By Justin M. Norton
Tom Gabriel Fischer’s longevity in metal can’t be attributed to Morbid Tales and To Mega Therion, but rather his constant desire to change his sound and approach. Review the leaps in style from Hellhammer’s demos to the Celtic Frost that recorded Into The Pandemonium. The retooled Celtic Frost offered another surprise four years ago with Monotheist, a downtuned colossus that relied as much on doom as it did on Frost’s 1980s sound, with nary a moment of levity.
What’s surprising about Triptykon’s Eparistera Daimones is that the former Tom Warrior – who even dabbled in techno with his Apollyon Sun project — hasn’t switched things up. He works entirely with the sound and approach offered on Celtic Frost’s swan song; Eparistera Daimones is the second chapter of Monotheist, without the side drama broadcast on blogs and Blabbermouth. Fischer telegraphed that Triptykon would pick up where he left when he quit his own band, and this album shows he meant that literally. Following the course is a good thing as Eparistera Daimones offers another deep dive into Fischer’s tightly-wound psyche.
Triptykon’s debut proves that Fischer is and always has been Celtic Frost. Former bassist Martin Ain might have been crucial to establishing Celtic Frost’s aesthetic but Fischer is not struggling to find his footing without him. Monotheist took roughly five years to finish, in part because of squabbling. Triptykon — which includes Celtic Frost touring guitarist V. Santura and bassist Vanja Slay — wrote an album that’s almost as good as Monotheist in roughly a year.
Triptykon’s debut is more confident and better produced than Monotheist. “Goetia” opens the album with a gallop, much like “Prodigy” did on Monotheist. Fischer finally offers vocals worthy of his often-imitated riffs on “Abyss Within My Soul.” The term “evil” is thrown around in metal like a Nerf football. But ever since “Visions of Mortality” Fischer has proven his music is worthy of the term . He’s obviously lived through personal trauma and scrapes the bottom of his soul on tracks like the appropriately named “My Pain.” Fischer’s strength as songwriter is the ability to convey that pain coupled with the desire to revel in torment. There’s also his instantly recognizable guitar tone, something that no one can replicate despite the relative simplicity of his riffs.
H.R. Giger, who designed the cover art for To Mega Therion and Triptykon’s debut, once remarked that he heard something of his art in Fischer’s music. Fischer continues to prove he is a worthy partner to the Swiss surrealist, metal’s version of Hieronymus Bosch.
Could it be that after three decades as metal musician Fischer has found his voice after playing with so many different styles? Eparistera Daimones is not that different from Monotheist, but that’s not a detriment when following an album that revived your career and reputation. Triptykon’s debut is a worthy piece in Fischer’s enigmatic but always provocative musical career.
(Prowling Death Records/Century Media)