Monday, March 17, 2014
Triptykon Announce Melana Chasmata Limited Edition Box Set
Triptykon and Century Media Records/Prowling Death Records are proud to announce a special limited edition box set of the band's second album, Melana Chasmata, containing the album's main Mediabook CD edition as well as a selection of unique Triptykon paraphernalia. The Melana Chasmata Mediabook features a 32-page booklet and an additional 12-panel fold-out cross-booklet; the paraphernalia comprises a silver Triptykon-"T" necklace, 2 specially manufactured Triptykon candles, a Triptykon tote bag, a poster, and 3 postcards.
The box set will be limited to 2000 copies worldwide.
Tom Gabriel Warrior: Some time ago, I voiced my personal disapproval regarding the original concept for the planned Triptykon Melana Chasmata box set as scheduled for release by our licensing partner, Century Media Records.
It is to Century Media Records' credit that they listened and subsequently approached me to address my misgivings and create a box set that represents the group's ideas and intentions far more comprehensively. I am grateful for such an open and creative collaboration, and I deeply respect Century Media Records for sparing neither effort nor expenditure to please Triptykon and the band's audience.
I wish record labels would have acted like this in the 1980s.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Friday, February 07, 2014
Triptykon Announce Melana Chasmata Details
Triptykon's second album, Melana Chasmata (rough translation: "black, deep depressions/valleys") will be released on April 14 (Europe) and April 15 (North America), 2014, through Century Media Records/Prowling Death Records Ltd.
Like its predecessor, Eparistera Daimones, the album was produced by Triptykon's singer/guitarist Tom Gabriel Warrior and guitarist V. Santura and recorded and mixed at V. Santura's own Woodshed Studio in southern Germany as well as at Triptykon's rehearsal facilities in Zurich, Switzerland, in 2013 and 2014. Those who have already heard Melana Chasmata have described it as "atmospheric, dark, diabolical, and dramatic", "diverse, epic, and doomy, but on an entirely different level", "a fierce boulder of abhorrence", or "very heavy and yet very aesthetic at the same time".
Melana Chasmata will feature the following nine songs, at a playing time of around 67 minutes:
1. Tree Of Suffocating Souls
2. Boleskine House
3. Altar Of Deceit
6. Demon Pact
7. In The Sleep Of Death
8. Black Snow
Further new Triptykon music has been recorded, to be released as a future EP or mini album.
Among other formats, the album will be released as a 32-page mediabook (with lyrics and liner notes to every song, and with a special fold out poster), as a gatefold vinyl double album (with posters and booklet), and for digital download. Additionally, Century Media is scheduled to issue a special box set, limited to 2000 copies. The box set will include the album, a Triptykon silver pendant, a poster, postcards, a Triptykon tote bag, and a cap.
To commemorate the unveiling of Melana Chasmata, Century Media will release a collector's gatefold 7" vinyl single, featuring the songs Breathing and Boleskine House. The single will be available on March 17, 2014, and be limited to a pressing 1000 (of which 200 will be in red vinyl). Breathing and Boleskine House will also be available as a digital single (including the option for a digital booklet), and they will be streamed on YouTube and Soundcloud.
Melana Chasmata will be further distinguished by featuring, the second time for Triptykon, the extraordinary art of legendary Swiss surrealist HR Giger. Following Eparistera Daimones, the group began to make arrangements for an entirely different cover for the second album. Completely unexpectedly, HR Giger approached Tom Gabriel Warrior in October of 2011 to express his appreciation of how Triptykon had used his art on the first album and to propose a continuation of the artistic collaboration. This development thus marks the first time any musical artist has worked with HR Giger on three albums (Celtic Frost's To Mega Therion, and Triptykon's Eparistera Daimones and Melana Chasmata), and it commemorates a collaboration that has now lasted for 30 years.
Melana Chasmata features Giger's dramatically mysterious Mordor VII (work no. 283, 100 x 70 cm, acrylic on wood, 1975) as a front cover and Giger's Landschaft XVI [Landscape XVI] (work no. 209, 100 x 70 cm, acrylic on paper on wood, 1972) as gatefold art.
After a lengthy hiatus, Triptykon will return to the stage this year to promote Melana Chasmata. Among the concerts so far scheduled are appearances at the celebrated Roadburn Festival, at Rock Hard Festival, and, pending the issuance of the proper visas by US authorities, Triptykon's return to the United States for an exclusive appearance at Maryland Death Fest. For further information on live dates, please refer to Triptykon's presence on the web.
Triptykon consists of V. Santura (guitar, vocals), Norman Lonhard (drums, percussion), Vanja Slajh (bass, vocals), and Tom Gabriel Warrior (voice, guitars).
Century Media online:
Thursday, January 09, 2014
Monday, January 06, 2014
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Even the stars in the night sky appear faint, a year after my demise.
We transferred to V. Santura’s Woodshed Studio near Landshut in southern Germany, a few days ago. It was a protracted and sometimes challenging drive through yet another freezing night obscured by often impenetrable fog, begun in Zurich after midnight and ending at Woodshed at 5:30 in the morning. A journey still rendered immensely pleasant due to the fact that it was Ascension’s Ar who drove, and the two of us shared both serious moments and inane humour during this nocturnal excursion.
