It’s rare I’ll start a review by talking about the album artwork, but the latest Triptykon effort Melana Chasmata is the third time that Tom Warrior has collaborated with the now sadly departed H. R. Giger. It’s as unsettling as you would imagine a piece of art that comes from the man who designed the Alien would be and (although I am still someone who buys CDs so it makes little difference to me) I would say should make this an album that is actually worth going out and getting a physical copy of. Artwork aside Triptykon are of course the latest project of the aforementioned Tom Warrior, who is most famous for his time in Celtic Frost and because of that time is unlikely to have many detractors in the extreme metal community.
Opening with a squeal of guitar “Tree of Suffocating Souls” doesn’t ease you into things, as it launches into a proper headbanger of a track. There is a shit tonne of Black Sabbath running through this album, as there is any album that goes under the doom moniker, and it doesn’t take long for that to shine through on the opening number. What makes this stand as special is the moments that are a little bit different. Around the five minute mark (nothing on this album is under five minutes long) there is a period of almost Middle Eastern sounding guitar, that in amongst the doom and thrash that makes up the rest of the track manages, to just take everything to the next level.
From there on in this album swoops and groans it’s way through 9 tracks of extreme metal beauty. Whether it’s the slow trudging evil of “Boleskine House” or the ritualistic drumming and chanting over “Demon Pact”, this album just makes sense. This is extreme metal at it’s best and yet also extreme metal at it’s most artistic. It sounds so bloody cliché to say this, but this is the kind of album that remind’s you that music is an art form and in the dark terrifying recesses of Tom Warrior’s mind he is capable of releasing music that is both beautiful and yet eerily unsettling at the same time.
I have several pages of notes covering every song on this album and I could go through them track by track, but I don’t like that style of reviewing and I honestly think for an album like this it is the last thing you want. This is an album that needs to be explored. It wasn’t that long ago that if you’d asked me I would have tole you that no band could have released a better extreme metal album this year than Behemoth and while I still believe that is one of the albums of the year, this one will be standing right next to it.
For Fans of: Celtic Frost, Black Sabbath
Choice Cuts: Tree of Suffocating Souls, Demon PAct