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Satan, Savior, Father - 96%

hippie_holocaust, June 24th, 2012

This album gripped my very being right from the start, with the strange and eerie semi-clean descending chords of “Goetia.” And once it passed from those chords into the very low, very slow doom riff, I was simply stunned. Immediately, I was reminded of the opening lick to Hellhammer’s masterpiece, “Triumph of Death.” Now, “Goetia,” I had to know the meaning of this word, so, after a bit of online research, I found that this means sorcery, the invocation of demons, and is derisive of the ancient grimoire entitled the “Lesser Key of Solomon,” which was a big influence on Mr. Crowley and his magick. (Thank you, Wikipedia.) The depth of Tom Warrior’s knowledge of the occult has been apparent since the Hellhammer days, but this first track of Eparistera Daimones fucking blows me away. The seething hatred throughout the album is undeniable. As a huge fan of Monotheist, this is exactly what I needed, and Tom Warrior has delivered yet again, with authority.

Monotheist changed my life, opening for me previously undiscovered doorways of doom and occultism. Eparistera Daimones carries on in this fashion, but in a far more aggressive and hateful manner. It is my opinion that the lyrical content of Triptykon is largely an indictment of at least two members of the Monotheist line-up.

As soon as the drums came in on “Goetia,” I noticed that drummer Norman Lonhard is a far more advanced player than Monotheist’s Franco Sesa. Throughout Eparistera there are swinging and jazzy elements to the drums, as well as brutal thrash drumming, amazing and expert fills; in other words, this dude’s a badass. Also, Warrior elected to tune one step lower than on Monotheist, from B down to fuckin A. Fuckin A, indeed, for this new and lower tuning makes everything on the album heavier, darker, and more sinister.

“Lie upon lie, mankind shall die.” A brilliant closing line to the opening piece here.

I really don’t think it’s possible to draw much comparison of Tom’s works of the current century to the classic and avante-garde albums of the 80s. The man is so full of renewed rage and scorn (and justly so) that his modern work relentlessly bludgeons the listener with huge production, slower tempos, and lower and lower guitar tunings. That’s not to say that the avante-garde tendencies have been abandoned; just listen to “My Pain,” “Shrine,” or Monotheist’s “Drown in Ashes” and other such tracks for proof of this element.

The epistle of “In Shrouds Decayed,” after its beautifully melodic intro, is “I am your shrine. I am your womb. You rest inside of me; my flesh shall be your tomb.” So eloquent and poetic, and the progression from mid-paced to slow and crushing half-time tempos demonstrates the mastery of Warrior’s ability to communicate his message with his music. “Shrine” is another piece that adds diabolic and experimental atmosphere. This is a seventy-plus minute record, all of those minutes memorable and well written, and splicing the brutality with experimentalism is something Warrior has always done expertly, starting with tracks like “Human” and “Danse Macabre” on the legendary Morbid Tales EP.

“A Thousand Lies” is a thrashing beast where Lonhard especially shines, and the vocal exclamations of the word “die,” are so impassioned that you will believe that these guys truly wish death upon someone. This is one of the heaviest and fastest tracks here and a definite high light that will undoubtedly get some heads banging. “Descendant” features some excellent death-grunts (which, of course, were invented and perfected by Warrior) and these grunts are on other tracks too, most notably, “Goetia,” where the ripping guitars and drums kick in on a downbeat of devastation.

I was admittedly underwhelmed by the opening riff of “Myopic Empire,” as it has been done by pretty much every metal band, but after many listens to the song, I have come to love it, due to the lyrical content, and especially the serene piano interlude, featuring a female spoken word bit, and again, a jazzy drumming element appears before the distortion kicks back in to punch you in the gut. “Myopic Empire” is followed perfectly by the fantastic piece entitled “My Pain.” In the words of Alexander de Large, “It was gorgeousness and gorgeosity made flesh; like a bird of rarest spun heaven metal, like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now.” Tom’s gothic and morose spoken words are juxtaposed to the elegant female vocal; sheer beauty, in the darkest form.

Closing piece, “The Prolonging,” seems to be tuned even lower than the rest of the album; so goddamn heavy. The lyrics are certainly that of condemnation, and Warrior’s voice is as vitriolic as ever, “as you suffocate, I shall breathe. YEEAAAH!” I wish I knew the tuning of this epic brute, because it seems lower than the depths of hell. What I love most about Celtic Frost and Triptykon, is that they refuse to limit themselves to one style, when you listen to the music of Tom G. Warrior, you get the whole package, thrash, death, gothic ambiance, the mesmerizing voice of Simone Vollenweider, and of course, DOOOM. This album is a must for any fan of the Frost, especially for me at is the perfect follow-up to Monotheist. The only reason I don’t score this at 100% is because of the rather played-out riff that starts the song “Myopic Empire,” but that song still fuckin rules, as does this entire opus of unbridled passion, emotion, and pure artistic integrity. Buy it.