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This fucking rules. Did anyone hear that bludgeoning drum riff of doom that begins the EP? I am admittedly biased because, as a drummer, when a song has a part with plain ol’ naked drums, I’m probably gonna like it. But this opening beat kicks my ass, and when the distorted bass comes in things start to get nice and heavy.
Tom Warrior’s voice of infinite hate has become a force of utterly sinister aural desolation, and alongside the beautiful singing of Simone Vollenweider, “Shatter” is a work of divinity and devastation. The lyrics of Triptykon are the most hateful and honest poetry Warrior has ever composed, and no surprise, really, considering the events surrounding the disintegration of Celtic Frost. On Shatter and Eparistera Daimones, certain songs seem to be clearly aimed at specific individuals who were directly involved in the demise of the Frost.
“I am the Twilight” is just as crushing, using that simplistic yet brutal riffing style that came to the fore with Monotheist. “Persecute the servants of god. Slaves shall end as slaves.” This is eloquent and powerful blasphemy from the master, his vocals more hate-filled than ever before. Triptykon seems to transcend metal sub-genres, but when they doom on, it simply can’t get much heavier. I think after coming to terms with his adolescent Hellhammer endeavors, music which so profoundly affected multiple metal scenes, Warrior was finally able to embrace that primal urgency of his youth, and filter it through the musical sensibility garnered from decades of experience in extreme metal composition. This is why Monotheist and the ensuing Triptykon works are so uncompromisingly heavy.
“Totengott” is the terrifying rant that is part one of Monotheist’s Triptych, complimented here on Shatter with the somber ambiance of “Crucifixus.” There is no despairing monologue this time, but it’s rife with morbidity in the form of ghastly chanting and hellish percussion and bass. This track is certainly not boring, but darkly foreboding in the haunting soundscape which it creates. This fine EP is rounded out with the live performance of two classic Celtic Frost songs, the anthemic “Circle of the Tyrants” and “Dethroned Emperor” of Morbid Tales, in which Nocturno Culto makes a guest appearance on vocals. Hearing these already bestial Frost songs in the new low-as-fuck tuning makes them sound heavier than ever. This is a great album, my only complaint being its brevity, which leaves my earpussies moist and wanting.
That is a very good way to look at this ep. Leftovers. After a long session of writing music, Tom Warrior and crew had enough material to make an astounding album that was over an hour in length, and still have a few other nuggets worth listening to. Throw in a couple live tracks of vintage Celtic Frost songs revisited with the new lineup, and you have yourself an above average encore to arguably one of the new millennia’s best albums.
This ep offers us three new tracks, which I will break down individually, and two live tracks. The live tracks are a nice addition though they add too much in the matter of content. They are fun to listen to and the quality is great. The one thing I don't like is that Nocturnal Culto does the vocals for Dethroned Emperor. Quite frankly I don't want to hear him sing, I want to hear Tom Warrior's tortured raspy growl. Not bad for a couple of bonus tracks, as I usually ignore them completely.
The first and titular track is very good. I think of it as an ambient piece with a lot off metal added to it. It is very slow, with an extremely simple main riff that chugs along for most of the song. This is by no means a vice (unless you are more into the more aggressive songs like A Thousand Lies) as it allows the brilliant lyrics to come through more clearly, which makes it serve its purpose better: an emotional metal ballad. My favourite part of this song is the building rhythm guitars (very effect heavy) that crescendo towards the end of the chorus. The bass, lead guitar and drums stay really steady and slow throughout the whole song. The programming of the background sound effects, the rhythm guitar, and the lyrics are the highlights here. Here's a grab from the beautiful lyrics:
“The air liquefies as it enters my shattered lungs
Darkness enwraps my mind as blood stains your skin
My heart pierced by thorns of words that now seem wrong
I yield to the darkness of the agony deep within”
The second song is more aggressive but maintains a slow tempo. Starting off with a hugely distorted bass slap into an onslaught of power chords; this song gets you pumped. And the chorus is just fantastic. It's hard not to get into it when he shouts CHAOS! LET CHAOS REIGN! It ends softly which I disagree with. I feel it takes away from the sheer violence of the song. It is still a great song though. The lead guitar resumes its more traditional role in this song, and there is a more limited amount of programmed effects. It's a bit repetitive but still a really good song.
Unlike Crucifixus which is entirely so. This song I listen to very rarely and I feel it’s the weakest on the ep. It would have served well as an intro to a long album as opposed to the third track of an ep. It is just programmed wankery that only really serves as background music. As far as ambient tracks go, this isn't bad, but the spacing of this on an ep just ruins it. This song I have heard performed live and it sounds great; because it is being used as a intro.
A few notes on the production. I believe these were recorded during the Eparistera sessions so if you listened to it (and you should...) then I need not explain it. For others, the production is as good as it gets. Mixing is perfect with just the right amount of volume for each instrument. There are no flaws I can find with the production on this or the full length. Somebody would have to really split hairs to pick it apart. And if you find someone doing that you have my endorsement to ignore them. IT'S VIRTUALLY PERFECT.
Overall if you are a fan of Eparistera Daimones like me, this is good to hold you over until the next album. And for that I give Shatter by Triptykon a 72 out of 100 or a 3 out of 5.
"Eparistera Daimones" is a perfect debut album (in my opinion), and this EP is a good way to complete the experience. While the songs at first didn't grab me the way the main album tracks did, over time they have grown on me, and I find them in the same league as their ED counterparts.
"Shatter" is a great opener, with a memorable chorus, and a haunting, gothic feel that drives the song with a subdued menace. Because of its resonant mood, it's not difficult to understand why this is the main song for the EP. The video is also worth checking out.
"I Am The Twilight" is more of a trundling doom song that reminds me of "Abyss Within My Soul", although with a less varied musical direction and repetitive riffs; still, the lyrics and vocals are pretty cool, and there are good guitar solos and violin work. Despite feeling overlong, it isn't a bad song at all, just one that might classify as a slow burner.
"Crucifixus" is background music, simply put. The remastering for the EP makes it sound good, but I view it more as an interlude between the previous songs and the live tracks. Said live tracks are excellent, and make me want to be in the crowd. Hearing "Circle of the Tyrants" brings back memories of seeing Celtic Frost live years ago, and it sounds as good here as it did then. "Dethroned Emperor" is quite powerful, and Nocturno Culto's vocals do the song justice; there's a fantastic symmetry there.
Overall, if you were a fan of "Eparistera Daimones", then "Shatter" is worth getting, but on its own is worth listening to as well.
Apparently this is an EP but I have trouble buying it. Shatter's the "catchy pop hit" as such, there's some b-sides thrown in and a few live tracks.. It's not an EP, jeez. No one's gonna think you're going all Cold Lake on us if you call it a single, Tom. This is gonna be a track by track thing, because all the songs on here are completely different from one another.
The live tracks here have some pristine production, which is very much ideal; with the chunky, pristine tones and Tom's signature (and unsurpassed, arguably) guitar tone it's surprising just how well these 20+ year old tunes fit with the last frost and the new Triptykon album. A few more faster moments, perhaps, but at the end of the day it's still this pitch black doomy, vaguely thrashy stuff. The more things change the more they stay the same. Nice song choice and the tunes are played tightly so there's no complaint here, I woulda liked 'Crypt of Rays' but you can't always get what you want, right.
The new songs are a bit less consistent but there's still rad moments. I am the Twilight perhaps takes Triptykon's simplicity a bit too far; none of the riffs are all that exciting and it's not until a bit of 'lead' work and textural variation comes in around the 4:30 mark that the tune takes off. I can appreciate trying to hold off the more dynamic second half for as long as possible but it got overdone here, perhaps, and the main chugga chugga riff just really isn't all that interesting. Oh well. Far better than "crucifixus", which is a really, really boring ambient bit of wankery, and proof that having the best production ever isn't gonna make everything work.
We're not really here for b-sides though, we're hear for that sort of catchy, rather strange song that is Shatter. It was a ballsy move basing an entire song off a two chord slam, but it works.. just. The vocals aren't hugely interesting either; it's the soaring, delayed guitar leads that really make this song. Strange but effective pacing, all in all that sounds sort of like some alt rock, sort of like metal, but is basically somewhere out there in it's own rather bizarre world. I'd like to hear something of this sort fleshed out a bit more and in the next album; it's a cool sort of sound that Triptykon could really make their own.
All in all this isn't a bad little collection of songs but when you get down to it, it's only really worth owning for the title track and the older live songs. Still, worth buying if you can find it cheap. Be sure to youtube the excellent video of Shatter as well, well worth it.