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Melana Chasmata - 97%

Altair 4, April 17th, 2014

Four years following their debut full-length 'Eparistera Daimones', Triptykon seem to have upped the ante in every aspect with this new release. 'Melana Chasmata' both elaborates and improves upon all elements of its predecessor, and adds in so many pleasant surprises that not once throughout multiple listens is there any point that's worth skipping.

The album blasts in with "Tree of Suffocating Souls", a song reminiscent of "Goetia" but with less unnecessary filler. This album also has no overly-inflated songs, passages, or ambient creepiness like the aforementioned "Goetia" and "The Prolonging". 'Eparistera Daimones' was a very great, potent debut, but it's easily apparent this album is an absolute crown jewel. There is no filler to be found, and every note, strum, and scream is totally convincing in its emotional weight and genuineness.

Tom G. Warrior is in top shape, as well as V. Santura. I've never heard Tom fit so completely snug and right with the music. Santura's vocals are equally commendable, as the contrast between him and Warrior is perfect. From 'Monotheist' on Tom G. Warrior really grown with each album, but here it seems the stars have aligned completely in the vocal department. Nothing in the vocal-related is uncomfortable to hear; nothing sounds strained, nothing sounds out of place. Everything compliments the music perfectly and is emotionally genuine and crippling.

The rhythm section with Vanja Ċ lajh and Norman Lonhard is ferocious and wholly confident. The instrumental jamming in "Altar of Deceit" and "Black Snow" are so gritty and tight, it's simply a joy to hear. As far as leads and solos are concerned, we all pretty much know what to expect. Eerie leads and crunching solos are dotted throughout, but they've never really been the focus of Triptykon. However, much more variation in sounds and tones can be found in this album throughout, though notably on "Waiting" and "Tree of Suffocating Souls". The nasty and imaginative deliverance of aura, aggression, and utter sorrow have always been the defining characteristics of this band. Here on 'Melana Chasmata' these elements are top-tier. Every single song is unique and yet cohesive.

For both initial listenings of this album I was completely glued to my chair. I cannot recommend this album enough! If you're a fan of Triptykon or Celtic Frost, you will be enthralled. If you are a fan of metal or rock in general, this album will suck you into the depths and entertain you from beginning to end.