Even with only 3 releases (2 Albums and 1 EP), Triptykon has proven to be one of the heaviest bands in all of Metal. Fronted by the legendary Tom G. Warrior (Celtic Frost, Hellhammer), Triptykon's newest release Melana Chasmata may have never been released if Warrior would have carried through with his suicidal thoughts. This album nearly killed him, but in a way saved him as well (with the help of his girlfriend who talked him out of it) This album is sheer depression from start to finish. That is not meant to be a negative thing (Haha, word play). It is full of somber tones, absolute destruction of the mind, and of course is the brilliant songwriting of Tom G. Warrior.
Melana Chasmata (which roughly translate into Black, Deep Depressions) starts off with a different kind of opening. Rather than going completely Doom Metal, or going all guns blazing, the opening track, Tree Of Suffocating Souls starts off midtempo (although it gets faster as the track progresses). The opening is layered in heavy riffs and lots of Double Bass. Right from the start when Warrior opens his mouth to sing, you can hear the heartache of life in his voice. The song never leaves the faster, midtempo pace once it starts until about 3/4s into the song where it gets very doomy for a bit before picking it back up to finish out the song. Boleskine House. Starts off slower and more somber than the proceeding track. This is a signature type of Triptykon track that is slow, doomy, and heavy all the way through. So many Doom Metal bands could learn a thing or two from this track in particular (let alone the ENTIRE album). Alter Of Deceit is next, and again it start of slow. It's roughly at the same tempo as Boleskine House, but even heavier (if that was possible). Breathing is a nice change of pace on the album. While it sort of similar to the last couple tracks, when the vocals kick in, it goes into Death Metal bliss. The verses and Chorus are much similar to the track, A Thousand Lies, off Triptykon's debut album, Eparistera Daimones. This is the fastest track on the album BPM wise and is pinpointed on a great spot on the album. It's Fast, Thrashy and filled with great Death Metal antics that would be amazing to hear live. Auroae follows up next and it is one of the most mellow songs on the album. It still has some great doomy guitar and ethereal moments but the song doesn't change tempo and keeps that same eerie feeling throughout. Next up is Demon Pact. The song doesn't really kick in until a couple minutes into the song, but is very dark and evil. Another song that doesn't vary in tempo, it just drags you into the abyss slowly but surely. In The Sleep Of Death comes now and is a little more upbeat (though not much). This crushing track chugs and chugs away while having some very ethereal guitars used in the background. OH GLORIOUS DOOM! Up next is the epic on the album, Black Snow. A bit more upbeat as compared to some of the other tracks on the album, but it is very epic sounding (just like the term implies). It's very grand and huge all while being unrelenting. You get to hear more of Warrior's tortured vocals in this one. All 12:25 minutes of Black Snow does feel like the soundtrack to your demise. The final track on the album is Waiting. Bassist and Backup vocalist Vanja Šlajh does the vocals does the majority of the vocals on this track repeating the line over and over "We Are The Same". The song is surprisingly positive as compared to the rest of the album which makes you feel the hell that Tom G. Warrior was facing at the time. The song itself is a bit more of a Post Rock song than anything else and features a clean guitar solo, again, something you'd never expect from Triptykon. The song and album ends on Vanja Šlajh's voice fading away along with the guitar drones drifing off into what could only be the heavens for an optimistic look, or hell for a return to tragedy.
Overall, Melana Chasmata is a dark, tortured album musically and lyrically. Knowing the back story of Tom G. Warrior during the process only makes this album even more haunting. While as dark and doom as the album is, it's oddly beautiful in a way only Doom Metal can do when done perfectly. Warrior knocked it out of the park on this one. We can only hope now that he is happier with life....and maybe another full scale US tour in Triptykon's lifetime.
Triptykon- Melana Chasmata available NOW via Century Media Records/Prowling Death Records
- Josh Rundquist (That Drummer Guy)
Novembers Doom is a criminally underrated band that sadly doesn't get the amount of love that they should. For those unfamiliar with the band, Novembers Doom is a great blend of Doom (who'd guess by the by name, haha) Death, Progressive, and Folk Metal. On their latest album, Bled White the band expands even further in their sound and reaches what could possibly be their best work yet.
The album starts off with the title track, Bled White, And it is in traditional Novembers Doom style. Great dark riffing with the right amount of death growls and clean vocals (vocalist, Paul Kuhr is a master at both styles, which is hard to accomplish in this style). The next track is Heartfelt, and it showcases musically what Novembers Doom is best at, faster, but still midtempo, destruction of the soul. Just Breathe follows next and is a very dark song. Slow moving and a bit uneasy. The mid way point of the song is picks up the pace all while Kuhr keeps up is haunting clean vocals. The song changes variances a couple more times before closing out. Scorpius is a short acoustic guitar interlude that matches the theme of the album perfectly, then from out of nowhere comes Unrest. Unrest is a a nice, heavy, unrelenting song. Just overall awesome Novembers Doom goodness. The Memory Room is a bit of a different kind of track for the band. While the riff sounds similar to the song, Buried, off their last album Aphotic, it doesn't get entirely too heavy on this one. It is as if Novembers Doom was listening to the style of Alice In Chains. It's a nice change of pace as well. The Brave Pawn is one of the heaviest songs on the album and easily the fastest. Pure unadulterated chaos. Clear is another haunting somber song. It is another song that features Kuhr's cleans done properly. Mid tempo and done right. The Grand Circle is another slower song, much in the vein of Clear, but more vocally driven and does have growls in it as well. Animus starts off with a chilling clean guitar riff that just blasts into brutality shortly after. The whole song has the Death/Doom sound that Novembers Doom can master like no one else. The album ends with the longest song on the album, The Silent Dark. This 9:29 epic of a song starts off with haunting sounds with clean vocals. It's not until 2:42 where things up up and the song get heavy. The whole song has that feel that all good longer songs have where it's meant to be this long and doesn't get old. A great send off to a beautiful, heavy, and somber album. I wouldn't want a Novembers Doom album any other way.
Bled White may be the band's finest work to date and that really says a lot considering their back catalog. It is filled with some of the most tasteful guitar solos you will hear in the genre, masterful drumming, the perfect combination of clean and death vocals. If you haven't heard of the band yet, this is the perfect album to start with. If you have, this will be the best one you hear.
Novembers Doom- Bled White available NOW via The End Records
- Josh Rundquist (That Drummer Guy)
That Drummer Guy: Radio DJ, Interviewer, Reviewer, overall...an OK guy.
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