We are far into the tracking of guitars for Melana Chasmata by now, and one can sense the music for the album as it increasingly begins to breathe. Ar’s assistance in this production is indispensable, not least due to his expertise, intellect, and understanding.
All that, and my Ibanez Tom Gabriel Warrior custom Iceman guitar has been retrieved from the claws of hell.
Monday, December 09, 2013
These are photos I took on August 3, 2013, almost exactly 30 years after Hellhammer released the Triumph Of Death demo. They depict the remnants of the somewhat fabled Grave Hill bunker, the former rehearsal room of Hellhammer and Celtic Frost, in Birchwil, Switzerland.
I had been alerted some time ago that the building housing this bunker was scheduled to be demolished, but I did not know when this was supposed to take place. It was therefore utter coincidence that I arrived at the site exactly at the time it all was happening, during one of my regular mountain biking tours through the area where I grew up and subsequently attempted my earliest musical endeavours. It was difficult to come to terms with this scene, in spite of the advance warning. So many things had taken place here, many of which would much later reveal their significance with regard to the lives of all involved.
I moved into this bunker in early 1982, with my first, utterly deficient band, Grave Hill. From the remnants of Grave Hill, Steve Warrior and I formed what would become Hellhammer, in May 1982. From its very first day to its very last, the new band was based in this putrid, mildewed bunker. Many of the earliest photos of Hellhammer were taken in it, and in June of 1983, we recorded the Death Fiend and Triumph Of Death demos there.
As Hellhammer never played a concert, the only live performances ever witnessed of the band took place at this location, when our small circle of friends would attend some of our many rehearsal sessions and, particularly, when we honoured the arrival of the new year with a full set during the night of December 31, 1982, to January 1, 1983.
In June of 1984, the newly created Celtic Frost played its very first practice session at the Grave Hill bunker, with short-time member Isaac Darso on drums. Only days later, we wrote both the music and lyrics for Procreation (Of The Wicked) there, after Stephen Priestly agreed to be our session drummer so we could complete the Morbid Tales album. Once again, some of the earliest photos of the band were taken within the walls of this concrete tomb. The same was true when drummer Reed St.Mark joined the group as a permanent member in early 1985.
We rehearsed and arranged Celtic Frost’s To Mega Therion and Into The Pandemonium albums there and practiced our music for our first extended tours in numerous endless sessions. Always accompanied by the bunker’s distinctive odour, and with instruments that would literally begin to rot if left there too long.
The bunker also witnessed the band’s miserable dissolution and infinitely disgraceful subsequent downfall as 1988 dawned. But this was also the year Celtic Frost was asked to vacate the location, as the village’s civil defence organization was seeking to refurbish and repurpose the bunker. It couldn’t have been more symbolic.
I visited this landmark of my personal path many times in later years, not least to take images when working on the Only Death Is Real book. I am glad now that I did. As I arrived there this August to be confronted with the scene depicted in the photos shown here, there was nothing left of the aura. Not a trace. The fact alone that all the trees around it had been cut down served to rob the place of any magic, even if one managed to disregard the debris-filled hole in the ground.
The warning signs couldn’t detract me, of course. I climbed across the chunks of concrete and descended down to the damaged bunker. Parts of it had filled with water, but the former rehearsal room itself still remained largely untouched. It was deeply peculiar to see it like that. I stood at the same spot I always used to stand when looking back in to check if everything was in order before locking the door and leaving for home, so many years ago. After taking a few pictures, I gathered a few fragments from the debris to serve as personal reminders and then left.
And every breath I take leaves a black void in my heart.
Saturday, December 07, 2013
In December 1983, during what I then unsurprisingly perceived as an exceptionally dark and cold winter, Bruce Day and I, at the time the sole two members of Hellhammer, descended upon a small studio located in a bunker in an equally small village near the northern border of Switzerland. Surrounded by extended orchards which, at that time of the year, appeared as rigid as stone, bare of leaves, frozen, and covered in snow, we began recording Hellhammer's third and final demo, Satanic Rites.
We were inexperienced but utterly determined and fanatic. It was an extremely significant event for the group, as all our hopes for the future hinged on this demo. It was to provide evidence of a band undergoing a considerable transition. Just how important this document of the band’s musical state would actually be, however, we could have never known at the time. It would change no less than everything.
That change, inconceivably, still reverberates. Triptykon's very inception, and perhaps more poignantly the manner in which said inception occurred, are by necessity still coupled to the events that unfolded during those mythical days. What's more, exactly three decades after the recording session described above, I am writing these words again in a bunker, not too far from Hellhammer's former rehearsal room, while recording Triptykon’s second album, Melana Chasmata.
It is probably impossible to escape such thoughts when walking home from the sessions late at night, as the freezing fog extends down to the very ground, obscuring anything further away than a handful of steps. The roots of the music we are working on, albeit evolved substantially, are as unmistakable as they are inevitable. The darkness of this new album, and the darkness of this nightly scene; how closely do they match scenes I have lived through before.
Top: the author of this blog in Zurich, Switzerland, on December 5, 2013, photographed by Corinne Kühne. Above: Triptykon's bunker during drum recording sessions, November 1, 2013, photographed by TGW.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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.