TRIPTYKON – Melana Chasmata

The great TRIPTYKON redefine darkness once again with their second full-length album.  Melana Chasmata is a multi-dimensional exploration of darkness colored in different atmospheres.

TRIPTYKON masterfully utilize a full repertoire – three different vocalists, a wide range of riffing styles, violent and solemn atmospheres, and more.  It’s a great lesson in musicality and serves as a foil to simple, formulaic songwriting.

Each song on Melana Chasmata is its own unique journey. Some are desolate, ominous, and naked like “Boleskine House” and “Aurorae.” Others have an unnerving feeling of instability and doom like “Altar of Deceit.” “Breathing” is just devastating in its heaviness when it picks up the speed. Starting from the sixth track, “Demon Pact,” Melana Chasmata enters a lucid nightmare, which is as vivid as any conscious experience.

Few bands create such powerful and compelling atmospheres, and no band does it like them. TRIPTYKON triumphantly prove why they are pioneers. Mandatory. (Century Media Records)

Video of the Day: TRIPTYKON Bring the Darkness in “Aurorae” Video

The new TRIPTYKON video for “Aurorae” just came out and it’s a fine video.  Every video that Tom G. Warrior has been apart of, whether it’s CELTIC FROST‘s return or TRIPTYKON, has done a great job in perfectly capturing the feel and meaning of the respective songs.  The video for “Aurorae” is no different as it conveys the darkness and desolation of not only the song but of the entire album, Melana Chasmata.

TRIPTYKON Ready to Unleash Sophomore Album this April

TRIPTYKON‘s sophomore album, Melana Chasmata (rough translation: “black, deep depressions/valleys”), will be released on April 14 (Europe) and April 15 (North America), 2014, through Century Media Records/Prowling Death Records Ltd.  Additionally, an EP or mini album will be released later in 2014 or early 2015.

Two songs have been posted online:

Among other formats, the album will be released as a 32-page mediabook (with lyrics and liner notes to every song, and with a special fold out poster), as a gatefold vinyl double album (with posters and large-format booklet), and for digital download. Additionally, Century Media is scheduled to issue a special box set, limited to 2,000 copies. The box set will include the album, a silver pendant, a poster, postcards, a tote bag, and a cap.

Melana Chasmata will be further distinguished by again featuring the extraordinary art of legendary Swiss surrealist HR Giger. Completely unexpected, HR Giger approached Tom Gabriel Warrior to express his appreciation of how Triptykon had used his art on the first album and to propose a continuation of the artistic collaboration. This development thus marks the first time any musical artist has worked with HR Giger on three albums (Celtic Frost’s To Mega Therion, and Triptykon’s Eparistera Daimones and Melana Chasmata), and it commemorates a collaboration that has now lasted for 30 years.

Industry Profile: Ian Christe

Ian Christie
In APESHIT‘s ongoing quest to speak with the people who work behind the scenes to make it all happen, we caught up metal renaissance man, Ian Christe. Starting out with the familiar starting point of a zine, he moved onto freelance writing for a wide variety of music publications as well as writing music.  His band DARK NOERD THE BEHOLDER appeared on the very cool soundtrack for the uber disturbing Gummo movie.  Currently, heavy music fans can catch his radio show, Bloody Roots, on Sirius XM Radio as well as read the insightful books that his publication company, Bazillion Points Publishing, is putting out.  Ian gives us the inside scoop on some of his coolest projects, including the upcoming books from Bazillion Points.
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YAKUZA Recording New Album; Documentary in the Works

YAKUZA are currently at Engine Studios in Chicago to craft their sixth studio effort, which will be released later this year via Profound Lore Records.

Mainman Bruce Lamont comments, “There is one common thread in YAKUZA records – we thrive on VARIETY. We try to go to places we’ve never gone before and create open space – being experimental so to speak, but we still have a love for a good melody. Sanford [album producer]is a big help bringing the sounds together.  Lyrical themes focus on life and death, the light and the dark. Our last record was a reaction, somewhat of a warning call  for what has been happening globally and spiritually but not in a religious sense. This album is the aftermath, the balance between the light and the dark. And as dark as it gets, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.”

YAKUZA is also preparing a brand new visual offering. Director Justin Baron has filmed a documentary on the band’s history and unique sound. Be That As It May: Yakuza’s Seismic Consequence will be released later this year and features appearances by members of MASTODON, NACHTMYSTIUM, TRIPTYKON/CELTIC FROST‘s Tom G. Warrior and many more. Director Justin Baron is in need of funds to finish the project and has launched a Kickstarter in support of the film here.

DOCTOR MIDNIGHT & THE MERCY CULT – I Declare: Treason

When Hank von Helvete abruptly and quietly quit Norwegian death punk gods TURBONEGRO in 2010, it shocked and saddened fans. And with the same suddenness he is back with a new band, DOCTOR MIDNIGHT & THE MERCY CULT. This super group also features ex-members of APOPTYGMA BERZERK, CADAVER, EXTOL, KMFDM, and MARILYN MANSON. Their sound is straight up metal with a mean, dark, and brooding edge.

It doesn’t take much to discern that the theme of I Declare: Treason deals with very personal issues such as betrayal, disillusionment, revenge, misunderstandings, redemption, and broken relationships. There’s no doubting that Hank is singing from the heart.

I Declare: Treason is quite diverse in its metal riffing. It’s a seamless blend of classic and contemporary thrash, death metal, and black metal that doesn’t seek to blow the listener apart with speed or heaviness. I Declare: Treason is not necessarily about being hard hitting, immediately gratifying, or extreme either. Instead the band focuses on strong riffs, hooks, muscular grooves, and spacing. Credit must certainly be given to this veteran line-up.

