Triptykon

Eparistera Daimones

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To the dismay of several generations of metalheads, Celtic Frost's celebrated new millennium reunion was to be a brief one, and the legendary curators of heavy metal's avant-garde movement would ultimately see their name retired for a second time by leader Tom G. Warrior after he fell out once again with bassist Martin Eric Ain. But the positive outcome of all this was that Warrior's creative juices were clearly reinvigorated by the experience and his confidence restored by the warm reception bestowed upon 2006's Monotheist, providing, along with the bitterness of another Frost collapse, plenty of motivation to launch without delay into his next musical endeavor, Triptykon. It's also apparent that Triptykon's first opus, 2010's Eparistera Daimones, initially germinated as Monotheist‘s follow-up, given the grinding doom tempos, occult-laced subjects, and pure, uncompromising heaviness characterizing key offerings like "Goetia," "Abyss Within My Soul," and "Descendant." Much like the typically disturbing H.R. Giger artwork gracing this album's cover (a throwback to Celtic Frost's seminal 1985 LP To Mega Therion), these are powerful yet frequently bleak sonic constructions prizing austere monochromatic shades of gray over melodic colors; they take some getting used to before revealing their subtle treasures, yet march in perfect lockstep with Warrior's trademark tuneless rasp. Interestingly, Eparistera Daimones also finds Warrior reaching into his past exploits with unprecedented lack of guilt, even as he continues to obey a fundamental instinct to break new ground, always. Thus, listeners get the stunningly refreshing Morbid Tales-worthy thrashing of "A Thousand Lies" and the Into the Pandemonium-recalling female vocals over stark solo piano midway through "Myopic Empire" on the one hand, and the unusual soundtrack experiment "Shrine" (consisting primarily of the subdued wails of the condemned!) and the gentle gothic atmospherics of "My Pain" on the other. And, tying all of these disparate elements together and simultaneously dwarfing them, one and all, is the album's closing statement and aptly named pièce de résistance, "The Prolonging," which never flags in concentration despite negotiating an astounding array of moods and ideas over the course of its colossal 20 minutes of duration. According to Warrior's own insightful liner notes (which accompany every song on the album), this extended piece's words were composed in the framework of a black mass, and its parts dated from several different writing sessions from before, during, and after Celtic Frost's final dissolution, possibly explaining its awesomely versatile fruition. Amid all of the other plaudits listed above for Eparistera Daimones, it's this sense of inspirational rebirth, more than anything else, that breathes life into Triptykon as a truly new and separate entity, no matter the group's evolutionary ties to Warrior's legacy. Celtic Frost is dead (well, most likely, this time around)...long live Triptykon.

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