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Tom co-mixing 1349's Revelations of the Black Flame...
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Tom Gabriel Fischer



Joined: 13 Jan 2007
Posts: 377
Location: Zurich, Switzerland

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ApolloXI wrote:
This is an interesting dialogue for me, for some reason just recently I've been thinking about CF and Tom's (seemingly) increasing relationship with Black Metal.

This got me worried about where Triptykon might be heading. I have to say I find the inverted cross on the logo somewhat irksome. Maybe a little too childish in its symbolism, very much over-used and abused, I'm not sure it fits with Tom's lofty goals. At least CF went for more abstract motifs and seemed to be more interested in fantastical tales and ancient history than some sense of rebellious anti-establishmentism (the establishment being Christianity). Monotheist seemed to continue largely that tradition with an emphasis on what sounded to me like the breakdown of a personality, of soul searching and some comfort in the predictability of nihilism. I didn't find it an overly religious record, but definitely leaning towards the occult in a way that previous CF recordings had not [1]. Perhaps this was Martin's influence?

That's all I have to say I guess, I just hope Triptykon eschews some of the BM clichés that have been hinted on above and obviously I'm heartened and confident that this will be the case. I would agree though that Deathspell, Peste Noire and Blut Aus Nord to some extent have helped keep innovation alive.

[1] Although TMT obviously strongly featured the now legendary "Satan I" artwork, I always felt this was interesting sleight-of-hand because the content was not Satanistic on that album, and yet the imagery was a perfect match.



ApolloXI: your points are valid and interesting, and I will try to address them properly.

To begin with, I have never been part of a black metal group, and I'm not part of one now, either.

I am not sure whether you intermixed this intentionally or accidentally, but satanism and occultism are not one and the same. You discuss the occult content of "Monotheist" versus the old albums and then, in your related footnote, refer to "To Mega Therion" and state that it's content was not satanic. These two topics are not synonymous. Celtic Frost have never released a satanic album nor has any member of Celtic Frost ever been a satanist. The essential Celtic Frost albums, however, "Morbid Tales", "To Mega Therion", "Into the Pandemonium", and "Monotheist", all feature occult content to various degrees.

The vast subject of occultism has always been a major topic of interest for Martin and me personally. It was already the center of uncounted discussions which reinforced our friendship when we were young teenagers, before we even played music together. And, after Hellhammer, it was a major part of Celtic Frost's lyrical and visual output, starting with the group's symbol and songs such as "Visions Of Mortality", "Nocturnal Fear", "Into The Crypts Of Rays", "Morbid Tales", etc. on the "Morbid Tales" album in 1984. On the subsequent two albums, this topic was at times slightly more veiled, at times plainly audible and visible.

The years after Martin and I disinterred Celtic Frost in late 2000 were characterized by an inevitable resurgence of our interest in occultism, a fact which is very apparent on "Monotheist". Add to this the events which took place in the course of the Norwegian black metal movement in the 1990s, frequently involving Hellhammer references, about which both of us had strong opinions.

As stated above, Triptykon, like Hellhammer and Celtic Frost before it, is not a satanic group, nor a black metal group. And yet black metal is a vital part of our perception, interests, and horizon. And how could it not be? Both Hellhammer and Celtic Frost were affected by the then contemporary black metal, and Hellhammer and Celtic Frost in turn affected black metal to some degree. And I formed Triptykon to be a successor to and continuation of Hellhammer and Celtic Frost.

What you call an "irksome inverted cross" is in reality simply a letter providing a faint allusion to the topic of occultism, as are several other component's of Triptykon's logo and symbol. I purposely shaped the "T" in "Triptykon" to be evocative to some degree, to serve as innuendo, as a delineation. The basic inspiration for the letter, however, came from a 1920s silent movie by Friedrich Murnau.

Incidentally, isn't it well known by now that the inverted cross is not necessarily a satanic symbol?

Your description of "Monotheist" is to the point: "an emphasis on the breakdown of a personality, of soul searching and some comfort in the predictability of nihilism... definitely leaning towards the occult". Triptykon's work follows exactly that path. I wrote the majority of "Monotheist" after all, and the events in my life during the past ten years - and indeed the past 12 months - have led me to feel very comfortable within these topics. If anything, Triptykon's first album will be slightly darker than "Monotheist" and the group itself slightly more underground than Celtic Frost. It all simply reflects where I stand at this particular moment in my life.

I am confident that I have always eschewed "the black metal clichés" with my groups, and I see no reason why I should change that approach with Triptykon. As MySpace provides only a limited selection of descriptive terms for a band's direction, the listing of "black metal" on Triptykon's MySpace page should thus be viewed as an indication of the group's occult interests. Anything Triptykon will release will simply reflect my personality and interests, and, not least, a serious and befitting approach to any topic chosen.

Tom Gabriel Fischer, Zurich, Switzerland
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ApolloXI



Joined: 09 Feb 2007
Posts: 201
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Tom, very much appreciate the considered response, I don't feel very comfortable posting things like that as it can often be interpreted as critical when I'm really trying to be analytical. Bit of a precarious tightrope. Let me address a few things if that's ok....

Quote:
I am not sure whether you intermixed this intentionally or accidentally, but satanism and occultism are not one and the same. You discuss the occult content of "Monotheist" versus the old albums and then, in your related footnote, refer to "To Mega Therion" and state that it's content was not satanic.

