CELTIC FROST Frontman Talks About Unreleased 'Under Apollyon's Sun' Demos

CELTIC FROST guitarist/vocalist Tom G. Fischer has posted the following message on his blog:

"In my eyes, one of the true pioneers of combining rock music and drum machines is Andrew Eldritch with the SISTERS OF MERCY. And that was some ten years before CELTIC FROST recorded the [unreleased] 'Under Apollyon's Sun' demos. Not to speak of groups such as KRAFTWERK, which I began listening to in the late 1970s and which also utilized programmed drums in the studio and on stage.

"'Under Apollyon's Sun' could have been a exceptionally varied and interesting album, that is true. But in all honesty, it is futile to interpret anything into it so many years later. The music for this album was far from being finished. And I mean far. The demos for 'Monotheist' are a perfect indication of how CELTIC FROST's music goes through substantial cycles of change and evolution over the years. The early demos for 'Monotheist' (including the music fragments that survived up to the finished album) are radically different from what we eventually released. It was the same for the 'Into the Pandemonium' album (although none of its rehearsal room demos survive), and it would have been the same for 'Under Apollyon's Sun'.

"The 'Under Apollyon's Sun' demos that found their way into the public are thus largely simply fragments of songs. There were a total of three demo recording sessions, two of which only took place because our music publisher at the time, Warner Chappell/Equinox Songs, requested that we submit samples of the music we were working on. 'Pearl of Love' was hugely unfinished both musically and lyrically; a later incarnation that was more developed became 'Pearl Beloved'. 'Icons Alive' was later substantially changed and became massively heavier. 'Primeval Rapture' was also far from finished; it is essentially the demo for the first two verses of a song. Even the title song, 'Under Apollyon's Sun', was a work in progress, and I later decided to drop 'Idols of Chagrin' entirely instead of ever working on it again.

"The songs from the early 1992 New York demo were even more undeveloped, and most were later dropped in the course of the songwriting sessions, with only parts of them to be used later. I quickly began to loath most of the fragments on that demo. To me it lacked just about everything that defines classic, epic, and heavy CELTIC FROST. It is a fact that songwriting and recording sessions can occasionally result in a failure, in utterly unusable material. And the New York demo is a perfect example.

"There were quite a number of additional songs in countless stages of development, but nothing was even close to be ready for an actual inclusion on an album. As such, the 'Under Apollyon's Sun' album is a myth, and the whole thing is a moot point.

"This is why so little music from that time has survived to be later developed any further. The only 'Under Apollyon's Sun'-era music on 'Monotheist' is one single riff I wrote in 1992 for various incarnations of a never finished song which would eventually be named 'Pearl Beloved'. In 2005, this riff became part of an entirely new song, 'Domain of Decay', now featured on 'Monotheist'.

"As for lyrics, again very little from that ear was ever even considered for inclusion on a later CELTIC FROST album. Some of the lyric fragments (i.e., individual lines) that made it on 'Monotheist' are, for example, in 'Temple of Depression'. And the initial idea to that song, in its earliest form, actually was created some time after 'Into the Pandemonium'.

"As for my later industrial project, APOLLYON SUN, the comparison of APOLLYON SUN's 'Sub' album with CELTIC FROST's 'Into the Pandemonium' is a distinctively two-sided affair. On one hand, it is likely that CELTIC FROST eventually would have written some songs in that vein, had the band continued healthily and without the record company induced cataclysm that befell it after 'Into the Pandemonium'. On the other hand, APOLLYON SUN was a completely different project, made up if people who had absolutely nothing to do with CELTIC FROST (some were not even into CELTIC FROST's music), and I was merely one of five songwriters in that band. I hardly even played guitar on 'Sub', save for one song or so. There again, 'Sub' is not the mythical successor to 'Into the Pandemonium' that many are looking for.

"There will likely never be an album like 'Into the Pandemonium' again. Rock music has come of age, and every style, every combination of styles, has been done to death. Things like the inclusion of classical music, electronics, programming, female vocals, occult themes, and so on, have been trivialized, their fascination reduced to dust by a million bands that have more often than not recorded generic versions without any of the manic obsession and overflowing emotion that makes 'Into the Pandemonium' what it is."


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