Triptykon
Melana Chasmata


4.1
excellent

Review

by Greg Fisher STAFF
April 27th, 2014 | 92 replies


Release Date: 04/14/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A crushing doom metal record that relies as much on earth-shattering guitar tunings as on a shrewd interplay between the ugly and the beautiful.

As Tom G. Warrior has never been associated with consistency, his output has equally thrilled and baffled metal fans for the past two decades of his 30-year career. The crude extreme metal of Hellhammer, and the early days of blackened thrash luminaries Celtic Frost are widely celebrated. However, the latter lost its nerve in time, releasing the perplexing hair metal misfire that was 1988's Cold Lake. It took over a decade for Celtic Frost to truly reconcile and return to their trail for 2006's Monotheist, but they fell apart yet again shortly afterwards. Warrior's new outfit Triptykon is essentially an extension of Monotheist sound. It's crushing doom metal embellished with driving thrash riffs, serene gothic vibes and a hint of death metal brutality. Their 2010 debut Eparistera Daimones was a commendable mash-up of these elements, but it's the quartet's new disc that represents Warrior's vision of music executed to near perfection.

Melana Chasmata doesn't really mark any significant alterations in the artist's approach. It's a pulverizing doom metal record that relies as much on earth-shattering guitar tunings as on a shrewd interplay between the ugly and the beautiful. This duality is not only reflected in nuanced music that often mellows out to encapsulate different shades of agony, but also Warrior's signature jagged style of singing is every now and then juxtaposed with soothing female vocals to stunning effect. Triptykon are aware that the darkness needs to be offset by the light in order for both shades to exude with equal force. That's why, their new effort is so multifaceted.

Opener 'Tree of Suffocating Souls' would sound totally like typical latter day Warrior if it weren't for the distinctly Eastern leanings subtly shining through the track's second half. 'Breathing,' which boasts a non-linear structure, seamlessly fuses the quartet's oppressive style with vigorous, hardcore-echoing mosh riffs. 'Aurorae' provides a moment of respite, resorting to a spoken word delivery built against a hypnotic, unsettingly atmospheric arrangement. Meanwhile, 'Demon Pact' splendidly blends gargantuan sludge metal riffs with eerie industrial soundscapes and an instantly memorable chorus, which makes for a genuinely unique number. The funeral lament of 'In the Sleep of Death' also works really well, embracing a more conventional, slow-paced brand of doom metal. When Warrior experiments with longer forms the effects aren't nearly as astonishing, though. 'Black Snow' is weirdly uneventful for a 12-minute suite, struggling to provide enough variation to make a lasting impression. In addition, the sequencing leaves a bit to be desired. The subdued 'Waiting' may be a captivating song which stands out with its decidedly lighter tone, but it doesn't exactly end the record in a satisfying manner.

Aside from these minor issues, the execution of Melana Chasmata is nothing short of sublime, treading a fine line between the colossal scope and the insidious darkness. In contrast to previous outings, the lyrical direction is more inspired by personal events than the artist's anti-religious views. There's also a newfound penchant for hooks in Triptykon's arsenal as the infectious, fist-pumping refrains of 'Alter Of Deceit' and 'Demon Pact' attest. However, the album hardly ever loses its sharp focus as Warrior is at last audibly delighting in his creative stability. It's undoubtedly his most impressive collection of songs in over two decades.




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user ratings (194)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
kvltwalter (4.5)
Another pummeling reminder that "Only Death is Real"...

marbledking (4.5)
Black chasms with heavy riffs...


Comments:Add a Comment 
linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
April 27th 2014


1878 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice write-up Greg. Really liked this album, although honestly I prefer the band's debut by a margin. Agree with how the lengthier songs like "Black Snow" sometimes don't work as well as they should have, I guess Warrior is just trying to exhaust aspect of the sound, for which I can't really blame him given the band's chosen musical style and themes. Also, this is definitely one of the better extreme metal releases of the year so far.

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emester
April 27th 2014


3412 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Finally, a quality review of this. Nice work Greg

Digging: Nightbringer - Ego Dominus Tuus

Diamondize
April 27th 2014


1367 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review. This album just gets better with every spin.

Digging: Dead Can Dance - Within the Realm of a Dying Sun

emester
April 27th 2014


3412 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I seriously doubt anything else this year will top this...

greg84
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2014


7391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

Thanks a bunch guys. Yeah. It's one of the best metal LPs of the year.

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SeaAnemone
April 27th 2014


20322 Comments


guess I'll never know / greg deleting comments again lol

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Inveigh
April 27th 2014


24968 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review Greg, I don't dig this as much as
their debut, but it still riffs super hard.
Atmosphere is strong too.

Sea you should check this out, but if you're
unfamiliar with Tom G's stuff, I'd recommend
starting with early Celtic Frost or Hellhammer
(or even the first Triptykon record) before
checking this one.

SeaAnemone
April 27th 2014


20322 Comments


oh this is related to Celtic Frost? cool, might check then

SEE GREG WHEN YOU DON'T DELETE COMMENTS, ESPECIALLY THOSE PERTAINING TO MUSIC, PRODUCTIVE AND PERTINENT MUSIC DISCUSSION OCCURS

greg84
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2014


7391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

Ha. Except I didn't delete your comment this time. Somebody else did it. What did you write? Oh. Wait. I don't wanna know... and cheers Inveigh.

Tyrael
April 27th 2014


20879 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

not a noctus review :[

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

zaruyache
April 27th 2014


6497 Comments


:[ agreed.

Review is good, though! Glad this album got another one. Triptykon have never really been my thing, but there's a track here and there that I can dig m/

Digging: Alpha Male Tea Party - Droids

Calc
April 27th 2014


12200 Comments


some cool HR Giger artwork there

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OmairSh
April 27th 2014


11102 Comments


"Shatter" was damn fine

Digging: Leprous - Coal

ExplosiveOranges
April 27th 2014


2718 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album rules

Digging: Electric Wizard - Time to Die

Asmodeuss1990
April 28th 2014


186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Solid review, mate.

Wizard
April 28th 2014


19414 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Finally someone who knows what the hell they're talking about did a review for these guys. Thank you Greg!

I seriously doubt anything else this year will top this...

You're missing out then. This is more or less the same as his debut.

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TheNotrap
April 28th 2014


8073 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"It's undoubtedly his most impressive collection of songs in over two decades."
Sounds pretty promising.

Excellent review.

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tempest--
April 28th 2014


13511 Comments


cool, glad this is a rad record, gonna have to check it out soon.

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emester
April 28th 2014


3412 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Well the new Swans and Gazpacho are actually nearly or even just as awesome as this

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
April 28th 2014


6115 Comments


Good review, mindpos.

Will check this out eventually.

Digging: Disasterhate - Sacrifice To Eclipse



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