Published Apr 17, 2014The infamous Tom G. Warrior and his inconsistent musical trajectory have thrilled, baffled, and enraged metal fans for nearly three decades. With his most recent project, Triptykon, the rough edges that have afflicted past projects like Celtic Frost and Hellhammer are smoothed out. For the first time in his lengthy musical history, he has a stable band lineup, who this week released the excellent Melana Chasmata. It's an utterly gothic extreme metal affair that rages against the machine while embellishing the humanistic, anti-establishmentarian elements that have long peppered Warrior's musical output. It's also the most personal album he's ever released.
"The album is much more private and much more sentimental," Warrior tells Exclaim! "It's far more revealing of us as individuals and our emotions than the first one was. Everyone says it's utterly heavy and dark, and it probably is in a way, but for me personally, and this is debatable for some, it's the melancholic melody on this album."
This implied softness is uncharacteristic from the man whose musical output helped inspire the creation of several extreme metal genres. It's a result of changing circumstances and expectations.
"I selected the people in Triptykon for very certain reasons," he explains. "I wanted it to be a band — a band I feel comfortable in, and a band I can take serious on a personal level. It has to be people who are active thinkers, and people who have emotions, and people who are not afraid to live their emotions.
"All of this also means that sometimes they will experience things in life that make them suffer and cause pain. And that's what happened to three of the band members during the last three or four years in their private lives, and I am one of those three band members. And it made the creation of this album extremely difficult."
He got by with a little help from his friends. Unlike its 2010 predecessor Eparistera Daimones, Melana Chasmata was comparatively a group effort. The result is their best yet, and Warrior's strongest release in over two decades, harkening back to the glory days of Celtic Frost.
"Musically, I don't work any different than I did in Celtic Frost; the difference is on a personal level. I am very, very happy with this band. With the single and the EP, we have done four records in a row with the same lineup, something Celtic Frost was never able to achieve. Every album with Celtic Frost was a different lineup, and I think that speaks volumes [about] what Triptykon is."
Melana Chasmata is out now via Prowling Death Records Ltd./Century Media. Read our full interview with Triptykon's Tom G. Warrior here.