Stacked up against myriad others of the same lofty caste, Corpse Flower unleashed another tribute album to the legendary, avant garde/ black/thrash metal pioneers, Celtic Frost. Competing against its predecessors, “In Memory of Celtic Frost” and “Order of Tyrants, was no easy feat, but Corpse Flower’s “Morbid Tales: A Tribute to Celtic Frost” managed this tall order by featuring top rate bands like Acid Witch, Temple of Void, and Municipal Waste. Also featured on this compilation were debuts from bands like Hayward (featuring members of Neurosis), Coffin’s Slave, and the return of Evoken.
In keeping with tradition, many of the bands stayed true to the original Celtic Frost sound such as Persekutor with their rendition of “Procreation of the Wicked” and Child Bite with “Usurper. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it does tend to get a bit stale and predictable. Luckily, a few bands spiced things up by putting their own spin on the black/thrash classics. Municipal Waste’s cover of “Nocturnal Fear” injects hardcore/crossover elements into the classic song, while maintaining the essence of the track and keeping in tune with the original riffs and melodies. Their influence is apparent, yet they manage to do the track justice. Similarly, Evoken’s cover of “Dawn of Megiddo” is a doomy, gloomy, and, fittingly evocative spin on the classic song. Temple of Void’s cover of “Os Abysmi Vel Daath” was particularly memorable for its style and heaviness. This was probably the most notable track on the compilation but Acid Witch’s cover of “Cherry Orchards” was definitely a close second if only for guitar player, Mike Tuff’s mastery of the guitar solo.
The one track I didn’t feel held up to the others was Hayward’s cover of “Jewel Throne”. Extreme lo-fi production, lack of melody, buzzing reverb, and sloppy drum work ruined this track for me. The majority of the tracks on this compilation, however, do Celtic Frost justice. If you’re looking for a good throwback with a twist, I encourage you to give this record a spin.