CELTIC FROST have posted the following message on their official web site:
"Sanctuary Records, London, have approached their German office in Berlin, the former Noise Records (and original label of CELTIC FROST in the 1980s), with the intention to compile a two-CD slipcase 'Anthology' covering CELTIC FROST's career. Steve Hammonds of Sanctuary London also proposed that he would compile the respective track listing. Although it was apparently not intended by the London office to involve the band in such a significant project, the inquiry was forwarded to us by Sanctuary's Berlin office. We are extremely grateful for this."
On Thursday, February 19, 2004, the band responded as follows:
"We had a detailed discussion last night about the idea of releasing a CELTIC FROST anthology. While we are generally sceptical of such proposals (not least because of last year's unspeakably cheap, inappropriate and unauthorized 'Are You Morbid' compilation CD, released via 'Delta Deluxe Records') we also believe that an anthology can be made into an exciting, fresh, convincing and valid product, if it is done right.
"The aforementioned 'Are You Morbid' compilation CD received ridicule and utterly bad reviews. Very deservedly so. It was not only a product of which the band had not been informed about and the timing of which was completely ill-advised, but it conveyed the very obvious aura of a quick-shot, money-greedy, low-attention-to-detail release.
"Yes, a record company cannot realistically pay attention to every act's little peculiarities, but in the case of CELTIC FROST, such shoddiness simply won't fly. Not with the target audience, not with the media, and certainly not with the band. CELTIC FROST's reputation exists solely because we care for quality, originality and art. The entire 'brand of CELTIC FROST' is based on that. The very reason for this anthology (namely that the name CELTIC FROST is still ever-present in the scene and as an influence quoted by many of today's major bands) is rooted is this distinction. Had CELTIC FROST's own work been assembled as haphazardly as the aforementioned compilation, the band's name wouldn't amount to anything. If a record company ventures to release quick-shot CDs with our band's name on it, it will be more than evident to even the most simple-minded rock fan on this planet that the band has not been involved with such a CD and therefore doesn't back it, and that such a CD is designed with the mere intention of wringing money from wallets that have already paid for the very same music once before (albeit with a better packaging/presentation).
"We, at least, don't really feel like screwing our audience like that.
"We have decided to propose to you a full cooperation between the band and record company on this anthology. It will be the only way this proposed 2-CD set will look and feel authentic to the public and media, and a way to make it enticing and worthy enough for people to seriously think about spending their money on it. It will enable the record company to promote the CD under the banner of 'produced in cooperation with the band', since it will be a true CELTIC FROST release. And it is the only way we feel able to back such an anthology. We will not stand for a single further unauthorized CD with our name on it, and we will go out of our way to make this known in a most public manner and on a truly global scale if this is to happen again with this anthology.
"We therefore propose the following:
- The 2-CD anthology be divided into one CD of HELLHAMMER and one CD of CELTIC FROST.
- HELLHAMMER has so far not been reasonably represented on CD, and this presents a significant potential due to that band's underground reputation and influence on today's hard music. We are also very proud of HELLHAMMER's legacy and enthusiastic about the importance and intensity of the band's body of work.
- We will submit the full track listing for both CDs and can do so as early as next week.
- We are in possession of HELLHAMMER demo tapes (and the rights thereto), which have never officially been released on CD. While the quality of these recordings is extremely basic, it will be a major selling point of the anthology if we include a handful of demo tracks. The administrative details for this can surely be worked out between band and record company.
- The HELLHAMMER CD would of course also feature selected songs recorded by HELLHAMMER for Noise Records in 1984.
- The CELTIC FROST half of the anthology: we can put an exciting one together in our sleep.
- We will submit the entire artwork for the CD. One side of the booklet will feature CELTIC FROST cover art, the other HELLHAMMER cover art. We will submit some photographic material which has not yet been widely seen. There are also a number of HELLHAMMER photographs in our possession which have never been released. We will include a few lines of explanatory text for each song featured on the CDs (timeframe, recording circumstances, trivia etc.), plus some brief anthology liner notes and detailed credits.
- All CELTIC FROST songs will be taken from the Noise Records re-issue sessions of 1999 (the very detailed remastering performed at that time improved the sound quality significantly). The HELLHAMMER demo tracks would have to undergo only a basic mastering.
- The name of the anthology will be 'Innocence and Wrath - An Anthology' (after one of CELTIC FROST's classic songs of 1985).
- The gestation of this project would probably benefit if we would work as much as possible with the Berlin office, as we have enjoyed a very fruitful cooperation for the re-issue CDs.
"Please think about these ideas and let us know your thoughts. All subsequent details could be worked out in the coming days/weeks.
"Best regards, CELTIC FROST"