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on April 18, 2014
Triptykon, Thomas Gabriel Fischer's band after the breakup of Celtic Frost, has already made a name for itself with "Epistara Diomanes", their stunning debut that, along with CF's last album "Monotheist", redefined doom. Fischer has outdone himself with "Melana Chasmata", a crushing, violent and even darkly ethereal album that gives a frightening look into the psyche of an artist unafraid to face and explore the darkest recesses of the mind most of us can't even approach. As a result, we get music that can be no other type, free of contrived formulas and cliches. It is the work of a man picking up signals from places we can only imagine and relaying them to us. Call it doom, black, or whatever, but it is a musical imprint of a tortured soul that will leave other "dark" bands in the pretentious dust.
The sound is great, the musicianship tight as hell, and the album rides a wave of despair that still rocks like hell. Even the last track "Waiting", with female vocals, still conjures up the fears of all.
Maybe only Behemoth's "The Satanist" can compare in terms of sincerity. But "Melana Chasmata" is not for sissies. You better be ready for this continuation of a trilogy that is infinitely more disturbing yet captivating than just about any music ever released.
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on April 27, 2014
When Celtic Frost released Monotheist I was hooked. The songwriting was something totally unique and the album in my mind was near perfect. I was horrified when I heard that the band then split up, what a waste of such an inspired new direction. I can't tell you how thrilled I was when I first heard Triptykon's Eparistera Daimones. It definitely wasn't Celtic Frost but it carried on the philosophy of Monotheist. Tom Warrior's vocals were filled with anger and pain that I had never heard so strong in his Celtic Frost work. Many have pointed out deficiencies with that album but I feel that it was one of the strongest metal releases in years. The long wait for a second album brought an almost too high expectation. Finally, Melana Chasmata arrived... Halleluiah! The first time I listened I was stunned by the single minded vision of the album. It is a testament to the artistry of Tom Warrior that the album worries not about anything but delivering on it's promise. Musically, lyrically and vocally it is superb. Amazingly, with each listen I become more absorbed by the darkness that it presents. I would go song by song but it's really not about that. The album is a personal statement from start to finish. It is the work of an artist baring his soul. Melana Chasmata does more than deliver great music... It is simply an artistic masterpiece.
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on April 16, 2014
I remember buying a copy of the Morbid Tales/Emperor's Return album on cassette as a thirteen year old kid. Purchasing an album at that age is a serious investment. You've got no predictable incoming capitol. Chores, mowing lawns, birthday money, whatever, the choice you made at the record store, (in this case a Turtles Music housed in a strip mall,) could serve to gall you terribly. In this case however, my seven or eight dollar gamble continues to pay off in spades twenty five years later. I owe this band a great deal of thanks for expanding the margins of my imagination. Celtic Frost rests comfortably couched in my personal pantheon of musical innovators. Claude Debussey hangs out there. Voi Vod hangs there. Leonard Cohen. Eric Satie. Tom Waits, King's ultra swag. Ulver waits absently on the stoop sharing cigarettes with Nat King Cole, Talk Talk and Slint. Animals as Leaders hangs back, just out of frame; but they're leaning ever closer into the light. What every one of these absolute lions of self expression have in common is a sense of dogged yet utter vulnerability as they navigate the tightrope. They make mistakes. They commonly create bizarrely special and LASTING instances by a sheer flaw in their initial design. Their work is inletted with nuance. It's their signature.
When discussing Tomas Fisher's body of work, it's common shorthand to reference Celtic Frost's broadly maligned Cold Lake album with a roll of the eye before moving on. I say, revisit that album with a more open mind. It ain't perfect, that's a given. Read the track list, take a gander at the band photos and have a laugh. After you're done, ask yourself, are the song titles and band photos REALLY sillier than Celtic Frost's beloved sophomore album To Mega Therion? Really? You can be tried and true to your scene or whatever and still be a total poser at heart. You WILL NOT make lasting art without taking reckless risks. In my book, Cold Lake is a weird, WEIRD, silly album that happens to have loads of solid riffs that are utterly worth your investigation. Frost juked and took a way bigger chance on us than I did on them as a thirteen year old kid. This was at the very heart of their own dogma. These sorts of choices are designed to cleave us, the listener, but here's the good news: the cleaver's good and sharp! It engenders opinion. It entices you to really, truly FEEL!
