Celtic Frost was originally born out of the ashes of the group Hellhammer. Tom Warrior and Martin Ain, both doing vocals and guitars, were in Hellhammer when it disbanded, and began Celtic Frost along with session drummer Stephen Priestly. To this day, Priestly is a little chapped about being credited on the album as "session drummer," when by the time they got to recording he was playing a larger role. As Priestly says of the early stages of the band in his interview for Precious Metal: Decibel Presents the Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces
, "Tom went to London and came back with some records, some of that British heavy metal stuff, including the very first Def Leppard seven-inch and the very first Venom single - and said he wanted to do something like that, but even heavier. He wanted it to be the most brutal stuff people had ever heard. When he played me the first demos from Celtic Frost, I was blown away, so we made the first songs, like 'Into the Crypts of Rays,' and stuff like that. The amazing thing was that Martin and Tom had the vision for the first three records already in their minds."