Wilmar : I admit, I am prejudiced when it comes to Tom G. Warrior. I am an avid fan for years, I own every recording he contributed to. Whether you talk about Celtic Frost, Apollyon Sun, his contribution to the Probot album by Dave Grohl or the work he did with Erol Unala and Martin Ain on the Slayer cover 'Black Magic' on the demo 'The Spiritual Palsy' from Hatesex, I got it all. And I admit that I was skeptical when Tom left his own band in April 2008 and started Triptykon, with the promise to keep true to the style that Celtic Frost developed on their 2006 release 'Monotheist'. If you look at it that way, you could say that 'Eparistera Daimones' is the seventh studio release by Celtic Frost, but there are agreements that Celtic Frost will never arise again. And how would Tom G. Warrior manage this without Martin E. Ain? On Blabbermouth the first 'Cold Lake 2' jokes surfaced, the opinion-less critics on that forum are silenced by 'Eparistera Daimones'.
When Tom was asked in an interview if darker music than featured on 'Monotheist' could be produced, he answered "Yes”. When I heard that, I was as skeptical as before, but I have to join the mindless critics of Blabbermouth: 'Eparistera Daimones' is a MONSTER. With 'To Mega Therion' there was a unity in artwork by H.R. Giger and featured music, this album repeats that unity. Chosen is for Vlad Tepes from 1978 by the Swiss Grand Master and the album sounds like the perfect soundtrack to this airbrush-painting. Nine songs Triptykon tests if you can endure this darkness. And I am so bold to state that Triptykon can choose to leave Celtic Frost in the past totally, because these nine tracks are that strong. But then, you are compelled to compare it to 'Monotheist' and see the differences.
The first evident difference is the lineup. Three quarters have changed, and about one we can say that the change is significant: was it originally meant that Reed St. Mark would sit on the drum stool, Norman Lonhard is simply as inventive and technical, and overshadows his predecessor Franco Sesa fully. Victor Santura, also known from Non-Euclid and Dark Fortress, was active as live guitarist with Celtic Frost, but he has succeeded in making that style his own. Here and there he can put his own stamp on the music, but he does play in service of the style of the music. Martin Ain isn't missed at all through the solid bass by newcomer Vanja Slajh.
Looking at the production of the album, Tom G. Warrior and V. Santura need not to be ashamed: the album sounds clear, dark and as heavy as fuck. What also stands out is that the sound of 'Eparistera Daimones' is loaded with emotion. Compared to this one, 'Monotheist' almost sounds overproduced. Also outstanding are the arrangements of the songs, which are so much stronger. Tracks like 'Goetia', 'Abyss Within My Soul', 'A Thousand Lies' and 'The Prolonging' sound more varied and the songs are building up a tension unheard of before. This becomes evident in the song 'In Shrouds Decayed', which combines all the good things of old Celtic Frost. It reminds a bit to 'A Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh', but much better. It has the mysterious threatening sound combined with ambient soundscape, building up to a heavy climax complete with ethereal sounding female vocals, timpani that lay accents that make the song even heavier and the characteristic 'tragic vocals' that marked the style of 'Into The Pandemonium'. Or the other highlight 'Descendant' with the groovy riffs, brilliant arrangement and the genius speeding up at the end that brings you back to the beginning days of 'Morbid Tales'.
Triptykon doesn't shun the experiment, which is evident from tracks like 'Shrine' that can be best described as a cross-over between 'Totengott' and 'Tears In A Prophets Dream' and 'My Pain' which is a personal highlight for me on the album: an ambient track with the same haunting female vocals that works itself to an overwhelming climax. After that you still have to face 'The Prolonging', a monster of a track of almost twenty minutes that pounds away your eardrums. And in between there is the song 'Myopic Empire', which is a new version of the song 'Relinquished Body' which was only available on demo's (it was originally released on the 'Industry' demo by Apollyon Sun from 1995 and later it was released on the 'Prototype' demo by Celtic Frost from 2002).
Many wondered in 2006 if Celtic Frost could top 'Monotheist' with a new album. The answer to that is "no”. Celtic Frost could not. Triptykon, on the other hand, can. And somewhere in Zürich I see two people scratch the back of their heads, wondering why they did the things they did while they could be part of this fantastic album, which might become one of the most important releases of the second decennium of the twenty-first century. But like I said: I am prejudiced….