Celtic Frost co-founder Martin Eric Ain dead at 50

The original Celtic Frost lineup in 2006, with Ain, right
The original Celtic Frost lineup in 2006, with Ain, right (Image credit: Thomas Gabriel Fischer)

Celtic Frost co-founder and bassist Martin Eric Ain has died at the age of 50 after falling ill in Switzerland over the weekend.

The website 20 Minuten reports that he collapsed while switching between trams on Saturday.

Ain, born Martin Stricker in the US, hooked up with Thomas Gabriel Fischer, aka Tom G. Warrior, in the band Hellhammer in the early 80s. Following their split, the pair re-emerged as Celtic Frost and released their first album Morbid Tales in 1984.

Ain contributed to 1985’s To Mega Therion, 1987’s Into the Pandemonium, 1990’s Vanity/Nemesis before Celtic Frost disbanded in 1993. He also played on their comeback album Monotheist in 2006.

Fischer has issued a statement on his blog, quoting the pair’s 1984 track Visions Of Mortality: “The sands of time will never run, for an immortal dead man.”

He adds: “I am deeply affected by Martin Eric Ain’s passing. Our relationship was very complex and definitely not free of conflicts, but Martin’s life and mine were very closely intertwined since we first met in 1982. My life will be painfully incomplete without his existence.”

Fischer also posted an picture of him and Ain with original Celtic Frost drummer Reed St. Mark, taken in 2006.

He says: “The photo was taken on the occasion of Celtic Frost’s second of two consecutive concerts in New York, at the start of the group’s first North American tour in 17 years.

“Reed St. Mark and I had maintained contact and also met sporadically following Celtic Frost’s original termination in early 1993. But this was the first time all three members of the classic Celtic Frost lineup met since working together in the 1980s.

“The three of us would meet one more time, when Celtic Frost returned to tour North America with Type O Negative in April and May of 2007.

“Today, when Reed and I talked about Martin’s death on the phone, Reed said to me: ‘Now, there’s only the two of us.’ It completely broke my heart.”

Anthrax’s Charlie Benante, Paradise Lost’s Nick Holmes, Cradle Of Filth and Arch Enemy’s Michael Amott have posted tributes to Ain on social media.

See them below.

A photo posted by on

Every Celtic Frost album, in Tom G. Warrior's words

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