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Triptykon – Melana Chasmata


Last Updated on 23:23 by Giorgos Tsekas

Hellhammer and Celtic Frost are both enormous bands that established extreme sound and when Tom Gabriel Fischer was searching for a moniker for his third major musical project (Apollyon Sun was rather weak and not so metal after all) he played with the word ‘triptych’ and voila Triptykon was born. Before that of course a brief reunion, still one of the most important in Heavy Metal History offered us “Monotheist”; probably one of the biggest moments in 00’s and yet one of the strongest records on the current century in which we are reaching its first quarter and for many out there the greatest album that Celtic Frost have been released ever!  So you guess how fury, full of anger and frustrated was Fischer after the break up with Martin Eric Stricker (aka Martin Eric Ain, he died on October 21, 2017 following a heart attack) and when he recorded “Eparistera Daimones” in 2010. But in this sophomore Triptykon’s LP Fischer knew very well that he needed more than anger and hate to create something unique and brilliant in its gloomy beauty. Four years after their debut  Triptykon released “Melana Chasmata” their second full-length album through Prowling Death Records /Century Media Records on 14 April 2014 in Europe and on 15 April 2014 in North America.

The title is in Greek (Μελανά Χάσματα) and, according to Fischer, it can be roughly translated as “black, deep depressions/valleys” — or, more literally, “chasms as [black as] ink”. Well actually it means black gap, so in a poetic way you can say Warrior is right in his translation. The album’s artwork was provided by famous Surrealist painter H. R. Giger. It is the third time in his career he has collaborated with Thomas Fischer; it was Giger’s last album cover before his death, just one month after the album’s release. As we be mentioned above Tryptikon’s first album, “Eparistera Daimones”, was heavy as fuck fuelled by the anger within the band’s main man (vocalist, guitarist and primary songwriter) Tom G. Warrior over the  breakup of Celtic Frost. Now his nihilistic vision is based on mournful and eerie melodies, pounding drums and thick bass lines (the rhythm section with Vanja Šlajh and Norman Lonhard is splendid in its ferocity), roaring vocals and several moaning theatrical hints, beautiful and sorrowful guitars (though crunchy and chugging when needed especially on solos) over some depressed poetic lyrics (with topics ranging from death to love and everything in between where you can also see a reference to Emily Bronte on “In the Sleep of Death”), combining gothic elements and heavy riffs, ambient and doom influences, gloomy atmosphere, melancholic vibes, heavy distortion, and excellent production which allows all instruments to shine.  The whole album doesn’t need speed to make you bang your head but some bursting parts here and there are remarkable. Of course all the aforementioned would be rather meaningless if the songs weren’t top notch as compositions. Warrior has always been a great songwriter and in Melina Chasmata is once again proving himself as a great narrator of dismal cacophonous stories of the darkest sides of our selves. Hymns like “Tree of Suffocating Souls”, “Boleskine House” and “Waiting” in which both we can hear Simone Vollenweider, “Breathing”, “Aurorae”, “In the Sleep of Death” (the only song written by the guitarist V. Santura) and “Black Snow” where Fischer shares vocals with Acanthus Gristle, are here daring you to follow them on their tenebrous journey in painful but cathartic soundscapes…

Giorgos Tsekas
Giorgos Tsekas
"Κάποτε Όταν Θα ‘χουμε Καιρό... Θα Σκεφτούμε Πάνω Στις Ιδέες Όλων Των Μεγάλων Στοχαστών, Θα Θαυμάσουμε Τους Πίνακες Όλων Των Μεγάλων Ζωγράφων, Θα Γελάσουμε Με Όλους Τους Χωρατατζήδες, Θα Φλερτάρουμε Όλες Τις Γυναίκες, Θα Διδάξουμε Όλους Τους Ανθρώπους" Μπ. Μπρεχτ

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