When Thomas Gabriel Fischer and his time with the legendary Celtic Frost ended and he formed Tryptikon, there was no doubt the project would exude brilliance. The debut effort, Eparistera Daimones, was released to unanimous acclaim and further cemented Fischer in the pantheon of the metal elite. Four years later, Tryptikon return with the highly anticipated Melana Chasmata and to claim that it does not disappoint would be a great disservice to the album. Folks, this is a certifiably legit candidate for Album of the Year. WARNING: After listening to the album for the first time, you may be overcome with the urge to throw money at your speakers.
Melana Chasmata paints a grim and bleak landscape as you wade through a viscous sea of seemingly perpetual darkness. It opens with the straightforward and hammering Tree Of Suffocating Souls, the most completely blistering track on the album, it serves merely as a tenderizer to prepare you for what lies ahead. After your pulse has been quickened and your senses tossed in a dizzying arena of chaos, the brooding and haunting Boleskine House pulls back the reins. It provides the opportunity to collect your bearings and wade through the aftermath of the album opener. Angelic female vocals provide a harshly gorgeous contrast to the thorny backdrop of the track. Next, Altar Of Deceit demonstrates how Fischer masterfully controls the atmosphere of the album by continuing the menacing pace, but tastefully dialing up the intensity to keep you on edge and questioning where the album is headed in the moments to follow.
Pressed between the fiery Breathing and Demon Pact the aptly titled Aurorae comes in at roughly the midpoint and may be the most expansive cut on the album. It is introduced by a lingering, slow-building instrumental that methodically drags you to the edge before pulling you back on solid ground. Aurorae serves as a welcome intermission before the second half.
In The Sleep Of Death is by far the most agonizing and pain-soaked track on the album, a tale of a seemingly unbreakable love that is no more. The hopeless desperation of the chorus alone is enough to make you want to retreat to a dark corner and succumb to the overwhelming anguish and despair of a rejected soul. After the 12-minute bulldozer that is Black Snow, the foggy Waiting, with more of the soothing, ethereal female voices, caps off the album and feels like the dimmest of light guiding you out of the terrifying abyss that engulfed you throughout the rest of the album.
Melana Chasmata isn’t directly punishing throughout its entirety, as it ebbs and flows with varying degrees of mood and tenseness. At times, it will mercilessly pound you to the cusp of excess and on other occasions, it will show mercy by allowing you to hang there and suffer, offering moments to process and organize your emotions. The album by no means schizophrenic – there is definitely a common grit that permeates throughout the album – but it is more akin to a long and painful torture that you will want to endure over and over again. Although fans waited nearly four years for a new Tryptikon album, the result is more than you could imagine. It is a meticulously crafted exercise in musical mastery that will make waiting for the next album all the more agonizing.
1. Tree of Suffocating Souls
2. Boleskine House
3. Altar of Deceit
6. Demon Pact
7. In the Sleep of Death
8. Black Snow
Genre: Doom/Death Metal
Record Label: Century Media
Playing Time: 65 Minutes
Thomas Gabriel Fischer — vocals, guitar
V. Sanitaria — vocals, guitar
Norman Lonhard — drums, percussion
Vanja Šlajh — bass, vocals