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Triptykon: Melana Chasmata

Whether through Celtic Frost or Apollyon Sun Tom G. Warrior has always been an Extreme Metal trailblazer and a true innovator. The debut album, Epirastera Daimones released in 2010, from his current band Triptkyon, was no different, finding a band melding avant-garde Doom styles into a sound that smashed through genre boundaries by incorporating Blackened Death spirit to Industrial touches, earth pummelling beats to a fine mix of droning vocals and ear catching melody that remained shrouded in harsh execution. In short it was a clever, intricate mix which achieved a stark beauty through its sheer unwillingness to compromise, or simply play to stereotype; remaining oddly accessible in a decidedly prickly kind of way. Four years on and album number two, Melana Chasmata, continues the journey in similar, if still slightly evolutionary fashion.

Warrior again leads from the front, his characteristic spoken growl infusing much of what it surveys here with a sharp intent which is delivered on again and again. Once more the themes are slow and deliberate and if anything, even more considered than the debut. However that's not to suggest that anything on MC is pedestrian, with nothing further from the truth as "Altar Of Deceit" implodes through a lumbering beat and biting snarl that rumbles throughout your entirety. The wailing rip of guitars also hits with a ferocity that is all the more intense for being deliberate and pinpoint. However factor in the harmony female vocal of "Boleskine House" and the ability to introduce differing elements into the gloom, makes what could have been a very monotone experience into a technicolour of blacks and greys; for never is this album bright or garish.

Each of the songs do take on similar structures and the beats stubbornly refuse to move beyond trundles of power, however with each of the tracks being lengthy, the true "hook" of Melana Chasmata is in the manner in which each of the tracks is allowed to evolve and shape shift through altering vision of Doom, Death, Avante-Garde and Extreme. If you are hoping for a sudden hit of rampant guitar, or machine gun fire of kick drum, then you'll be sorely disappointed here, with nothing as extrovert as the expected traits of these styles ever being delivered. In that sense Triptykon are actually more Progressive than most Prog outfits, with each songs progressing through ever altering, yet cohesively linked sections, as atmospheres (especially when listened to at volume) prove to almost be overwhelming. Factor in the beautiful, plaintive melody sprinkled "Aurorae", where the Doom never turns to gloom, "Black Snow", which through its twelve plus minutes and gradual journey from piercing feedback to cascades of guitar and cymbal bursts, via riffs of disturbing might; or the repetitive, unexpected release of "We Are The Same" and Melana Chasmata not only explodes on initial encounter, but somehow manages to heighten the effect with every subsequent re-listen.

Melana Chasmata may not be as shockingly impacting as Eparistera Daimones, but that's only because we now have an expectational benchmark from which to base our ideas. Triptykon once more stand alone as a band who can deliver Extreme, uncompromising music with a deftness of touch and still have it ravage your very being. Will we have to wait a further four years for album number three? I hope not, but if we do, I'm sure it will be worth every impatient minute spent pining for its arrival.

Track Listing
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

Added: May 24th 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Triptykon online
Hits: 2128
Language: english

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