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As would be expected given it's position as the successor to the monumentally challenging, dark, and utterly fantastic "Monotheist", the album that brought down the curtain on the legend that is Celtic Frost, we here have an album that has taken numerous listens to become acquainted with and get into a state for which a vaguely accurate review can be written. Of course, I am talking about "Eparistera Daimones", the debut album of Triptykon, the act who rose, phoenix-like, out of the irrevocable ashes of Celtic Frost as an outlet for the perpetually chaotic mind of one Tom G. Warrior. Through records like the quintessential "Morbid Tales", the universally derided "Cold Lake" and the aforementioned "Monotheist", the work of Warrior has never followed a linear path, and it is this self-determination that goes into making "Eparistera Daimones" quite what it is nearly 30 years after the man began his musical career with Hellhammer.
Gloomy and devoid of a defined song structure, 11-minute opener "Goetia" signifies the similarities in tone to "Monotheist", no surprise given it's initial birth as the next Celtic Frost record, following a path set by the likes of "Ground" and "A Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh" of audial discomfort for the listener and obvious emotional intensity for it's creator(s). Followed up by 9-minute "Abyss Within My Soul", these two form a painfully slow and heavy entrance to this album of 72 minutes, full of wonderfully abrasive and vicious guitar tones and a clear production allowing for the depth of recording to bleed through at all times.
"In Shrouds Decayed" is at first a more relaxed dissonant track not unlike "Obscured" or "Drown In Ashes" before lurching into a classic doom riff and "A Thousand Lies" a song that seems to define the word 'cathartic'. Considerably faster and more aggressive than what has come before, which combined with the lyrical content is akin to Mr. Warrior releasing a few of his demons in as direct a manner as possible. Aside from this brief spurt of energy however, "Eparistera Daimones" could overall be described as a dark, ponderous doom metal record. Even slower on the whole than "Monotheist", it's remarkable consistency at this speed flags the quality inherent within and the exposed emotional core that is the skeleton of everything Tom Warrior puts his name to in an age when digital recordings and fly-by-night trends make it easy to forget what such emotional music sounds like.
One of my personal highlights within "Monotheist" was the concessions made to classical piano interludes and beautiful haunting female vocals juxtaposed against the dark soul of TGW, and in "Myopic Empire" and "My Pain" we get this in glorious abandon near the albums' conclusion. "Myopic Empire", already slow and bleak descends into Shining-like piano harmony before regaining consciousness again for a stumbling end, while "My Pain", for its breathtaking beauty and tranquility wins my award for the album's best song despite being totally metal-free. If you listen to it and still think the typical female-fronted 'gothic' twaddle is the perfection of this style you need your ears washing out.
"The Prolonging" closes proceedings, in a massive 19-minutes mind you, along the same pattern of filthy heavy riffing that most bands can play, but not play like Triptykon do here. It does drag on in the closing stages but with the intention of harbouring gloom and misery it could be said to have done that in the truest qualities of pure doom metal. Needless to say "Eparistera Daimones" feels like everything fans of Celtic Frost and "Monotheist" were waiting for after that unexpectedly stunning return to form in 2006 and is as difficult listen as I hope to have made out in this review. Sometimes 72-minute albums need to be listened to as one whole unit, and if you're one of the ADD generation for whom playing two songs in succession from the same band is a test you're going to miss out on a great record. Buy, listen, and admire of one extreme metal's godfathers showing how it can still be done in 2010.
Originally written for www.Rockfreaks.net