The Warrior's returned with another album under the Tryptikon standard and I knew, per usual that I would invest. I owe this man. However, once again, per Morbid Tales, per Into the Pandemonium, per Monotheist, I've written a check my butt can't cash. I can't repay this band for the acquisition of their art. I CAN'T.
I wasn't personally wowed by the Tryptikon debut or the follow up ep. They're both "good" certainly but I'm in no dire need for new, "good" music. By contrast, the new Tryptikon is so dense and so damn heavy it can barely contain itself. It's a hoary old bomb, uncovered and still horribly active. Any second now......
There are so many great, distinct moments on Melana Chasmata that are worthy of mention here, but what's more pressing is how these moments collude to create a whole that is so crestfallen and impenetrable and distinctive that they couldn't have been sculpted by anyone lesser than this one entity: Tom Fischer and his chosen associates. I'm very glad to have lived through so much fitfulness in modern music to be able to hear it summed up and ultimately vocalized in this precise way. I'm gladder still to know that this is music with a signature forceful enough to endure the changes that I will inevitably undergo as I continue to age. This is album is an archipelago that I can return to and rediscover every day, for the rest of my all too cocksure however frangible life. I'll run my course for sure but Tomas Fischer, aka Tomas Gabriel Warrior is an immortal, if not by way of flesh, than certainly by way of the message inveterate in his art.
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on December 28, 2014
If you liked Triptykon's debut disc Eparistera Daimones and the final Celtic Frost disc Monotheist- chances are you'll dig this one as well. In some ways- in a lot of ways I found this disc to be somewhat more enjoyable than the debut- reasons being it's a more cohesive endeavor and seems to flow better as a whole. I say that even though tracks like "The Prolonging" & "A Thousand Lies" are perhaps some of the best Triptykon songs to date and are great examples of heavy, visceral & raw emotion. This disc however- does less of the experimenting that's present on the last disc.
And while there's a more streamlined sense to songwriting- the experimentation is still going on- but a less meandering way...There's moments where moods and atmosphere are explored to crazy degrees- examples being tracks like "Aurorae" - which I almost thought was going to be an instrumental because it's 3+ minutes of no vocals- instead explores guitar textures and a bass tone that I wish was on the latest Godflesh effort- but wasn't quite there. For some reason I draw comparisons to a song like "In Fiction" by Isis. Check out that track if you want to know what I mean...Cool track.
There's alot to like about this LP. But a few minor quibbles would be the "contemporary" production of modern metal bands is evident on this disc. The kick drum sounding like every kick drum I've heard on every modern metal album for the last 14 freakin' years. It's a sound that to me feels like a dialed up drum tone that seems to coincide with the same guitar tones of lower register guitars and the like...
The guitar tone is very Thomas G Warrior of being most a mid range barrage which I happen to like- but to me there's a sense of pandering in terms of that drum sound- which isn't a horrible sound- but is for lack of a better word-a typical metal 101 drum sound.
Like I said in my humble opinion there's a lot to like about this disc. Tracks like "Black Snow" are sort of like "The Prolonging" to a lesser degree,
while "Tree of Suffocating Souls" feels very in-line with "A Thousand Lies". Other tracks like "Demon Pact" show a sense of creepiness and a bit
of noise & weirdness. "In sleep with death" sounds like something from Monotheist with Thomas doing is what I'd like to call his "Count Chocula'
vocal delivery. The more I listen the more appreciate what this band is trying to do. I look forward where they go from here on their next record. Kudos.
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on May 17, 2014
I am not into all black metal but this is different from other bands. The sounds can give you chills up your spine but this is that type of music you can listen to while relaxing or drifting off to sleep. I was not able to sleep one night and just kept "Boleskin House" and "Demon Pact" on repeat and I eventually drifted off to sleep. This is great music to listen to and I highly recommend.
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on June 1, 2014
I've been HUGE a Celtic Frost fan since their inception in the early 80's and Tryptykon carries Tom Gabriel Fischer"s (Warrior) vision well into the 2000's. I didn't think it was possible but Melana Chasmata is even heavier and MUCH darker than their first release Eparistera Daimones. I can honestly say that even though the disc is 75 minutes long it never drags or loses my interest. And as background music for your workouts it's friggin' INSANE!

A must by for Celtic Frost fans.....or ANY metal fans for that matter.
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on May 6, 2014
Finally the second release by Triptykon and I have to say that it provides nothing but more of that sweet dark vibe of the first album with haunting overtones. If you have been following Gabriels work you will notice that it just keeps getting better.
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on April 19, 2014
Long have I admired Tom Gabriel Fisher and his bands. This album is no exception. They really take it to the next level in this follow up to the last one. Brutal, punishing, haunting and yet a bit more approachable for the first time listener. I can't recommend this enough. I hope this CD finally gives them their criminally overlooked day in the spotlight.
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on April 30, 2014
Triptykon is pretty much the continuation of what Celtic Frost was after the release of their last album Monotheist in 2006 and it is understandable since we are speaking about the same songwriter here. Tom G. Warrior has been a driving force for several sub-genres of the extreme music since 1983 with the creation of the iconic band Hellhammer and he has remained active ever since. The guy has been creating dark and heavy music under different monikers and now he is presenting his latest material with Triptykon.

Melana Chasmata is a logical evolution from Celtic Frost’s Monotheist and Triptykon’s debut album Eparistera Daimones. What the band is offering here is more of the same stuff that Warrior has been creating since 2006 but the phrase “more of the same” should not be considered as something negative. Let us say that the guy is a true genius and he is displaying his knowledge on all things dark and heavy on this new record.

Tree Of Suffocating Souls will be the first track to hit your ears and it does it in a different way than Goetia did on Triptykon’s debut album. This track is far away from the doom-like tunes of Warrior’s back catalog. It is fast, it is furious and it has a great vocal duo between Warrior and guitarist Santura. The semi-gutural sounds of Santura’s voice is something that appeared on small doses in their last album but it is something that the band is using in this latest offering and it is working very well in this and other songs.

Throughout the whole album one can identify certain similarities between Melana Chasmata and Eparistera Daimones. The song Boleskine House is similar in structure to In Shrouds Decayed from Triptykon’s debut album. Same goes for the fast and almost thrash-like song Breathing that has a close connection to the song A Thousand lies that appeared on the first album, both tracks were built in a fast tempo speed probably due to the lyrical content.

There are some nice surprises waiting for the listener on songs like Aurorae and Demon Pact. Both songs are different from the rest of the album that they almost feel misplaced if it wasn’t for the dark lyrical content and for Warrior’s voice. The band is taking a nice turn with this two songs. Aurorae has a soft and swift drum groove that melts almost perfectly with the vocals and with the elegant guitar arrangements. It was intended to appear on Celtic Frost’s Monotheist but that never happened. Demon Pact is your standard doom-like tune but with top notch musicianship and with some sick lyrics inspired by the Louviers Possessions in France on the year 1647.

The collaboration between Tom G warrior and Simon Vollenweider is still active and has been active ever since the last years of Celtic Frost. The songs Boleskine House and Waiting have her voice along with Warrior’s voice just like the songs Drown In Ashes and My Pain from Monotheist and Eparistera Daimones respectively.

This is a great album that will surely satisfy fans of Hellhammer, Celtic Frost and obviously fans of Triptykon’s debut album.

Melana Chasmata is another masterpiece of the mighty Tom G Warrior!

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on June 19, 2014
Just as Celtic Frost emerged out of the ashes of primitive black metallists Hellhammer, so did Triptykon out of the ashes of C.F.. After forming in 2008 and debuting in 2010, the Norwegian ensemble pretty much pick up right where frontman Tom Gabriel Fischer (a.k.a. Warrior) and Company left-off on their masterful 2006 swansong, "Monotheist," on their second record. 2014's "Melana Chasmata" has as much in common with the doom, advant-garde, progressive metal genres as it does with anything blackened, a surprising fact when considering how influential Warrior's previous projects were to the black metal world. And heck, there is even a little bit of folk metal present, here.

The end result is a musical opus that definitely gets better with age. In fact, this is true on two accounts: The fact that it gets more and more intriguing the more the listener journeys through it; and the fact that it gets better, revealing more and more musical secrets, with repeat listens. And this result of getting better with age makes "Melana" possess an undeniable sign of long-lasting quality. What better way is there to describe an album that might be a challenging musical statement, but one that is ultimately much more rewarding than most of the meaningless, paper-thin fluff put out by many a metal band in this day and age?

The set kicks off with the sharp, piercing sound of a wall-of-guitar feedback before grooving into a solid main riff. "Tree Of Suffocating Souls," the blistering, belligerent, and thrashy opener, is a little misleadingly heavy, but it nonetheless sets the tone of the album well, with a pulsating, pounding wall-of-sound and harshly barked, yet intelligible vocal line. It also lets fly a pair of wah pedal-harassing solos, and even goes so far as to interweave in a distinctly Middle Eastern-flavored lead, into the mix, sounding not unlike Nile. And yes, in another move also similar to that band, "Tree..." does also eventually grind to an ominously doomy dirge (complete with grumbling bass notes); but for the most part, this is an up-tempo and aggressive opening blow.

