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Triptykon - Melana Chasma

Triptykon
Melana Chasma
by Keith "Zirra" Ham at 01 April 2014, 12:42 AM

With much critical acclaim, Tom “Warrior” Fischer of the CELTIC FROST fame released “Eparistera Daimones” in 2010. Though harking back to the simple, yet brutal, style of CELTIC FROST’s “Monolith” (Which, in hand borrowed from the more intense and extreme aspects of his short lived HELLHAMMER years) the album was revered for its originality - especially during a time where the metal community was practically polarized by the constant barrage of genre slicing ‘core’ bands. Somehow, Warrior had harked back to the age of true experimentation and put out something that barely could be labeled as more than just great metal music. However, Warrior has been known to get caught up in his own ideas only to release relatively subpar ideas. And, though “Cold Lake” has been considered CELTIC FROST’s worst by many - a opinion made to death and back - I don’t believe that to be the worst - simply a metal band which began to dabble in lighter ideas (though I personally wasn’t a fan). So, does Triptykon’s newest and extremely anticipated “Melana Chasma” hold up as well as their initial release or even the followed EP “Shatter”?

Firstly, TRIPTYKON has to be taken for what it is. Though it doesn’t sound like something along the lines of GOJIRA or THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT - “Melana Chasma” holds close to the same ideals of simplicity with alternate tunings. You are going to get emotion and sound here which attempts to convey or relate to the ideas presented by TRIPTYKON. That is, rather than a barrage of blind technicality. However, at times this can act towards TRIPTYKON’s detriment. Occasionally, tracks begin well but fade into droning obscurity (with only one track “Boleskine House” using this to its advantage) - though some like this, it mostly leads me to switch to the next track as the whining tone of the guitars has really gotten old since “Eparistera Daimones”. Thankfully, though, where that small annoyance has come to light - the addition of Vanja’s (Bass) vocals shine through on several tracks. Warrior has been cited saying that “Melana Chasma” was going to run along the lines of their ‘Shatter’ EP and, well, the album certainly does. There is quite a bit more emphasis on melody and a lot more stylistic choices over brutality. The album still has that soul crushing demeanor but with the inclusion of bucket loads of sorrow filled cleans or completely weird out riffs - just a tad more complicated compared to the original TRIPTYKON effort.

Sadly, I really think that this album feels way too much like an extension of “Eparistera Daimones” no matter how much I listen to it. There really is only so much you can do with low-end riffs before they sort of get completely muddy and same-like. Now, this isn’t just my problem with only TRIPTYKON, certainly they are some of the best when it comes to simplified riffage and “Melana Chasma” is up as one of the better albums when it comes to experimental Black Metal like music, but I feel like this has all been done. TRIPTYKON certainly still has a place in my heart and I’ll listen to it. But, sadly, it really doesn’t carry the impact that “Eparistera Daimones” did - at least not for me.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Tree of Suffocating Souls
2. Boleskine House
3. Altar of Deceit
4. Breathing
5. Aurorae
6. Demon Pact
7. In the Sleep of Death
8. Black Snow
9. Waiting
Lineup:
Tom Gabriel Warrior – Vocals / Guitars
V. Santura – Guitars
Norman Lonhard - Drums
Vanja Slajh - Bass
Record Label: Century Media / Prowling Death Records
     


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