Into the Pandemonium is the title of, arguably, the best album by doom metal band Celtic Frost, not just for its dour take on the Wall of Voodoo hit “Mexican Radio” but for the industrial rigor of “One in Their Pride.” That album came out 20 years ago, when heavy metal was a seeming enclave of die-hard analogists, and Celtic Frost’s venture into techno was a breath of fresh air — despite the group’s intent on cultivating an aura of fire and brimstone. The 12″ single for “I Won’t Dance!” included an extended remix of “One in Their Pride,” now available on the CD edition, that took what was most demonstrative and distinctive about the single, a delectably rudimentary drum machine beat, and extended it further.
The title to that Celtic Frost album has now been adopted by Lasse Marhaug for a six-channel installation of thoroughly appropriated metal at the Norwegian festival Hole in the Sky, which opens today and runs through Saturday. If you can’t make it to Bergen, you can download a stereo reduction of Marhaug’s work, posted as part of the podcast series of the Touch Records label (MP3). Touch sums up the sound well: “Fragments of classic moments in death/thrash/black metal music have been mangled, disfigured and reworked into a festering pulp of distortion, doom and noise.” The result is a slowly escalating drone built from all the textures that make doomy metal sound molten and morose, all those riffs freed of their momentum and expressed entirely as matters of tone.
More on the festival at holeinthesky.no, on Mashaug at lassemarhaug.no, and on the Touch label (touchmusic.org.uk) and podcast series (touchradio.org.uk).