By Carl C. Sundberg
Triptykon originally began as a side project for black metal pioneer Tom Gabriel Warrior, founder of Hellhammer and Celtic Frost. It wouldn’t be long before ego battles and inner struggle within Celtic Frost would lead Warrior to disband it once and for all and make Triptykon his only band. Taking the music and frustration he endured during the final days of Celtic Frost, Warrior went back into the studio with all new members and made Triptykon his primary focus and recorded some of the most furious music to date.
“The roots of Triptykon date back to the final months of Celtic Frost,” Tom Gabriel Warrior explains. “I found myself being a part of a band that no longer played any music but instead spent its time at the rehearsal room arguing in circles about ego problems. I became so immeasurably frustrated by this situation and I was unable to break the situation that I began a side project so that I could continue writing and recording music.”
Warrior hoped that Celtic Frost would become a band again and settle its differences, but it never happened. The band fell completely apart in April of 2008. By this time the side project known as Triptykon had grown drastically and eventually became Warrior’s only band.
The music of Triptykon’s debut album ‘Eparistera Daimones’ is more personal than anything ever written for Hellhammer or Celtic Frost. In the liner notes, Warrior goes into detail about the backstory of each of the songs, but also points out that they are totally optional when listening to the album. “I think it’s important that music forms an image in the listener’s head.” Warrior says. “At times it’s probably negative to explain too much, but if a fan’s interested in what’s behind these songs, he or she can read it. But it’s totally voluntary.”
And while this album is very personal to Warrior, he was also trying to push his musical evolution further than he had in the past. “On this album I wanted to continue to develop the kind of writing style that we already recorded on the Monotheist album,” he says. “I was very curious to see where this music would lead.”
Half of the music on the album was written during the days of Celtic Frost and half was written afterward, and while Warrior wrote most of the music, he said it was always a group effort when it came to writing. “All but two songs were written by me,” he says. “But all of the songs are developed after I bring them to the rehearsal room by the whole band. The arrangements are made by the entire band. It’s very much a band even though I’m the main songwriter. It’s not a dictatorship by any means. I made that clear in the beginning I’m interested in a band, not a solo project.”
Unlike the last Celtic Frost album, which took five years for the band to write, ‘Eparistera Daimones’ was written rather quickly. The band started writing the album in early 2009 and December of that year the album was finished. But it wasn’t always smooth sailing. “This album carries tons of baggage from the breakup of Celtic Frost which was a hugely difficult time for me,” Warrior says. “There’s a million emotions in it. And writing these songs and putting these emotions into the songs was anything but easy.”
There were many people in the music industry who urged Warrior to continue under the name Celtic Frost, using different musicians, as the last album from them - ‘Monotheist’ - was very successful, and starting over would be difficult, if not devastating. “I knew full well that if I formed a new band, I would have to start pretty much lower than Celtic Frost,” Warrior says. “But I didn’t want to go onstage and lie to my fans and pretend it’s Celtic Frost when it’s not. There’s enough bands that do such things. I don’t want to be part of that.”
While Warrior expected Triptykon to have to build a brand new following from scratch, he mentions that the response from fans and critics has been unanimously positive. “I’m overwhelmed by the reaction,” he says. “We received amazing reviews almost universally and I’m completely flattered and blown away by what’s happening.”
Originally published on 101d.com