CELTIC FROST have begun the initial part of the recording sessions for the group's long-awaited new album, tentatively titled "Probe".
As has been anticipated by a variety of sources, the group currently consists of the classic "To Mega Therion" and "Into the Pandemonium"-era line-up of Reed St. Mark (drums/percussion), Martin Eric Ain (bass/vocals), and Tom Gabriel Fischer (voice/guitars/keyboards), along with Fischer's long-time songwriting partner and co-founder of APOLLYON SUN, guitarist/producer Erol Unala.
After initial meetings with the original members of CELTIC FROST in Zurich and New York in summer of 2000, Unala became an increasingly integral and important part of the re-envisioned CELTIC FROST in the course of the subsequent extended development and songwriting sessions. In fact, it is said that Unala and Ain have written some of the forthcoming album's most unusual pieces so far. It is expected that a number of guests will also participate on the album before the conclusion of the recordings (at present tentatively scheduled for early 2003).
The current recording sessions encompass pre-production, basic tracks, overdubs, vocals and initial guest performances. These early sessions are taking place at Oakland Recording in Switzerland, owned by longtime APOLLYON SUN and CELTIC FROST engineer and friend, Walter Schmid. "We have taken eight songs to Oakland so far, and most of these will be finished to full album standard," Fischer stated. "Those that won't will still feature basic tracks recorded to album standard, and they will be production demos, later to be worked on to also become proper album songs. In parallel, we are preparing a further handful of new songs and are also still writing fresh material. At some point in the coming months, we will shift the recording sessions to England, where we will also mix the entire album, according to the current plans."
The recording sessions were preceded by months of writing and pre-production work at the group's rehearsal studio (named "Die Anstalt", on loan from APOLLYON SUN) in Zurich, Switzerland, and at Fischer's and Unala's own home recording facilities, Blaswerk and DDR72 respectively.
The material so far being prepared for possible inclusion on the "Probe" album includes the following:
04. Seed of Tranquility
07. Lost Cynic Rover
09. The Dark
10. Wanker God
11. Winter (Requiem Part III: End)
12. Leaves and Hunger
13. The Dying I
15. undisclosed cover version feat. Martin Ain on lead vocals
* a substantially rewritten version of "Pearl of Love" from the unreleased "Under Apollyon Sun" album
At this time, some of the songs — such as "November", "Totgetanzt" and the cover version — are already fully finished and await mastering. Both Ain and Fischer describe the album as "dark, risky, adventurous, strange, and heavy in a variety of ways". A summer 2003 release through an as-yet-undisclosed label is expected.