Triptykon
Shatter: Eparistera Daimones Accompanied

The read on this EP is pretty simple, actually: if you enjoyed Triptykon’s earlier-this-year debut, Eparistera Daimones—and you should have!—you’re going to devour this compact but powerful collection. Tom Gabriel Warrior, along with bandmates V Santura, Vanja Slajh, and Norman Lonhart, offers two never-before-released tracks from the debut album sessions, a fully realized version of “Crucifixus,” the band’s first hint at what was to come, and two live performances from this year’s Roadburn Festival, at which Warrior was guest curator for the day-long “Only Death Is Real” event.

Here’s the unexpected—and really impressive—aspect of this release: within its format there’s a surprising range and depth of rewards. The unreleased tracks from the Eparistera Daimones sessions are by no means throwaways or leftovers. Indeed, they’re just as dark and unrelenting as the nine songs on the album. In fact, a listener can go through the album and then Shatter and quickly realize that Triptykon had the enviable problem of an embarrassment of riches: which tracks to put on the album and which to save for later release? A careful, critical ear suggests that the band made perfect choices, as the album holds together with a cohesiveness that is one of its great (and many) strengths, while “Shatter” and “I Am The Twilight,” cut as they are from the same basic cloth, stand well here on the accompanying recording. They’re aggressive, heavy songs that ooze darkness, hate, and pain, just as every note of the album does.

“Crucifixus,” for those of us who loved Monotheist and truly mourned the demise of Celtic Frost in its resuscitated form, was at first a sketch, offered on a Myspace page. Over time the track grew additional layers as Warrior (primarily—it’s not a true band effort, in performance terms) constructed its haunting, ambient structure. Here, it has the chill of Monotheist’s “Tottengott,” and it’s the latest proof that this unique musician fully understands that “heavy” comes in many forms and gradations. There’s no suffocating layer of downtuned distortion here, but the song has all the density and impact of its guitars-bass-drums brethren.

And then, after these three tracks, the band offers live renditions of Celtic Frost gems “Circle Of The Tyrants” and “Dethroned Emperor.” These performances show that Triptykon has great strength as a live band, as well as its own synthesis of Warrior’s personality/history/stamp and a brand-new band identity. Also of note here is the vocal performance of Darkthrone’s Nocturno Culto on “Dethroned Emperor.” His presence evokes a sense of, “Hey, that’s cool!” I but confess that I’d rather hear, on this second release, Triptykon in full. The vocal here doesn’t really bring anything revelatory to the song, but clearly the idea is to present a document of a very special moment in the gestation of the band. One could also argue that it speaks to Warrior’s generosity: instead of insisting that this EP be a band members-only affair as he continues to establish Triptykon’s identity, he allows the Triptykon stage to be a place where special things happen. Perhaps this is the most important statement on Shatter: while this is a band, a real band, that can deliver in spades in the recording studio, it is also a seething, predatory, and dangerous live band, one that fans of the history behind its leader should see… and that fans unaware of that history should check out—preferably in both studio recordings and on the live stage.

Congratulations to Triptykon for releasing TWO of the best CDs of the year. Some might say, “Good freakin’ luck topping this!” But those folks should let the acrid, ashen, concrete waves of Monotheist engulf them, and they should then listen to the spawn of this new band. Clearly, topping himself is nothing new to Warrior.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Donald Kyle
October 22nd, 2010

Comments

  1. Commented by: Biff_Tannen

    Good review ! This is a lethal dose of doom and gloom and a perfect appendix to E.D.

    Saw these guys live over the weekend and it was absolutely crushing….don’t miss out if you have the chance to see them !

    Oooohhhgh !


  2. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    just bought the full length last night. this is a very good band.


  3. Commented by: tom957

    Seeing them in a few hours and will pick this up. CAN’T FUCKING WAIT. UH!


  4. Commented by: tom957

    Eparistera Daimones + Shatter = unparalleled


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