I felt so sad today learning of the untimely and sudden death yesterday of Martin Eric Ain, the former bassist of Celtic Frost and Hellhammer. He was only 50 years old, and reportedly died of a heart attack.
Celtic Frost were arguably the first metal band that I really got into as a teenager. Every time I visited a record store I would always, always look for something from Celtic Frost. In part to try to find something rare (I never did), but in part to determine the quality of the store: if they had any Celtic Frost albums then I judged it to be a good store.
Twenty-two years after getting into them, I finally got to see Celtic Frost play live in Glasgow in 2007, they were co-headlining with Kreator. It was a year before they split up again. That was one of the most memorable concerts that I’ve been to. It was an event.
I feel honoured to have seen Ain play live, to have seen Celtic Frost play live.
There was clearly a complex relationship between Tom G Warrior and Martin Eric Ain through the years. A push-pull relationship. Something that came up again recently in a post on Thomas Gabriel Fischer’s blog, “Mammon’s inexorable temptation” where he lamented what Ain was doing with Celtic Frost’s heritage, selling off old kit on a Facebook page.
I was sad when Celtic Frost ended. Monotheist was a brutal album. It was very different from their 80s albums—it was more raw, darker, more nihilistic. And it didn’t feature their famous sounds-like-a-vacuum-cleaner guitar tone. I was hoping for more new music.
No new music ever came from the Fischer/Ain partnership, although I have loved what Thomas Gabriel Fischer went on to create with Triptykon.
Rest in peace Martin.