After parting ways with the legendary Celtic Frost, singer/guitarist Tom Gabriel Fischer told an interviewer that his next project would "sound as close to Celtic Frost as is humanly possible." If that was really his goal, he's accomplished it with Triptykon: The group's debut, Eparistera Daimones, is basically Monotheist Part II.
That's not a completely bad thing. Monotheist was a terrifying and unique record, and judged on quality alone, Eparistera Daimones is nearly its equal. However, especially in light of the new band name, many will wonder if Fischer shouldn't have changed things up just a little bit more.
"Goetia" gets things off to an ominous start. Lonely guitars chug in the darkness for about two minutes before the full mix kicks inóand once it gets going, this is one of the more aggressive tracks, complete with double bass drums and Fischer's trademark edgy, deep guitar tone. The chorus of "Lord, have mercy upon me" evokes some of the similar religion-themed chants from Monotheist (remember "Oh God, why have you forsaken me" from "Ground"?).
Next up is "Abyss Within My Soul," which showcases the other side of the band with slow, droning riffs. The problem is that it's a bit by-the-bookóand this problem recurs throughout the record. Lots of tracks here are just standard Celtic Frost fare: "Descendant" and "The Prolonging," for example, could have appeared on Monotheist without disrupting the style or affecting the overall quality.
Even the things that made Celtic Frost unusual are represented here, seemingly out of obligation. Female guest vocals? Check ("In Shrouds Decayed," "My Pain"). A track that prominently features Fischer's gifts as a classical composer? Check (the piano breakdown in "Myopic Empire").
Perhaps the only song to stand out stylistically is "A Thousand Lives," a super-fast thrash trackóbut unfortunately, it doesn't stand out so much in terms of songwriting. In fact, it's something of a throwaway, with senseless yelling, relentless drum pounding, and brain-dead guitar riffs.
The sad truth about Eparistera Daimones is that even if it had been released under the Celtic Frost name, it would have sounded a little too similar to Monotheist. Fans of Frost's parting shot will find this to be a worthy, if hardly breathtaking, follow-up; everyone else can safely pass.
--Robert VerBruggen is an associate editor at National Review. You can follow his writing at http://www.google.com/profiles/robertv4311.
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Triptykon - Eparistera Daimones