Band Celtic Frost
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It is often said that the legendary swiss black/thrash/experimental metal band Celtic Frost took their name from this album. They took the “Frost” from “Frost and Fire” and changed “Cirith” to “Celtic”.

Of course we know about it. We even were supposed to play support for Celtic Frost shows in L.A., but their management didn’t want us! Sad, because you must know that we were always better live than on LP, we have over 1000 gigs behind us!

Robert Garven, Iron Pages interview 1994 (approx. translation from german)

Celtic Frost are also being thanked in the booklet for One Foot In Hell.

However, in an interview with Tom G. Warrior (Celtic Frost, Hellhammer) a.k.a. Thomas Gabriel Fischer, talking about the bandname, there is no mention of Cirith Ungol.

I’ve always wondered where exactly the name Celtic Frost came from? I’ve read a few ideas on it but what is it’s real meaning?

It’s very typical Martin and me. We just couldn’t do it like any other band, we had to be different. We didn’t want to have a metal cliché name. we wanted to have a synonym for the apocalypse. So we chose “Celtic” as representative of human civilizations and we used “Frost” as a sign of decay, of death, of standstill, when everything freezes and dies. We took the name “Frost” especially because after the winter, after the frost, there is always a new spring and life blossoms again and to us it reflected very much the coming and going of the different civilizations on this planet.

One thing I’ve wondered…I’ve heard the band name pronounced “Keltic Frost” I guess like from Ireland derivative of the Celts? And I’ve also heard people pronounce it like “Seltic Frost.” Maybe you can set the record straight and tell us how it is supposed to be pronounced.

The official way, the correct way, is “Keltic.” That’s how the band was formed too. However, you guys in North America, 90% of you guys call it “Seltic.” Since Reed was in the band and Martin is a double citizen (he’s American too), this “Seltic” thing crept into the band and half the time we ourselves said “Seltic” and half the time we said “Keltic.” We caught ourselves, we tried to say “Keltic” but it’s so hard when you have your main market in America, it just slips in.

 

Here is an extract from an interview in Slayer #15, Fall 2000.

Metalion (Slayer Mag): How about CIRITH UNGOL?

Tom G. Warrior (Celtic Frost): It’s because of CIRITH UNGOL that we decided on a two-part name for CELTIC FROST. We were die-hard fans.

 

Cirith Ungol and the crew are also mentioned in the thanks-list for their Morbid Tales (1984) album: THANK YOU VERY MUCH & “HELLO” TO: CIRITH UNGOL & CREW, and To Mega Therion (1985).

And here:

In Tom’s ‘Are You Morbid’ book (long since out of print), Tom describes this. He and Martin are deciding what to call the band… Tom has a bunch of records laying around his room. One of these was Cirith Ungol’s ‘Frost and Fire’ album. Martin was quite a religion and history buff and had interests in civilizations which have disappeared. Martin says, “Celtic”, referring to one such civilization. Tom first says ‘Fire’, looking at the Cirith Ungol cover among the albums scattered around… then says ‘that sounds cliche. How about Frost?

 

Tom Gabriel FaF Celtic Frost | Cirith Ungol Online

“In early 1981, around the time I acquired my first Rickenbacker bass and began the path towards becoming a musician, I discovered Cirith Ungol’s first album, “Frost And Fire”, at what was then my favourite record store (long since gone), Musicbox, in Winterthur, Switzerland. The album enthralled me completely, even before I heard the first song. And how could it not, given the epic Michael Whelan cover art and the iconic band photo on the rear cover, replete with double bass drum, flying-V guitars, cult poses, and Rickenbacker basses.

As for the music, even given the early 1980s era of transformation in the metal scene, when newly released albums frequently opened a completely uncharted musical world to the listener, Cirith Ungol stood on their own. They had crafted their very own style, a unique mixture of hard rock, proto-metal, prog, funk elements and extremity. With Tim Baker’s inimitable, radical vocal delivery on top of it all, the album truly was one of the harbingers of extreme metal to come.

“Frost And Fire” became one of my favourite albums, and, as it was common in a time before Wikipedia and social media, I would regularly read and re-read all of the information contained on the album cover and inner sleeve while it was playing. I was also a bit proud, because I was the first one among my friends to have found out about Cirith Ungol’s existence.

When I first met Martin Eric Ain in 1983, however, I found out that he, too, was a fan of the band, having heard the song “Death Of The Sun” on the first “Metal Massacre” compilation, released in 1982. In fact, we both revered that song, as it was even more extreme than the band’s first album.

Cirith Ungol thus was one of our main joint inspirations when we began to collaborate after Martin joined Hellhammer in December of 1983, and the “Frost And Fire” album was also physically present as one of the main examples of how bold our new band was going to be during the night we formed Celtic Frost together in Nurensdorf, Switzerland, on 31 May 1984.

During the many years that have passed since, I often thought that I should tell the members of Cirith Ungol that their work was an important part of the foundations of Celtic Frost. This was finally possible a few years ago, when my dear friend Jarvis Leatherby, who plays bass in the reformed Cirith Ungol and was instrumental in their reappearance in 2016, became the messenger between our two worlds.

Jarvis has often kindly provided me with good music, but as the pinnacle of his generosity must rank the lavish, beautiful and comprehensive “40 Years Of Chaos” vinyl and CD artbook reissue of “Frost And Fire” he bestowed upon me in 2022 (see photo). Not only was it an incredible honour to receive such an exceptional gift, but it also closes a symbolic circle without which my life would likely be very different.”

Tom “Warrior “Gabriel

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Carsten Freckmann
Carsten Freckmann
Guest
11 years ago

Celtic Frost isn`t a name from Cirith Ungol ! 
 
Interview with “Tom G. Warrior” :
I’ve always wondered where exactly the name Celtic Frost came from? I’ve read a few ideas on it but what is it’s real meaning?
“It’s very typical Martin and me. We just couldn’t do it like any other band, we had to be different. We didn’t want to have a metal cliché name. we wanted to have a synonym for the apocalypse. So we chose “Celtic” as representative of human civilizations and we used “Frost” as a sign of decay, of death, of standstill, when everything freezes and dies. We took the name “Frost” especially because after the winter, after the frost, there is always a new spring and life blossoms again and to us it reflected very much the coming and going of the different civilizations on this planet.”
 
One thing I’ve wondered…I’ve heard the band name pronounced “Keltic Frost” I guess like from Ireland derivative of the Celts? And I’ve also heard people pronounce it like “Seltic Frost.” Maybe you can set the record straight and tell us how it is supposed to be pronounced.
“The official way, the correct way, is “Keltic.” That’s how the band was formed too. However, you guys in North America, 90% of you guys call it “Seltic.” Since Reed was in the band and Martin is a double citizen (he’s American too), this “Seltic” thing crept into the band and half the time we ourselves said “Seltic” and half the time we said “Keltic.” We caught ourselves, we tried to say “Keltic” but it’s so hard when you have your main market in America, it just slips in.”
 
Greetings !

 



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