost begins with the band Hellhammer. Hellhammer was founded as a trio in 1981 and released a couple of demos and an album before the members decided to end the Hellhammer project and reform under the name “Celtic Frost.” The band has promoted the idea that their work as Hellhammer was amateurish and earned such a bad reputation that they had to change their name to get people to take their music seriously. While I’m sure there is some truth to this story, the fact is that not *everyone* hated Hellhammer. One of the early German fanzines I’ve been reading recently actually gives a glowing positive review of Hellhammer’s first release! But it doesn’t entirely contradict the story Celtic Frost tells, just adds some fascinating nuance.


Apocalyptic Raids cover art

Hellhammer’s Apocalyptic Raids EP (1984)

…to keep reading, please visit the post at the ISMMS website.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *