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|Triptykon - Melana Chasmata (2014) Album Review|| |
Triptykon - Melana Chasmata (2014)
Prowling Death Records/Century Media Records Running Time 66:04
"Darkness and Diversity"
Those three words are what Triptykon use to describe themselves and if ever there was a perfect genre tag then you're looking at it. If you've been a fan of Tom Gabriel Warrior throughout the years, as I have, firstly with Hellhammer and then the wonderful Celtic Frost, the realisation that Triptykon's second album 'Melana Chasmata' (which means “deep, dark valleys/depressions”) is his crowning glory (so far) is a strange one!
When Celtic Frost finally imploded after the 'Monotheist' release it was a sad day. There was always something about that band that intrigued me, but I could never put my finger on what it truly was. Thinking it might be the last album we got from Mr Fischer, I was absolutely delighted when Triptykon arrived with their debut album 'Eparistera Daimones' in 2010, not only because we could get to hear more of Tom's music but also because it was an incredible album. I felt more connected to that release than anything he had done before and then getting to see Triptykon play at Bloodstock Festival in 2011 (they will take to the stage there again this year) confirmed to me completely that this band was something truly special. It might have taken four years to release the second album but, oh my, has it been worth the wait. 'Melana Chasmata' is just about as near to perfection as Tom G Warrior has ever got (at least until the next album!). It finally feels like the shackles have been lifted and he is saying openly what he has wanted to for so many years!
That, in no small part, is not just down to him but the other incredible members of Triptykon! Apart from Tom's instantly recognisable vocals, grunts and great guitar work are the returning trio of wonderfully skilful V. Santura (guitars & vocals), the astounding Vanja Slajh (bass) whose unique sound almost completely defines what this band are about (her singing voice on the new album is absolutely haunting to) and the fabulous Norman Leonhard (drums). Together the four of them are nothing less than a unique partnership. Take one of them away and it simply wouldn't be Triptykon. Every song from the thumping anvil of opener 'Tree Of Suffocating Souls', the ethereal beauty of 'Moleskin House', the crushing doom of Altar of Deceit through to the angelic and chanting melodies of closing number 'Waiting' is an absolute masterpiece of musical and lyrical genius, emotion, passion and above all diversity and darkness! I still don't know what goes on inside Tom Gabriel Warrior's head and am never likely to but, I suppose, that's what makes his music so captivating to me because there is always an air of mystery and blackness amongst the beauty!
It would also be very remiss of me not to mention the stunning artwork of H.R. Giger, who very sadly passed away recently after a fall. His disturbing but fascinating images have also completely captivated me since the 1970's and perfectly match the musical output of Warrior which was why both men had been close friends for thirty years and this is the third time his art has been used on a Celtic Frost/Triptykon release.
I know I only very recently gave Bigelf the 'album of the year so far' title (and that is still very much worthy of full marks), but I'm afraid that now has to be relegated to number two and if anything betters 'Melana Chasmata' this year then I'm obviously getting too much of a good thing by doing this job. It's just not enough to say this album is Absolutely Mind-blowing!
Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley