30 years in the making and the hugely anticipated ‘Requiem’ is unleashed. ‘Requiem’ was started by the legendary Celtic Frost and finalised into the package that sits before us today by the new generation of Tom G Warrior and his disciples, Triptykon.
The album is the conclusion of a project, and is performed for the first time in its entirety, with full classical orchestration by the Dutch Metropole Orchestra and guest vocalist Safa Heraghi.
‘Requiem’ is also the first outing for drummer Hannes Grossman, and he puts in a sterling shift behind the kit, which must truly cement his place in the Triptykon camp. He looks a natural and seems as though he has been a regular facet for years, yet alone a new kid on the block. The band have chosen the Roadburn Festival as the stomping ground for this exhibition, and Tom G Warrior himself expresses how much he feels that there is no better launch pad for the project than the festival itself.
‘Requiem’ is 46 minutes of perfection, pure beauty and aggression in equal measures. It opens with’ Rex Irae’ which first appeared on 1987’s ‘Into The Pandemonium’ album by Celtic Frost, and smoothly transitions into the newly written core of the project, the 32 minute beast by the moniker of ‘Grave Eternal’.
The whole opus is concluded with ‘Winter’ which first appeared on the 2006 Celtic Frost album ‘Monotheist’.
The whole experience is powerful and magnificent throughout, Warriors and Heraghis vocals intertwine with elegance and precision, and Warrior keeps an element of measured maniacal expression to them in parts.
The stage appears cramped with the band; all dressed in ebony, flanked by the varying elements of the orchestra, rooting the band members to their individual spots for pretty much the entirety of the gig. This in turn allows for dedicated and targeted concentration and passion. Santura on the strings exhibits intricate and delicate fretwork along with fellow six stringer Warrior who almost showboats with Santura to prove who the leading force of the axes is. The voice of Safa is angelic from the offset and her pedigree with the likes of Dark Fortress, Devin Townsend Project and Schammasch to name but a few, exudes from every crevice with her confident stage presence and aura.
Slajh’s bass line creates a constant titanium back bone from which the other monsters build their musical exposes of strings, percussion and vocal ranges and the vocals of the choir are haunting with the lights being utilised to maximum effect, bathing the stage and marionettes in brilliant white lights, swathes of red menacing lights and spotlights to pick out individual brilliant solo sessions amongst the grandiose and magnificent musical score.
The whole saga is grand and demonic, almost royal in places with the depth and magnitude of the deliverance. This package is delivered in various guises and formats and each beat is mesmerising from the first crash and chord. ‘Requiem’ is reminiscent of a fine wine, a delicate and glorious item which has aged very well with time. Sit back and enjoy! you deserve it
(8/10 Phil Pountney)