Celtic Frost The Emperor's Return 1985, EP Review by Time_Signature

8.0
Non-Prog Black Metal
Just like "Morbid Tales", "Emperor's Return" is a pivotal album in relation to the development of both black metal and death metal (and certainly a major source of inspiration for the likes of Obituary). Indeed, the type of dark and primitive thrash metal on this album would later be considered a type of proto-black metal.

The opening track "Circle of Tyrants" is an all time classic, which combines heaviness with primitive thrash metal, while "Dethoned Emperor" (charmingly pronounced 'DEY-throned em-PEH-ror' throughout the song) is event heavier and doomier. Both tracks contain riffs which are very similar to the main riff of Obituaty's "The End Complete" (which is a great death metal track, by the way). "Morbid Tales" strikes me as being more inspired by traditional heavy metal, and sounds like a mix of heavy metal and punk music. "Visual Aggression" is an insanely fast (for its time) thrash metal song which contains elements from hardcore and early death metal. "Suicidal Winds" is also dirty and primitive, albeit more of a midtempo track.

As with "Morbid Tales", fans of death metal and black metal should check out "Emperor's Return" because of its major influence on black metal and death metal. I think that fans of crustpunk, hardcore punk, and crossover thrash might also like it.

(review originally posted on metalmusicarchives.com)