Triptykon: Melana Chasmata review

Doomsayer disciples Triptykon were born out of frontman Thomas Gabriel Fischer, formerly Thomas Gabriel Warrior’s, desire and necessity to continue to create new music following the untimely demise of Celtic Frost. Shortly after we saw the release of what is regarded by most to be their seminal doom masterpiece Monotheist in 2006.

Triptykon’s latest abomination, Melana Chasmata for Century Media, in conjunction with their own label Prowling Death Records, picks up right where 2010’s Eparistera Daimones and Shatter EP left off and is not just as good as the stellar debut, but surpasses it in every way, obliterating the sophomore slump that plagues so many bands.

Melana Chasmata is a towering manifesto that is heavier than the weight of the world itself, darker than the deepest ocean, more dense than outer space, uglier than Medusa and more blasphemous than the Satanic Bible. What’s not to love about that?

The album, whose title translates to Deep Depression Valley, showcases another cover by master of macabre, H.R. Giger, and was produced, mastered and mixed by Fischer and guitarist V. Santura. If you are familiar with Fischer’s body of work, then you already know he has no desire whatsoever to fit in and openly shuns the mainstream. Melana Chasmata is a testament to that unwavering commitment.

The feedback squeal of opener “Tree Of Suffocating Souls” signals the beginning of the end. Its insane amounts of lethal double kick are a direct throwback to the Into The Pandemonium days of Celtic Frost with the modern production serving as a catapult, propelling the song into the upper echelons of heaviness.

At the same time, the brooding, disenchanted loathing and slow bottom end of “Boleskine House,” is very reminiscent of H.I.M. and may very well be some of the heaviest, doom laden riffs ever recorded with the enchanting female backing vocals adding layers of ethereal beauty to the ugliness swirling around them.

The deliberate, ritualistic psychedelica of “Altar Of Deceit,” will no doubt bring to mind the eponymous Black Sabbath song “Black Sabbath” while the Gargantuan riffs, acrid noise and repugnant discord of lead single “Breathing” is a prime example of Triptykon’s metal mission statement and is rounded out by guitar solos that pay tribute to axemasters Kerry King and the late Jeff Hanneman.

“Demon Pact” is doom metal at its very best. It’s so slow it would lose a race to a snail or turtle. Its evil incantations channel the very essence of Type O Negative and the spirit of their lost frontman Peter Steele, from the deepest and darkest pits of heavy metal hell. By stark comparison, “Aurorae” builds to an epic crescendo that is so infectious it should come with a public safety warning.

Here’s the bottom line- In a word, Melana Chasmata is epic and an essential must have in the collection of any self respecting metalhead.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

-Eric Hunker