Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Triptykon To Release Second Album Through Prowling Death Records/Century Media Records In April 2014
Triptykon, the occult/avant-garde metal project formed by former Hellhammer/Celtic Frost singer, guitarist, and main songwriter Tom Gabriel Warrior after his exit from Celtic Frost in 2008, is proud to announce that the groups' second album, titled Melana Chasmata, will be released on April 14 (Europe) and April 15 (North America), 2014. The album's release will take place through a collaboration between the group's own label, Prowling Death Records Ltd., and renowned metal giant Century Media Records. This is the same label partnership already responsible for Celtic Frost's final album, Monotheist (2006), Hellhammer's Demon Entrails demo compendium (2008), and Triptykon's debut album, Eparistera Daimones, and Shatter EP (2010).
Melana Chasmata is evolving to be a vastly varied and strikingly dark and heavy album. The album's title may be translated, approximately, as "black, deep depressions/valleys".
Songwriting, arrangement, and recording sessions for Melana Chasmata have occurred, intermittently, since 2011. Among the music available for inclusion on the album are songs such as Boleskine House, Stasis, Gate To My Own Death, Demon Pact, Gehinnam, Tree Of Suffocated Souls, Unchristian Anthem, and many more. A final track listing for Melana Chasmata will be issued in due course, along with further details on both album and artwork.
Much like Eparistera Daimones, Melana Chasmata is being produced by Tom Gabriel Warrior and Triptykon guitarist V. Santura, and recorded and engineered by V. Santura at his own Woodshed Studio in Bavaria, Germany, as well as at Triptykon's bunker in Zurich, Switzerland.
Tom Gabriel Warrior: We have been working on Melana Chasmata for some three years, in various shapes and forms. It's not an easy album by any means, and to me personally it reflects an extremely complex gestation period, musically, spiritually, and, due to certain circumstances in my life, emotionally. At the same time, the album unquestionably reflects the continuity I was longing for so much during Celtic Frost's period of self-destruction and demise. Hearing Triptykon creating such utter darkness again while exploring the potential of these new songs has been incredibly invigorating and inspiring.
Triptykon consists of V. Santura (guitar, vocals), Norman Lonhard (drums, percussion), Vanja Slajh (bass), and Tom Gabriel Warrior (voice, guitars).
Triptykon is managed by Antje Lange (email@example.com).
Triptykon's concert agency is Twisted Talent.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
It was an enormous pleasure to host director and friend Belinda Sallin and her team last week. Belinda is in the process of filming a major documentary, exploring the life and work of renown Swiss surrealist H.R. Giger. Not only is she depicting Giger as he lives today, but she has also tracked down a significant amount of rarely or never seen footage from Giger's past.
To be interviewed by Belinda about such a hugely unique artist and thus be involved in this remarkable film project was an incredible honour, one I would have never even remotely thought possible all those many years ago, when I was first granted to cross paths with Giger. Moreover, I feel that Belinda is exactly the right person to attempt a documentary about Giger's complex existence, a task neither easy nor simple.
The 90 minute film is currently scheduled to be shown in cinemas and at festivals in 2014, with a DVD release to follow. For further details, visit Dark Star.
Incidentally, Belinda's director of photography is Eric Stitzel, who had already filmed Celtic Frost both in Switzerland and internationally in 2006 and 2007, for Adrian Winkler's infamous band documentary A Dying God (released in 2008). It almost seems as if Eric is destined to forever be confined to darkness conjured the Swiss way.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Triptykon Returns To Roadburn
In 2010, the organizers of Holland's highly acclaimed Roadburn Festival invited Tom Gabriel Warrior, founder of Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, and Triptykon, to act as the curator at that year's festival. Under the banner of Only Death Is Real, Roadburn 2010 thus became the venue for the presentation of Triptykon's newly-released debut album, Eparistera Daimones, as well as Triptykon's first official life appearance. We felt very honoured by the confidence Roadburn placed in us, and the event will forever rank as one of the most significant experiences in the existence of Triptykon.
We are therefore deeply delighted and proud to be able to announce that Triptykon has been asked to return to Roadburn in 2014. To commemorate the release of Triptykon's long-awaited new album in spring 2014, Triptykon will appear on Roadburn's main stage at the 013 venue, on Sunday, April 13, 2014.
Tom Gabriel Warrior: Roadburn is very likely the most extraordinary, daring, and vigorous festival in what has otherwise largely become a blandly repetitive and overly commercialized heavy rock scene. Moreover, anybody who has ever attended Roadburn can confirm that no other festival exudes such a unique feeling of radiance and creativity among audience and performers alike.
