Triptykon w/ Metropole Orkest – Requiem: Album Review

Requiem (Live at Roadburn 2019) marks the bombastic conclusion of a project over 30 years in the making: The legendary Celtic Frost/Triptykon “Requiem” performed for the first time in its entirety and with full classical orchestration by the Dutch Metropole Orkest.

Released: 15th May 2020

Label: Prowling Death Records / Century Media Records

Format: CD / LP / Ltd Ed Collectors Edition / Digital

It’s been six years since Triptykon released their second full length album, Melana Chasmata. Requiem is not a new studio album but the bands live performance from Roadburn Festival in 2019.

Spanning three songs, and a playing time of over forty minutes, Requiem is a grandiose piece of music. You’d expect nothing less from Tom Gabriel Warrior. Triptykon’s output has always been vast and epic, and Celtic Frost are an omnipotent influence across heavy music and beyond.

Requiem begins with Rex Irae which first appeared in 1987 on Celtic Frost’s Into The Pandemonium LP. It sounds devastating as the track builds with crushing guitars. Guest live vocals from Safa Heraghi provide a wonderful texture to the crushing sound that the band creates. Heraghi’s vocal intertwined with Warrior’s inimitable style is enrapturing. Coupled with this is the amazing guitar work of Santura. His solo parts are delivered with virtuoso precision. He picks notes out of the air delicately. This fragility in playing adds to the aura of the piece as a whole. There is a ‘Floydian’ quality to it’s delivery; especially in its presentation in the concert film.

Hannes Grossmann is the new recruit behind the drumkit. This is his first recorded work with Triptykon. His work on this release is impeccable and quite the debut. During Grave Eternal, the epic centrepiece on Requiem, he uses his instrument in a wondrous way alongside the percussion from the Dutch Metropole Orkest. The timpani and drumkit mesh together superbly and make for enthralling viewing/listening.

Vanja Slajh brings thunder on her bass throughout. Over the course of Triptykon’s studio output, the vicious bass has been a trademark of the bands sound, as well as Warrior’s characteristic ‘urgh’ grunt. Both are prevalent on Requiem as a whole.

Grave Eternal is a sprawling thirty minute plus piece that spans many genres and styles. The mix of metal with brass always sounds good; it gives a darker dimension to the music. In this mournful piece, it is integral. Throw into the mix chiming tubular bells and its a dastardly concoction that works flawlessly. Beginning in a continuous style from Rex Irae, it crashes and chugs along with jazzy aplomb from the woodwind section of the orchestra.

Monotheist was Celtic Frost’s 2006 album; fittingly, Winter from that album closes out this amazing performance in truly melancholic way. There is a heartrendingly bleak feel to the closing strains of the piece. It’s an incredibly apt way to close. The applause and reception at the end is deservedly rapturous for all players of the band and more importantly, the amazing orchestra.

Requiem is another fine addition to the canon of Tom G Warrior. Now that this piece has come to fruition, we wait with anticipation to see what this pioneer of heavy metal will do next.

Here are a few words from Tom G Warrior, on Requiem.

We are truly, deeply delighted to be able to have been granted the opportunity to finish this unique project begun by Celtic Frost so many years ago, and to finally share the completed recording with the world. This album is the result of two years of passionate work, and it marks the conclusion of a musical idea first considered over three decades ago. Moreover, this “Requiem” also represents drummer Hannes Grossmann’s first recording with Triptykon, and we are very proud to feature him in such an extraordinary context.

It was an incredible honour to collaborate with the Metropole Orkest, conductor Jukka Iisakkila, guest vocalist Safa Heraghi, and the esteemed Roadburn festival. In fact, there couldn’t have been a better partner for the “Requiem” project than Roadburn.

We are releasing this “Requiem” album in memoriam of our deeply missed friends and collaborators Martin Eric Ain and HR Giger.”

Tom Gabriel Warrior

You can view the trailers for the performance here. It will give you a flavour for what you can expect.

Trailer 1

Trailer 2

Triptykon: Official Website / Facebook

Metropole Orkest: Official Website / Facebook / Twitter

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