(Here we have TheMadIsraeli’s review of the highly anticipated second album by Triptykon.)
For my tastes, there hasn’t been a tome of brutal filth as drenched in its own misery and occult sense of violence since Triptykon released their debut album Eparistera Daimones in 2010. Triptykon so effectively epitomize the manifold attractions of metal and why people love the music so intensely. The sound they produce is so dark, so dank, so utterly revolting and devastating, yet so diverse.
I fell in love with the combination of styles Tom G. Warrior started messing around with on Celtic Frost’s swansong Monotheist, and enjoyed Triptykon’s debut immensely, as simply a continuation of the sound found there. Triptykon are the only band I can think of who have managed to mix thrash metal, doom metal, goth metal, and death metal into something that sounds like all and none of those styles at the same time.
Now here we finally have Melana Chasmata, Warrior’s second outing with this band. He had a fuck ton of hype to live up to, given how near-flawless the debut was. He’d have to make a record so utterly suffocated by its own personal demons that listeners could feel the voices starting to creep into their heads and begin wishing for psyche meds — and he succeeded. Listening to this record may make you feel like you’re trying to break your way out of a strait jacket in the most feral and desperate manner possible.
The music bounces back and forth between subjecting you to a blood eagle procedure and then injecting you with valium after your chest has been sewn up, for what moments remain to you in this world. Slow-burners like the second and third songs, “Bolskine House” and “Alter of Deceit”, drag so hard that your mind’s eyes roll back in your head; there is the sense of your life force slipping away from you. On the other hand, sonic fragmentation grenades like the opener “Tree of Suffocating Souls” or one of the first songs premiered from the record, “Breathing”, are brutal decapitators, almost strangulating in how little room they leave for the listener to catch a breath.
The music is devastating either way. The majority of it is definitely built upon a foundation of soul-sucking doom. That’s cool, though, because it makes the bursts of feral blackness that do erupt on this record so much more potent in contrast. The doom aspects of the music are more emphasized in comparison to the debut, showcasing an even more rancid and utterly despairing quality. “In The Sleep of Death” and “Black Snow” are two of the most powerful doom songs I’ve ever heard — and “Black Snow” especially is the album’s epic work, clocking in at a beefy twelve minutes plus.
In now-established Triptykon fashion, every song on the album really does feel like a journey. It may be a journey that only ends in the same sort of misery described in the short stories of Poe, but it definitely transports you into another world. The guitar tone is an especially important asset to the album’s sound; it conveys a sensation of dying, of wilting away into nothingness. It’s part of what makes the doom component of Triptykon’s music an impassable wall of all-consuming blackness. The contrasting vocals, male and female, screaming or gently whispering or melodically caressing, are also a key element in the album’s multifaceted darkness.
I’m not going to artificially tone down the extent of my adoration: I thought Eparistera Daimones was perfect, but Melana Chasmata is transcendent. Perhaps even more than in the debut, Triptykon have succeeded in capturing the manifold attractions of metal and made a statement of what it can and should be. It’s a dark, mangled beast that besieges your soul and captivates your mind, leaving no prospect of hope and no room for weakness or frailty. Only the black remains, and no band understand this better than Triptykon.
Melana Chasmata will be released next Tuesday, April 15, by Century Media. Order here. Listen to two advance tracks below.