Album review: TRIPTYKON – Melana Chasmata

Century Media – Out Now.

When Celtic Frost decided to ‘pull the plug’ for a second time in their career back in 2008, the world of extreme Metal began mourning the loss of perhaps its most innovative and influential bands.

While tears were still being shed by fans around the world, guitarist and founding member Thomas Gabriel “Warrior” Fischer had already begun working on a new musical project.

It wasn’t long before Triptykon, this same project, had become a full-time band and now, four years after bringing to life their amazing debut “Eparistera Daimones”, the quartet is ready to further establish itself in the consciousness of extreme Metal fans as the natural successors to the Celtic Frost legacy through the release of yet another sensational album, entitled “Melana Chasmata”.

There are many reasons why I think that Triptykon’s second studio effort is a very special effort indeed. First, through its nine thematically varied and beautifully crafted compositions, it proves how important Thomas Warrior’s music has and continues to be to a number of different genres, all relevant to extreme music.

Blessed by a top quality production, Warrior’s low-chorded riffs sound bolder, heavier and more menacing than ever, while epic-sounding narrations and female vocal chants provide Triptykon’s second album with an atmosphere and feel that only they are capable of recreating at this moment in time.

Heavy and atmospheric in equal portions, “Tree Of Suffocating Souls” introduces the album in bombastic fashion with Warrior’s vocals at their aggressive best. Weird leads and groovy riffs are also present in the follow-up “Boleskine House”, but this tribute to Aleister Crowley’s Loch Ness residence is a more atmospheric and low tempo affair in comparison.

“Altar Of Deceit” is another thematically varied composition that does feature the heaviest riff on offer, while the groove of the five and a half minute “Breathing” is reminiscent of the that which Brazilian Thrashers Sepultura were infusing in their compositions in the early 90s.

Listening to the brilliant guitar harmonies of “Aurorae” reminded me of all the reasons why I enjoy the music of bands like Tiamat so much, while “Demon Pact” surprised me with its unique structure and innovative spirit.

“In The Sleep Of Death” is the first composition of this album which shows a true resemblance to the early works of Celtic Frost and that is due to the use of whispering vocals by Warrior, while the duet “Black Snow” / “Waiting” conclude this very impressive release with bravado and style.

Extreme Metal has come a long way since the early 80s as a result of the personal contribution of a handful of really talented musicians, some of which are either no longer with us or no longer musically active.

Thomas Gabriel “Warrior” Fischer is one of the few Metal legends who is still in a position to influence this music and no better proof can be found than in Triptykon’s latest album.

“Melana Chasmata” is the kind of album that simply cannot be missed by any self-respecting music collector.

John Stefanis

Rating: ****1/2 (4.5/5.0)

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