Published Apr 11, 2014Tom G. Warrior has never been associated with stability. Despite his hugely influential back catalogue, the guitarist, songwriter and vocalist has been inconsistent for over the past two decades of his 30-year career. When his best-known project, Swiss extreme metal pioneers Celtic Frost, finally and permanently went tits up in 2007, the notoriously outspoken musician reassessed and regrouped. The result was the quartet Triptykon. Their first release was 2010's Eparistera Daimones, a neo-gothic slab of extreme music in monument to the ugly dissolution of Celtic Frost that carried their once blazing torch.
Now on their second release, the beautiful Melana Chasmata, the notoriously outspoken musician is finally letting go of the ugly taste left in his mouth from the perils of the music industry he's endured from the mid '80s onwards. In contrast to previous works, his band mates contributed more to the finished package, while both the musical and lyrical direction of the album is inspired by personal events, rather than his usual religion-hating fare (although, make no mistake, that viewpoint remains). Warrior is audibly relishing his newfound stability.
Consequently, Melana Chasmata is his strongest release in over two decades. Furious, atmospheric and driving, it begins with the crushing "Tree of Suffocating Souls" before taking the listener on a poetically gothic journey. The tempo slows to a crawl, conjuring the best parts of doom, death, and black metal. Ambient soundscapes suffocate during "In the Sleep of Death"; follow up "Black Snow" and album closer "Waiting" deliver the trademark driving, dense compositions with that Warrior "UGH" fans know and love.
In short, the album is an impressive continuation of Tom G. Warrior's often-mighty lineage, addressing each and every one of his strengths while offering something new for those unaware of the history embedded in every note.
Read an interview with Triptykon's Tom G. Warrior here. (Century Media)