Triptykon
Eparistera Daimones

Forget the history lesson on Tom Gabriel Fischer, Hellhammer, and Celtic Frost. Turn up the volume, push the play button, and settle in for a harrowing journey.

This is one of the heaviest, angriest, gloomiest releases ever. And guess what? All of that heaviness, anger, and gloom add up to one of the most refreshing extreme metal albums in a very long time. In the same way that early Sabbath is really dark and really energizing, Eparistera Daimones both crushes and “feels great.” In short it’s satisfying as a listening experience and as a cohesive album. That’s right: you should BUY the whole thing and listen to it as a set of songs, not as individual tracks.

Okay, so a reviewer really must make reference to Monotheist, the album that represents both the 2006 return of Celtic Frost and its final statement. That album was nearly as heavy as this, full of dramatically downtuned riffs, tempos that range from sludgy crawl to thrashy near-sprints, and howled/shouted/disturbed-and-disturbing vocals. That album, like this one, also held a few gentle moments—calms within the storm—that only served to intensify the heavy bits. Eparistera Daimones has all those same qualities, but they’re intensified: the blacks are blacker, the doom is more profound, and the savagery is all the more sharpened.

Opener “Goetia” echoes back to the quality—emotional and sonic—of Monotheist’s strongest tracks, and it sets the stage for the heaviness of what follows. The band is virtually unrelenting through the next five tracks, each of which has its own particular flavor of doom and darkness. Then, as has often been the case with Fischer’s work, there’s a changeup, a moment in which the melancholy remains but comes wrapped in a different musical shroud. Here, that change of pace/faintest glimmer of something more delicate comes in two parts; first is the heavy-soft-heavy track “Myopic Empire,” which is compelling in part because it differs from what’s preceded it and in part because it has its own self-contained scope. Next up is “My Pain,” which manages to straddle the not-often-explored line between truly delicate and unbearably heavy, the latter of which appears in the form of emotion and tone, not in volume and distortion. This pause from all things heavy is really just a chance for the listener to catch his or her breath before the band slams closed the tomb with the nearly 20 minutes of “The Prolonging.” Surprisingly, those minutes pass quickly (if, like me, you’ve settled into the overall feel of the album), and one might find a strong desire to go back to the top and take in the whole dark, decaying experience again.

That all of this more recent release comes from a more proficient band overall bodes well for the future expression of Fischer’s vision. V Santura of Dark Fortress has a history with TGF and is a great guitar foil, one whose chops complement Fischer’s (and whose own way around a dark piece of music earns merit on Dark Fortress’s recent Ylem, as well as their earlier releases). Vanja Slajh has big shoes to fill… not because Celtic Frost bassist Martin Eric Ain is a technically great player but because his partnership with Fischer was a huge motivator in their earlier work. Her lines are appropriately heavy, providing the sort of gut rumble that fits this maelstrom. “Man of the Match” honors, however, should go to Norman Lonhard, until recently drummer of Fear My Thoughts. His drumming has the anvil-to-the-head quality that one would hope to hear in music like this, and he is—in my opinion—the best drummer Fischer has yet had in a band. With all due respect to Fear My Thoughts, I am glad that their recent demise frees up Lonhard for Triptykon.

Those fans of Warrior’s earlier work will pick this up without any prior knowledge—the man’s legend deserves that sort of respect. But fans can hope that new listeners might discover in this very powerful album a band that has deep roots but is also brand new. This album is a strong contender for “Best of the Year” lists; it certainly tops mine at this point.

[Second opinion of the album available here. -Ed. note]

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Donald Kyle
May 20th, 2010

Comments

  1. Commented by: Triptykon – Eparistera Daimones « Teeth of the Divine

    […] also have another opinion of the album available. Use that for possible comments. -Ed. note] [Visit the band's website] […]


  2. Commented by: gordeth

    Great reviews, guys. I didn’t bother with Monotheist but I’ll be getting this one.


  3. Commented by: Apollyon

    While you’re out getting this one, be sure to pick up Monotheist too. It’s truly an awesome album.


  4. Commented by: DK777

    I concur, Apollyon: MONOTHEIST is a truly great extreme metal record. EPARISTERA DAIMONES does outdo/outweigh it–as I suggest in the review–but “Celtic Frost’s Epitaph” is a fantastic, challenging, scary, human, and welcoming listen.

    Even though TGF hates–HATES–Franco Sesa, the drummer on MONOTHEIST and the last-added full member of CF, he can’t wouldn’t deny the incredible power of MONOTHEIST. I’d hope not: it and EPARISTERA DAIMONES really represent the strongest artistic statements thus far from a truly great artist.

    Get ’em both. Double your “harrowing listening experience!” Oh, and plan the diaper change between the end of “Synagoga Satanae” and the first notes of “Goetia”… TGF’s third bit of the incomplete “Requiem” will help you as you a. question everything you believe about good and evil in our universe, and b. change your underwear! Perfect, right?

    Horns up, people, horns up…


  5. Commented by: tom957

    This album fuckin’ crushes. Its heaviness is unparalleled. Get it.


  6. Commented by: Dimaension X

    I thought Monotheist was a pretty boring album actually, so I wasn’t looking forward to this when I read about it. Wow, this album is what Monotheist should have been. It is crushingly heavy, chaotic, yet incredibly listenable. Tom’s heavy-as-molasses guitar tone is back, and his vocals once again delve into the unknown areas of extreme metal.

    A very satisfying album that should have been done under the Celtic Frost moniker. Where Monotheist was very “monotone”, this album has many layers and dynamics and prove what an interesting and capable musician and composer Mr. Warrior is and has always been.

    Do not pass this one over. Buy it.


  7. Commented by: Cynicgods

    It’s only been 5 fucking months and the metal gods have already seen fit to bless us with monstrous entities such as this. One can’t complain much (Ronnie’s death excepted, of course).


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