APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2014

Unlike everyone else, we waited until 2014 was actually over to recount our favorite albums. It’s been a great year for extreme music with a healthy amount of excellent releases.  We saw the return of legends in GODFLESH and AT THE GATES as well as welcome returns from long recording breaks in BEHEMOTH and MAYHEM.  And who can deny the GHOST B.C.-like popularity explosion of Japan’s BABYMETAL?  Crazy shit.  Metal is certainly a diverse genre.

For 2014, the APESHIT goons did not have any unanimous or semi-unanimous album of the year (i.e. 2013’s CARCASSSurgical Steel).  But MAYHEM, BLOODBATH, GODFLESH, and TRYPTIKON were near consensus picks.  Sorry, ENTOMBED A.D. didn’t make it here.

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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.

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.

APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2010

December is here, so it is time for us, the APESHIT goons, to share with you our list of metal albums that made an impression on us in 2010. Meaningful and meaningless, but sharing is caring. Bang your head and enjoy!
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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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