Riffage: Celtic Frost – “Procreation (Of the Wicked)”
Ooh! The Roadburn Festival has chosen Tom G. Warrior as its curator for 2010. By all accounts, this year's Neurosis-curated event was a hit, so Warrior's work is cut out for him. He will select 16 bands for the festival. His pals 1349 (reviewed here) will likely make the cut. Perhaps so will Valborg, an excellent band mentioned in his blog. He was drawn to its "density, darkness, and minimalism." Those are fine standards to follow. He also cited Bohren und der Club of Gore, who would fit that bill. At the festival, the world will finally get to hear Triptykon, which will probably sound like Celtic Frost. Additionally, Warrior's history of Hellhammer and early Celtic Frost, Only Death Is Real, comes out this fall on Bazillion Points.
In honor of such procreation of the wicked, here is the tab for the song's riff at 0:17. It is one of my all-time favorite riffs. The song is full of great ones, variations on Celtic Frost's signature half-step movements. But this one's nagging bend burrows into you; then it worms around on the lower frets. Evil! Without fancy typesetting at my disposal, I've made up some primitive notation. "6b7r6" means "bend a half step up from the sixth fret, then release back down to it." The "p"'s below the open E chords indicate palm muting. The backslash between the last two chords denote a slide up between them. In recent years, Tom and co. have basically pitched this tune down from 45rpm to 33 1/3. Live videos show the band tuned down to B (from E) and turning the original trudge into a doom behemoth. A good riff is a good riff, whichever way you take it.
- Cosmo Lee