From there, "M.C." transitions through one of its most memorable moments in "Boleskine House," which utilizes an extremely gloomy and doomy ambiance with its mournful bass/drum intro. But this is then replaced by a bouncy, reverberating, tom-tom-heavy drum fill and a few angularly crunchy guitar licks and a sparse bit of nicely melodic leads. With that said, however, it is actually the tune's use of gentle, heavenly female backing vocals that stand out the most, here. They are a splendid contrast to Tom's portentously dark, spoken word growls, and in the process of creating a heavy pseduo gothic metal vibe, end up also creating a really, really memorable vocal pattern. Those hauntingly clean, siren-like backing vocals (from Slajh) are again used to wonderful effect in the album's bookending piece, "Waiting," working like a charm as they offset Tom's dueling, sing-speak vocal whispers, and drawing the listener into a trance with its terrifically morose, dark, and sludgy soundscape. And the hell of it is, the tune also features a Gregorian chant-like vocal refrain that helps to make the arrangements even more unforgettable.

Another one of the album's other more memorable moments is found elsewhere, in track three, "Altar Of Deceit," which finds a few lonely keyboard keys being replaced by an up-tempo (but nevertheless always still restrained and kinda doomy-sounding) dirge where an ominous, doom-heavy guitar lick and thumping drum beat do battle against some of Tom's most brutal, dissonant, and rabid-sounding vocals. But the ensuing song, "Breathing," is not too shabby, either. It opens on a purely doom metal-derived note before suddenly adopting a rapid-fire, blast beat-esque drum fill that proceeds to launch the listener into a disorienting whirlwind of blistering thrash riffage, dexterous drumming, and growly, guttural vocals. As such, this number actually has as much in common with the death metal genre as with anything else -- at least until the mid-point, at least, when the song drops in another sudden curveball. See, from about the two and-a-half minute mark on out, "Breathing" becomes a more-controlled chugger that actually evokes some power metal stuff (yes, you read that right!). And a scorching, frenetic guitar solo (which would also be home on many-a-power metal record) tops the whole thing off, before leading back to its death metal-leaning ways in the outro.

A much more subdued and serene vibe is created by "Aurorae," with its softly-plucked strings, harmonic leads, and restrained, non-threatening drum beat. As such, this track might feel like just a short little interlude piece, but it is actually much more than that -- it is more like a fully involved, and thoroughly fleshed-out song with some undeniably powerful and memorable overtones. And it flows perfectly into "Demon Pact," another menacingly dark, heavy, and almost purely doomy exploration adorned a brutal, prominent, and propulsive bass line. And it is all underpinned by some whiney, high-pitched guitar sound effects and a rhythmically dramatic-sounding drum beat.

Moving along, "In The Sleep Of Death" is another extremely opaque and forebodingly doom-soaked number, this one repeating some more of those spiraling, trance-inducing guitar notes found in the above-described "Demon Pact," and augmenting them with strong, grumbling bass lines and thudding percussion. "Sleep..." is also of note from a vocal standpoint, as it mostly consists of the morbid, spoken variety, but also includes the use of some foreign-language singing, as well as some of Tom's most dissonant and extreme, black metal-influenced rasps and shrieks.

And wrapping up the set is one final song in "Black Snow," a piece that clocks in at twelve-and-a-half-minutes in length, thus making it the arguably biggest highlight of the album, and its indisputable pinnacle. Here, the guitars take turns pounding out momentous, doom-soaked power chords and spinning dramatic, melodic backing leads that end up sounding not unlike something a snake-charmer might play. Some more vocal variation finds its way into "Black Snow," too, as it does also include some shrill, unnerving black metal screams, anguished, death metal-tinged growling/bellowing, and a memorably repetitive, chanted refrain. And heck, it even goes so far as to include an honest-to-god chorus, and a pretty darn catchy one at that! And it all flows right back into the song's heavy roots by dropping a densely sludgy, chunky, churning stoner/shoegazing riff slice into the mix -- and it is easily the most memorable and devastating riff you will found in this effort's whole sixty-seven-and-a-half minute playing time!

True, as with any Triptykon release, one cannot help but compare this one to the works put out by predecessors Hellhammer and Celtic Frost. And admittedly, when doing so, the record does come up a tad short. And plus, it is also true that there are very few songs present, here, that are immediately accessible or even listenable. But as any metalhead worth his salt would tell you, that is not necessarily a bad thing. And if any of that implies that "Melana Chasmata" is a disappointment, it actually shouldn't. This, in fact, is nothing if not a pure, unmitigated success, and one mighty tasty (and therefore satisfying) progressive doom/black/advante-garde metal milkshake.
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