Triptykon's return to Roadburn in 2014 signifies yet another truly unique chapter in a long affiliation with the festival, dating back to the riotous days of Celtic Frost. I am deeply grateful to Roadburn's artistic director Walter Hoeijmakers for his extraordinary friendship and his continued faith in the path we are pursuing with Triptykon. In return, we shall descend on Roadburn like a church of darkness.
Roadburn 2014 will run from Thursday, April 10 to Sunday, April 13 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, Holland.
Triptykon At Roadburn art by Costin Chioreanu, 2013.
Monday, September 23, 2013
The view across the street from Prowling Death Records Limited's office in North London, photographed in the course of a rainy November during the early days of Triptykon.
Prowling Death Records was founded in early 1983 in my bedroom in Nürensdorf, Switzerland. I created it to release the first Hellhammer demos, "Death Fiend" and "Triumph Of Death". In December of 1983, we used it as a label for the final Hellhammer demo, "Satanic Rites". Resurrected in 2005 in the course of the re-emergence of Celtic Frost, the label became Prowling Death Records Limited in late 2009.
In the years since 2005, Prowling Death Records, in a licensing cooperation with Century Media Records, has served as a label for albums and EPs by Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, and Triptykon. It will also be the label behind Triptykon's forthcoming album, again in cooperation with Century Media Records.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
As we emerge from Triptykon's bunker, the weather has undergone a dramatic change. Forceful autumn winds and wild gusts of rain have not only transformed the meagre remaining daylight into a mesmerizing blue-grey haze, they have indeed changed the entire atmosphere outside. It is as if the weather, by some invisible power, is emulating the music we are working on.
My face immediately becomes drenched with rain, but I embrace it. It feels utterly refreshing. Enwombed underground, behind massive concrete walls, the endless hours of rehearsing and arranging these songs at full concentration and excessive volume has worn me to the point of pain. And now, within moments, the burden is vanishing, much like the ragged silhouettes of low, dark clouds that race by in the evening sky.
It hasn't been easy to get to this point. But when the band is playing these new songs, it sounds astonishing. The album will be extremely colourful. And all of these colours will be dark.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
For many years, I had been wondering if the letters I sent to H.R. Giger early in 1984, when I was a member of Hellhammer, still existed at the artist's house. Those letters, asking Giger with utmost humility for the permission and conditions to use his Satan I painting as a cover for an envisioned Hellhammer album to be titled To Mega Therion, were written long before PCs, e-mail, and scanners became a normal part of daily life. In addition, Hellhammer was, at the time, a tiny and widely ridiculed underground group, and nobody inside and outside the band would have ever thought that copies of such correspondence might one day be of interest. So I sent these letters to Giger, and no copies were retained. They were simply gone.
To our utter surprise, Giger responded, and I subsequently sent him Hellhammer's Apocalyptic Raids 12" EP, completed in the meantime. It was exactly that EP, however, which set in motion the process which would see the dissolution of Hellhammer on May 31, 1984, and the establishment of Celtic Frost on June 1, 1984. I continued to update Giger on the band's progress, sending him further letters, flyers, and sketches of our concepts. To Mega Therion, the projected album, was finally released some one and a half years later, replete with Giger artwork. It would become one of Celtic Frost's most important releases.
Following Celtic Frost's reunion in the early 2000s, we often talked about this early correspondence with Giger, and there was always the question in our minds whether Giger might have retained my letters. Giger himself was unable to provide us with a conclusive answer. His vast place simply holds too many artifacts representing his many decades as an artist in the public eye. Often when I was there, I would cursorily look for any indication that fragments of our first contact might have survived. To no avail.
A few weeks ago, however, I finally found the letters, 29 years after they were sent. Thanks to a lead kindly provided by Giger's long-time image archivist, Matthias Belz, I was able to locate two ring binders which contained virtually every single letter I wrote to Giger, along with the replies the artist and his wife at the time, Mia, sent to me. Being confronted with these originals, rather unexpectedly after all these years, was extremely affecting. The letters are time capsules from a drastically different era. They reveal painfully how insecure and self-critical we were in Hellhammer with regard to our own work, given that we had been derided and exiled almost continuously since the band's inception. It is often an uncomfortable read.
I was also astonished to discover that this correspondence not only included numerous original Hellhammer and Celtic Frost flyers, but also significant excerpts from the original concept booklet we sent to Noise Records in Berlin, Germany, in June of 1984, in order to convince them of the validity of the termination of Hellhammer and the establishment of an entirely new group, Celtic Frost. The booklet contained ideas for several Celtic Frost albums, including artwork, song titles, lyrical themes, and proposals for photo sessions and album promotion. It anticipated Celtic Frost releases up to the Into The Pandemonium album.
