Dethroned Emperor

Album: Morbid Tales (1984)
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Songfacts®:

  • "Dethroned Emperor," written by Tom Warrior and Martin Ain, appears as the third track only on the original US release of Morbid Tales, and as the fourth track on the 1999 remaster. It is missing from the original European album release. Guest star and producer Horst Müller also does backing vocals.
  • In the book Precious Metal: Decibel Presents the Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces, Ain mentions "Dethroned Emperor" as one of his favorites, due to the fantasy lyrics. He says, "You can obviously interpret it as us trying to reclaim our throne, like we're trying to do right now - maybe that's why it's one of my favorites right now. It's a metaphor I can relate to nowadays."

    Also in Precious Metal, Tom Warrior says of this song: "I like the tempo changes, and I like the slow groove of it. I like slow, heavy music, probably because I grew up with things like Black Sabbath. My favorite is when the riffs are huge and crunchy and they have time to unfold. I don't subscribe to hectic music, where everything has to be hurried. I like music to be able to breathe. A lot of bands mistake speed for heaviness, and they're definitely not the same thing."
  • When you study Celtic Frost, you discover an intellectual side coming out in everything. Witness for instance the cover art on Morbid Tales, as Ain explains the cover art. Ain drew the heptagram, inspired by the occultist Aleister Crowley's heptagram, and also by the Crowley Tarot. The daggers form a second pentagram, which according to Ain have each of the daggers having a different meaning. Then the skull in the middle, as memento mori, with a second pentagram on the skull's forehead but inverted. The letters in six of the seven corners of the heptagram form the name "Pazuzu," an ancient Assyrian demon who comes up in both H.P. Lovecraft's Necronomicon and in the film The Exorcist.

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