The remaking of Celtic Frost was one of the great triumphs of the 2000’s in the metal world. Their Monotheist album was a goldmine of nasty riffs and doom-laden musical sorcery. They toured extensively, including a trip across North America, and there was talk of material being readied for yet another album. But almost as quickly as we were getting used to Celtic Frost returning to their throne amongst the kings of extreme metal…it was over. The end came swiftly, and to most fans, without warning. It was a gut punch. You’d might think it crass to compare the dissolution of a band to the loss of actual life but if you had waited a large chunk of your adult life waiting for one of your favorite bands to return, only to have them flame out in a relatively short period of time you’d be grasping for extreme hyperbole as well.
Thankfully that rumored material would eventually be released in the form of the debut Triptykon album. It wasn’t Celtic Frost by name, but it was undoubtedly Frost by design. Yet the material, and the band, managed to quickly take on a deliciously evil life of their own. Thomas Gabriel Fischer had apparently gone through hell during the demise of Celtic Frost and come out the other side with a thank you note from Satan himself. Triptykon’s newest album, Melana Chasmata, may very well equate to an invitation back to the Seventh Circle for a return visit and the ensuing postcards from the trip.
The album’s title is Greek and loosely translated into something along the lines of, “chasms as black as ink”. You’d be hard pressed to find an album with a more fitting title. From the driving, pit-inducing numbers like, “Breathing” to the more surreal, “Aurorae”, to the churning heaviness of, “Altar of Deceit” this album delivers lessons in wickedness over and over and over again. No stone lying in the silhouette of woe and malevolence is left unturned. The allure of any Warrior penned album, this one being no exception, is the ability to find substantial amounts traction in both the serene and the bombastic. There is an art to making something sound both sullen and bludgeoning, like what’s heard on the track, “Black Snow”, a powerful track with riffs so malignant that it’s almost unbearable (in the best way possible). Yet at the same time, you’ll find yourself in an almost serene, trance like state at the spellbinding nature of album closer, “Waiting”. But again, such is the paradox of Triptykon.
One can not reach excess when embellishing about tales of ferocity with which this record attacks the listener. It’s a ruthless triumph in every way. Warrior delivers a downright sadistic lyrical and vocal performance. The rhythm section is militaristic in the order they keep and there are enough memorable riffs on this album to make it one of the best collection of forlorn hymns you will hear all year and possibly for years to come.
Melana Chasmata hits the streets on April 15, via Century Media Records. To whet your appetite you can check out the tracks “Breathing” and “Boleskine House” over at the Century Media SoundCloud page.