We had long considered this booklet lost. When working on the official Celtic Frost reissues in 1999, I searched Noise Records archives but discovered that the record company had long since discarded most of the original Hellhammer and Celtic Frost material, even including the studio tapes of our early records. Finding major parts of this concept booklet now was thus exciting to the extreme. Its contents remain relevant and truly compelling. It really is the blueprint which still applies to my work with Triptykon, to this day.
A few excerpts from the newly rediscovered correspondence of 1984: letter by Mia Giger to Hellhammer, dated May 15, 1984, and letter by H.R. Giger to Hellhammer, dated August 14, 1984 (top). Letter by me to Mia and H.R. Giger, May 1984 (centre). Sample pages from the Celtic Frost concept booklet, June 1984 (bottom).
Friday, July 26, 2013
Triptykon's current rehearsal and arrangement sessions for the forthcoming second album sound sweepingly heavy, epic, and dark. And utterly diverse. Such music - and, indeed, the experience of creating it - is deeply alluring, even addictive.
The path leading to this point has been unexpectedly long and extremely challenging, even if for reasons largely unrelated to the group. And yet, we are reminded every time we meet why we have persisted. Love Triptykon or feel profound hatred for us, but this group sounds like no other - except the two from which we have arisen.
It will still be a few months until the music that is "Daemon", "Into Despair", "Sycophant", "Boleskine House", "Tree Of Suffocated Souls", and many more, will be committed to the album proper. But having progressed, finally, so far into the process in this manner is moving beyond description.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
My personal micrometer screw gauge, used during my apprenticeship, approximately 1983. The engraving was completed (without my knowledge) by a close friend, Richard Schlatter, at the machine shop where we worked. He knew that I was writing music for Hellhammer's "Death Fiend" and "Triumph Of Death" demos at the time. This measuring tool is still in my possession today.
Tuesday, June 04, 2013
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Triptykon performing Hellhammer's "Triumph Of Death" at Neudegg Alm near Abtenau in the Austrian alps, as part of the truly unique local midnight summer solstice celebration, on June 23, 2012. "Triumph Of Death" was featured in a triptych of songs which also included Celtic Frost's "Synagoga Satanae" and "Triptykon's "The Prolonging" and which concluded that night's concert.
This was only the second time since 1983 that "Triumph Of Death" was performed by its originator. We had originally contemplated playing it with Celtic Frost in 2006. But subsequent rehearsals made me come to the conclusion that this was utterly incongruous, given the group's state of affairs at the time.
With many thanks to Sig Swat for the link.
Monday, May 28, 2012
Above: Newly applied Hellhammer graffiti, seen on the door to the bunker which served as Hellhammer’s rehearsal room in Birchwil, Switzerland, from May 1982 to May 1984. Photographed during one of my recent visits, on March 3, 2012. (also see Mural Of Darkness)
30 years ago this month, in May 1982, Steve Warrior and I formed Hellhammer in Nürensdorf, Switzerland. We both had felt utterly frustrated by the reluctance of the members of my previous band, Grave Hill, to conceive and play more radical metal. So we formed our own, new band, designed from the outset to be more extreme. It was absolutely impossible, of course, to know at the time just how much this very act would affect our lives.
And four years ago this month, in May 2008, bassist Vanja Slajh and I formed Triptykon in Zurich, Switzerland, barely a month after my departure from Celtic Frost. There are many parallels, some obvious, some far less so.
Top: Steve Warrior and the author of this blog, photographed by Martin Kyburz at Hellhammer's bunker, spring 1983. Bottom: Hellhammer, Birchwil, Switzerland, January 1, 1983, photographed by Andreas Schwarber. Both of these pictures have not been published in the book Only Death Is Real.
Friday, April 20, 2012
With Scott "Wino" Weinrich, backstage at Roadburn festival after The Obsessed's performance, April 14, 2012.
We first met when Saint Vitus played with Celtic Frost at Fender's Ballroom in Long Beach, California, on June 13, 1986, and, many years later, were both featured on Dave Grohl's "Probot" album. What an incredible pleasure it thus was to have a chance to meet again and to discover that we have followed each other's musical path ever since that legendary concert in California.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
An apparently rare smile, backstage at yet another amazing Roadburn festival, with the absolutely astounding The Wounded Kings, April 14, 2012.
I am infinitely indebted to Walter Hoeijmakers, Roadburn’s extraordinary organizer and one of my dearest friends in the scene, for arranging this visit and for thus making the above meeting – and much more – possible.