Triptykon – Melana Chasmata

Today the dark lords of metal bestow their unholy gifts upon us, for this day marks the birth of a new Triptykon album, and we, the unworthy masses, may now bask in its uncompromising greatness.

In other words, holy shit, is it too early to declare an album of the year?

I have a near obsessive fascination and respect for extreme metal pioneers such as Thomas Gabriel Fischer. This is to be expected when one’s body of work includes Hellhammer and Celtic Frost; but what blows my mind is that over 30 years into his career, the man is only getting better with each release. Sure, there are many other metal musicians from that era still making music, but I defy you to come up with one that is still producing music of this caliber. By this point most of those bands are simply spinning their wheels and cashing in on their name. Fischer is still paving the road that others will try to follow.

I fell very hard for Triptykon’s first album, “Eparistera Daimones” because it was unrelentingly heavy and dark, and gave me the impression that it would roll right over me without the slightest hint of concern or remorse. It was a machine of destruction fulfilling its only purpose.

“Melana Chasmata” contains just as much darkness, but feels more evolved and thoughtful than the last album. The first album’s undying aggression gives way to more slower paced and introspective material on this release. One of my first impressions of these songs was that they were less extreme than the previous ones, yet way heavier. I read a review on MetalSucks that likened the album to the singularity of a black hole. Those words rang true with me, because much like that massive celestial object, “Melana Chasmata” has an event horizon that sucks all light and happiness from the room.

What I’ve written so far may come across as overly melodramatic (a weakness on my part when faced with incredible works of metal) but with total honesty I can say that Triptykon has created an album that truly channels a feeling of genuine, uncomfortable darkness. Most metal fans grounded in reality understand that all the evil and satanic trappings of metal are simply creative storytelling and shock value. Triptykon is the exception; Triptykon is the beast that stares back from the abyss. This music feels dangerous.

I have been itching for new Triptykon music for at least the last year, but at the same time I worried that whatever came next would not live up to the greatness of the first album. I mean, really, the guy has to run out of killer material at some point, right? Not today, son. Thomas Gabriel Fischer and his bandmates have returned with yet another towering monument of metal perfection. Now, prostrate yourself before the master.