Hank von Helvete lays down, perhaps, his most soulful and diverse vocal performance here (i.e. “Ok (We’re Just About to Die)“). His vocal lines fit in with whatever the song calls for instead of being a one trick pony. His hardcore punk background also helps to inject some attitude that is often missing from other bands.

Taken as a whole, the album hits its stride often with some less potent songs in the mix. Stylistically, it may take some time to adjust to the band’s unique style but it’s definitely worth it. If you can get the digipak version which contains two bonus songs, go for it. I Declare: Treason is a damn good debut album that may be one of the year’s best releases. They got the snarling attitude and the songs to back it up. (Season of Mist)

TRIPTYKON – Shatter EP

Not knowing what to expect after Tom G. Warrior laid CELTIC FROST to rest, TRIPTYKON was born and released their ultra heavy, brutal, and doomy debut, Eparistera Daimones. Armed with a few tasty leftovers from the Eparistera recording session and adding a few live cuts equates to the well delivered Shatter EP.

Shatter starts off slow and doomy, the way you would expect this EP to be. The basic, but heavy drum beats with the sludgy bass of Vanja Slajh results in a depressing opening track, fused with the blessings of longtime friend, Simone Vollenweider, and her angelic voice. The heaviness is amplified in “I am the Twilight,” with CELTIC FROST inspired simplistic riffs, but achieving maximum brutality without the need for thrashy riffs or blast beats. These sludgy tunes would have fit very well with the entire feel of the Eparistera album, and “Crucifixus” is a somber and moody instrumental that fills the gap to segue into the live tracks. As “Circle of the Tyrants” is one of the most covered songs in metal history, this track, along with “Dethroned Emperor” is a must. Lending out his talents on the live version of “Dethroned Emperor,” is none other than the grim, frostbitten one, Nocturno Culto (DARKTHRONE), and he nails the vocals perfectly.

EP releases are usually teasers, and Shatter is just that. The next TRIPTYKON album will be highly anticipated, but this release should whet the appetite for now. There is no denying that TRIPTYKON is continuing where CELTIC FROST should have gone, and the music needs to be listened to at maximum volume to be fully enjoyed. (Century Media)

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Stream 1349’s Demonoir in its Entirety

Demonoir, the fifth full length from Norwegian black metal titans, 1349, is now streaming in its entirety here. The album will be released in North America on April 27th via Prosthetic Records and was recorded at Studio Nyhagen, deep in the woods in Norway with Tom G. Warrior serving as co-producer.

1349 are currently on tour with CANNIBAL CORPSE in North America.

Tom Gabriel Fischer Quits CELTIC FROST

Extreme music legend Tom Gabriel Fischer aka Tom G. Warrior has announced his departure from CELTIC FROST.

Here is official word from the band:
CELTIC FROST singer and guitarist Tom Gabriel Fischer has left CELTIC FROST due to the irresolvable, severe erosion of the personal basis so urgently required to collaborate within a band so unique, volatile, and ambitious.”

Here is what Tom Gabriel Fischer had to say via his blog:
“I am devastated beyond description, and I am infinitely disappointed. As the one member of CELTIC FROST who is exposed most dramatically to the feedback by our audiences and the media, I feel troubled and humiliated about being unable to honor the enormous goodwill extended to CELTIC FROST during the past few years and meet the justified expectations of our fans.

“I have always seen the ‘Monotheist‘ album as a mere beginning, and a tame one at that. My mind and spirit are full of energy, creativity, and ideas. CELTIC FROST had become the unreserved focus of my life for the second time. I was looking forward immeasurably to working on the next CELTIC FROST album. To me, it needed to be darker, heavier, and more experimental than ‘Monotheist.’

“And yet, CELTIC FROST consisted of three individuals, and I was only one of them. In the end I had to concede to myself that there was no other option.

“My friendship with and respect for Martin Eric Ain remain unaffected. Moreover, I am in the process of assessing my options to eventually complete, record, and release some of the ideas I originally created for CELTIC FROST and the planned next album in the course of the past few years, and to take our distinctive music out on the road again.

There is no way back.”

HELLHAMMER Reveals Details Surrounding The Demon Entrails

With the release of Demon Entrails on February 26th in the U.S. the days of numerous sub-standard bootlegs of the classic HELLHAMMER demos Death Fiend, Triumph of Death and Satanic Rites are finally over!

Demon Entrails has been specially re-mastered from copies of the original master tapes under the supervision of Tom Gabriel Fischer, and the demos now represent HELLHAMMER exactly as the band sounded when recording these songs in June and December of 1983. Drawing from a wealth of previously unknown historical liner-notes material and artwork as well as plenty of unreleased HELLHAMMER photos from 1982 to 1984, Demon Entrails features all lyrics and essays detailing the individual demo recording sessions.

Currently also working on a book dealing with the history of HELLHAMMER, Tom Gabriel Fischer points out the importance of this release: “The release of these demos is very significant to both Martin Eric Ain and me. No matter how one looks at HELLHAMMER, this was our first recorded music so many years ago, and it represents the radicalness of our own lives at the time. These demos became the foundation to everything we later created in CELTIC FROST. Hell reigned on earth.”

Demon Entrails will be available as an opulent oversized double CD media-book packaging and as a gatefold triple vinyl album. Both versions will feature a lavish booklet and a poster. There will also be a third, bare-bones lower-price CD version. To check out the artwork and some rare HELLHAMMER photos as well as discover more info on this release, visit the following official HELLHAMMER website at www.hellhammer.org or go to www.myspace.com/hellhammerband for further details!