This album was a big disappointment for some people. They complained that they had waited for this many years and then they come up with something completely different than on their old albums. To me, this wasn't a let-down as I didnt live or even know about Celtic Frost when they did albums like To Mega Therion or Into The Pandemonium. To me this is a nice addition to their discography.
I understand how the surprise must've been huge to the fans of old Celtic Frost because here we are served with material more in line with doom than with thrash and black metal. The songwriting here is pretty much flawless in my books. Even if the material is very slow and dense, there is much variation and not one track sounds the same. Also the lyrics get a special mention because I like them a lot.
Biggest griefs with this album is that its so damn long. It could've been way shorter. Now it is very hard for me to listen to this in one sitting. Towards the end it feels like work to do it. Also the album is a bit overproduced. It sounds good, yeah, but at same time it sounds pretty plastic-like. Also the music here sounds very machine-like. The band did practice these songs but they practiced and perfected them too much as they don't have any room to breath in. It feels like they're confined in a very damp small room. Or a cell. Vocal work of Tom Gabriel is nothing special. I find him pretty bland.
The artwork is pretty bland. There is no way to make sense out of the band pics on the album. But its way better than some horrid corpse-paint photos. Also the case is as black as it could be and the problem with this choice is that you get it filled with fingerprints. After that its very ugly to look at. The lyrics are laid out nice and clearly and there is more than enough info of people involved in the songs.
The good outweighs the bad here but I think they still coulda done better work with this. The album is too long and the plastic-like production is pretty awkward to my ears. If you enjoy doom and black metal fusion, pick this up. If youre fan of old Celtic Frost, prepare to be shocked.