In his long, storied, and in this mind, legendary career, Thomas Gabriel Fischer (Tom G. Warrior) has been a man of dark talent and darker vision. Where I think he has always been separated from his peers however, is always being able to show the listener the beauty in that darkness. From Hellhammer to Celtic Frost to Apollonyon Sun to Triptykon, Fischer has strived to present us his innermost self. On Triptykon's latest, Melana Chasmata, opening track "Tree of Suffocating Souls" manages to encapsulate, I think everything that Fischer has been trying to say his entire career without the peripheral drama from record companies and band mates diluting the message.
It's been no secret - particularly to those of you who have read Fischer's book, that the man has been fucked over by a lot of people. It would seem that with Triptikon, Fischer has finally found the right people that he can trust to help him deliver the goods. Melana Chasmata is without a doubt, one of the heaviest albums I've heard in a long, long time. Fischer's guitar downstroke can be felt in your colon.
The songs are epic, with the majority of them clocking in at over 7 minutes. There are some folks that might not like the slower tempo of the songs and in the hands of lesser musicians, playing at this speed would drop it in the category of Doom. There's lush soundscapes of dread that take ability to be able to pull off and not test the limits of the average listeners' attention deficit disorder. The attention to detail that Fischer puts into his songwriting is something to be admired — particularly in tracks like "Black Snow" and "Altar of Deceit". It's what makes them lush and layered and all-the-more enjoyable on the ear holes.
One could go on and on about all that Fischer has done for heavy music. See the review of the first Triptykon album for a brief history lesson. Fischer is one of the forefathers if not THE forefather of what is now known as Black Metal. In Zurich, Switzerland there should really be a statue of the man, but there isn't. They have yet to even name a Strasse after him. I'm not entirely sure that Fischer would appreciate those tributes, mind you. He would probably want the glory to go to his friend and frequent collaborator H.R. Giger who sadly passed away shortly after the release of the album. Giger's work on the cover of Melana Chasmata was a previous work, but the album has become a fitting final tribute to a symbiotic relationship between two masters of their craft.
8.5 / 10
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