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What many of us expected from Tom Warrior and his retinue this time around was a continuation, or even an evolution, of the musical ideas present on Celtic Frost's final album before dissolving, 2005's masterpiece Monotheist. Actually, a sizable portion of the material present on Eparistera Daimones was meant to appear on Celtic Frost's successor to that album, and you can hear this quite distinctly in the first two songs, "Goetia" and "Abyss Within My Soul." Composition style here is similar to second- and third- album Metallica, yet with sludgy, hammering riffs that lead to poignant and grand conclusions. Warrior's alt-rock / Dead Can Dance influences that were present on Monotheist continue to make an appearance, and to his credit as a songwriter and guitarist, these are integrated almost seamlessly into primarily metallic compositions.
"A Thousand Lies" is the only other song to feature the classic Celtic Frost songwriting style, albeit with more modern black metal influences in the riffing. The rest of the album is an interesting listen, texturally, but lacks the musicality of these Monotheist-era derived tracks. Whereas Monotheist was excellent compositionally and only slightly marred on the surface (pieces like "Totengott" and "Incantation Against You" broke the mood and were found to be somewhat useless on repeat listens), this new album is mostly lacking such artistic direction. As much as we hate to say it due to unending respect and our own high expectations, Eparistera Daimones is a step down in all respects for this band's primary songwriter.
Songs like "Descendant" and "The Prolonging" mostly lumber about aimlessly, and to say that the latter is superfluous is quite an understatement considering it makes up the last quarter of the album. "Myopic Empire" and "In Shrouds Decayed" are mostly useless as metal songs, going nowhere and with mostly brain-dead music at that. (A recurrence of that self-indulgent whine heard on Into the Pandemonium can be found on both of these -- not exactly a welcome touch.) Occasional interludes create tension between tracks but the unfulfilling stature of most of these songs makes these breaks forgettable due to a lack of album-spanning context. Any other complaints are surface level: the ultra-modernized production is a little off-putting, and as for the vocals, while Tom occasionally manages to belt it out with the wrath of a crazed homicide, they sound somewhat strained at times and fail to complement the songwriting as on classics like "Ain Elohim" or "Circle of the Tyrants."
While we can only respect TGW as an artist, musician, writer, and whatever else he chooses to be, Eparistera Daimones admittedly misses the mark set by Monotheist. Despite this, we can look forward to the future with optimism -- although the mighty Celtic Frost fell from grace in days past, the band managed to pull themselves up again, and the same could happen here, with the only added challenge being that now, it is Tom and only Tom who has to face creative drought, and find the way beyond it.
(Originally published here: http://www.examiner.com/x-20872-LA-Metal-Music-Examiner~y2010m3d26-Eparistera-Daimones-just-misses-the-mark)