“He took the Ibanez Iceman off the wall and said, ‘I’ll buy it for you... If you promise me Celtic Frost is going to be a fantastic band.’ And I said, ‘OK. Deal.’” For Tom G. Warrior, the equation has always been Ibanez + attitude = murderous riffs

Tom G Warrior, of Swiss band Triptikon, performs during the second day of VII Mexico Metal Fest at Parque Fundidora on November 11, 2023 in Monterrey, Mexico.
(Image credit: Medios y Media/Getty Images)

There are certain bands that can be pointed to as incredibly influential on what would become known as black metal – Black Sabbath, Venom, and Mercyful Fate among them. Two other surefire inclusions in that list are the two Swiss bands fronted by Thomas Gabriel Fischer (aka Tom G. Warrior): Hellhammer and Celtic Frost. 

With an emphasis on detuned, grinding, mid-paced riffing rather than shredding (along with growled vocals and demonic lyrical subjects), the influence of Fischer’s guitar work with the two bands can be heard in groups like Mayhem, Sepultura, and Behemoth, plus even bands outside of the metal universe (Bleach-era Nirvana, for instance). 

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Greg Prato

Greg is a contributing writer at Guitar World. He has written for other outlets over the years, and has been lucky to interview some of his favorite all-time guitarists and bassists: Tony Iommi, Ace Frehley, Adrian Belew, Andy Summers, East Bay Ray, Billy Corgan, Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee, Les Claypool, and Mike Watt, among others (and even took lessons from John Petrucci back in the summer of ’91!). He is the author of such books as Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music, Shredders: The Oral History of Speed Guitar (And More) and Touched by Magic: The Tommy Bolin Story.