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Omnipotent Darkness: TRIPTYKON’s “Melana Chasmata” Review

So yeah, as you may know, this new TRIPTYKON album has been raved about left and right all over the internet for quite some weeks now. It’s being hailed as one of the best metal albums of 2014, and the consensus about its greatness, sheer might and unusual beauty is pretty much unanimous. Well, shit, for once the internet is right it looks like, and every word of appreciation spent on this towering beast comes with absolute and incontrovertible truth. So here we are, we too joining this drooling flock. We too listened to this thing and ended up in the choir of endless and almost embarrassing reverence that the rest of the world becomes when sitting down with this album, gasping for air as we try, desperately, to describe a record whose magnitude is almost borderline inhuman, while the damn thing tries to suffocate our brain and cut off all oxygen to it with a massive load of darkness and destruction.

triptykon band 2

There are two things to point out about this absurdly immense record. The first one is that NO ONE, in the whole world, knows what pure fucking darkness is more than Tom Gabriel Fischer. There is no fucking chance in the universe anyone has tasted real darkness, and thus has the power to represent it, better than Tom Warrior. Simply because as you listen to Melana Chasmata, you can just feel darkness pour out from the damn thing in an almost hemorrhagic way. You can feel this record hurdle against you a darkness that is just gigantic. What you feel is a giant, humongous fucking wall of darkness coming towards you. Everything about this completely lightless fucker speaks in the language of total fucking gloom, from the vocals (a beast calling you to your endless oblivion) to the saturated, grinding and slicing guitars, to the thunderous drums to the general atmospheres and moods of the songs, which are just a drooping, desolated, godforsaken wasteland of pure fucking darkness and dismay. Tom Fisher’s vocals are especially sinister on this album – ranting, angry, blood thirsty spams of angry obliteration, shouted straight into your face like the beast that haunts your every dream and taunts your imagination with daunting visions of evil and death. The song structures are winding, twisted and pounding architectures of metallic dark matter, lost in a totally disembodied wasteland of complete stylistic ambiguity.

triptykon - melana chasmata

Thre is neither doom, nor goth, nor black metal, nor thrash in a clearly discernible form in this record, but the work itself is also all of these things at the same time. The ambiguity of this album laterally fucks with your head big time,  and takes you away to lost and far away places, making your mind drift away, and your perception sink into total darkness and misery. The towering “Aurora” for instance is one of the best post-doom songs we’ve ever heard: a repetitive and hypnotic mantra of gruesomely dark and tenebrous riffing that builds and swirls like the best Neurosis, imploding in the end in a colossal buildup of towering doom-ridden darkness. Other moments recall the obvious Monotheist– era Frost (when everything went black in that band), but seem to be augmented, enhanced and disfigured in their gloom and doom traits, being represented as immense spires, spikes and arches of drooping and gloomy desolation. Take the doom as fuck tracks “Demon Pact” and “In the Sleep of Death” for instance. The first one sounds like Killing Joke on DMT during a torture session or some crazy shit like that, while the latter sounds like an exorcism in the lost hallways of an abandoned mental hospital with early My Dying Bride playing in the background. It’s not just angry, dark, doomy, slow and heavy as fuck music – it is also, and foremost, just fucking SCARY.

triptykon band

The second thing to consider about this record is that when you hit play and sit down to listen, it is immediately apparent that you are not listening to a normal or common metal album. You get the perception that you are dealing with something incredibly unusual and otherworldly and of a completely different quality. You get a feeling like this when listening to maybe one in a thousand releases, no joke. You can hear the new ground being broken by the songwriting, and the new aesthetics being purveyed by the band as they unwind their otherworldly and surreal sonic hell before your ears. You hear riffs that aren’t played anywhere else, structures and concepts in songwriting and composition that don’t belong anywhere else outside of this band, atmospheres that are daunting as they suffocate all light, and you can just almost touch the personality and enormous character that pours out of the record and the way the band approaches its craft. There might be a lack of specifics or tangible track-by-track details in this write up, and we understand that, but seriously, give it a listen and humanly try to conceptualize a beast that lives only in your nightmares, and you will realize what monstrous task it represents to concisely attempt to describe with human words the most inhuman album of the year. We are absolutely floored, blown away and just fucking disoriented by the sheer power and personality of this record. Tom Gabriel Fisher is a fucking genius and Melana Chasmata is a towering achievement for 2014 metal and a record that will stir massive waves in the underground, and who’s effects will probably be visible only twenty years from now. Atrociously immense release.

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