Yes I'm aware of the distinction and that was my point. CF were always to me Occultist rather than Satanist. I see Occultism as a broader canvas, and thus far more interesting as a result, encompassing as it does more philosophical concerns. I think to be a Satanist one has to buy in to a lot of stuff that's frankly absurd. It is, ultimately, a Christian invention (I would argue as a means of social control) and thus used by others as an obvious rejection of the Christian established Church. I *loved* the way you avoided that with CF and kept things more mystical and fantastical. That was a very important part of the appeal because it was unique and clever. I noticed how Bathory kinda ended up going down that path quite a bit later (i.e. CF were ahead of the curve). The reason I mention "Satan I" is because it seemed to me flirting with a Satanic image without actually, in terms of lyrical content, committing to it. I liked that, it's always stuck with me[1].

And so now of course, I see a parallel with the Triptykon logo. One can allude to something without actually going full down the path. I guess my concern stems from the inverted cross being such an overtly obvious motif:

Quote:
Incidentally, isn't it well known by now that the inverted cross is not necessarily a satanic symbol?

Absolutely yes but like many symbols its meaning becomes re-owned and entrenched, and musically, the inverted cross is irrevocably connected to Satanic metal and the Black Metal movement. It's generally something of a blunt instrument used without subtlety but obviously as a result is very rock 'n roll. Which is fine by me, provided the artist isn't trying to convince me this is part of a high-end ideological stance. Look at the cover of the Pete Beste book as an exemplar, I believe it was Julian Cope who said that rock 'n rollers should dress to be feared and that's basically why I think it's so prevalent. It's anti-social, it has shock value.

Quote:
If anything, Triptykon's first album will be slightly darker than "Monotheist" and the group itself slightly more underground than Celtic Frost. It all simply reflects where I stand at this particular moment in my life.

I personally think that would be perfect, the direction on Monotheist was a very important progression and extremely compelling. Oh and I think the comments on CF's relationship to BM are very apt, guess I'm still arguing for you to keep some distance and cherry pick the interesting bits. I have a fairly reasonable BM collection so I'm hardly one to criticise it too harshly, I just find it works best within its own self-imposed parameters. Don't break the metaphor as it were.

Interesting stuff. Cheers. Looking forward to new material immensely.

[1] Another pretentious footnote! People always used to ask me who CF sounded like and it was always difficult to pin-point because you weren't BM, Death Metal or thrash or anything like it. I always thought you had more in common with classic Black Sabbath to be honest and still do. They of course, also flirted with the darker side of things but were actually far more interesting lyrically than they've generally been given credit.
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Elohim



Joined: 15 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom already stated that before that he felt a great kinship to the work of Black Sabbath. To me Celtic Frost is the Black Sabbath of the eighties, a band with groundbreaking work. Look for the parallels between 'Black Sabbath' (the song) and 'Dawn of Megiddo', which almost seems a tribute to the riffmaster of the seventies Wink
One feature that I loved about the old CF was the arrangements of the material. Compare a song like 'Circle of the Tyrants' to anything contemporary: you will not be able to find a song that comes even close. The haunting riff, the uptempo first part of the song which dramatically changes into a pouding battlefield with the now famous St. Mark double bass part: look at any contemporary heavy band around 1986: none featured something like that. Bands went from slow to fast (compare 'Mother Earth' by Ozzy), but never from fast to slow.

The same thing I noted with 'Ain Elohim', that evolved from a fast track to a slower, to even doom.

I also feared that black metal influences would sneak into the new material of CF and now Triptykon, more that Vanya and V. Santura are from the black metal scene... On the other hand: we got Warrior and St. Mark to bring back the swing into metal Wink Nobody played thrash so jumpy as Reed did...
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Tom Gabriel Fischer



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elohim wrote:
On the other hand: we got Warrior and St. Mark


Reed has no longer been part of Triptykon for quite a while by now. And the group sounds fantastic.

Tom Gabriel Fischer, Zurich, Switzerland
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Knucklehead



Joined: 12 Jan 2007
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Location: Atlanta, Georgia

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom Gabriel Fischer wrote:
Elohim wrote:
On the other hand: we got Warrior and St. Mark


Reed has no longer been part of Triptykon for quite a while by now. And the group sounds fantastic.

Tom Gabriel Fischer, Zurich, Switzerland


Oh, that is a bombshell. Is Norman currently manning the drums?

EDIT: All -- the Triptykon MySpace no longer shows Reed as a member, but that one "Lonhard" is.
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Opolus



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reed's out of the picture!?! Crying or Very sad
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D
Triptykon.net


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom Gabriel Fischer wrote:
Elohim wrote:
On the other hand: we got Warrior and St. Mark


Reed has no longer been part of Triptykon for quite a while by now. And the group sounds fantastic.

Tom Gabriel Fischer, Zurich, Switzerland


I have no doubts as to the fantastic sound being culminated Mein Herr, but I have to admit a bit of shock at this news. I do hope all is well between you two regardless of whatever situation brought this to be.
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Deni



Joined: 12 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ApolloXI wrote:

Quote:
This got me worried about where Triptykon might be heading. I have to say I find the inverted cross on the logo somewhat irksome. Maybe a little too childish in its symbolism, very much over-used and abused, I'm not sure it fits with Tom's lofty goals.


Exactly what I thought for the first time I saw the Triptykon logo, that also remembered me slightly the logo of the Australian Christian Death Metal band Mortification, where you can see three crosses on it.

Indeed, the logos are totally different...

I didn't no comment before about it because I feared to be misunderstood someway.

But now that you have posted and received a very detailed answer about this topic, I think there's no problem to express my personal opinion too.

Deni
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Elohim



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reed no longer part of Triptykon? Damn I need a drink!
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Dziadzio



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reed's out?? Oh my... Was it his or band's decision?
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Wurm



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is surprising and rather unfortunate news. I had no clue until I read Tom's reply to Elohim in this thread.
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Elohim



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah well, we'll just wait for some new music to come our way! I would say let's judge Norman by his playing and not by the comparison with Reed St. Mark he surely will encounter in the future.
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Wurm



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree.
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ApolloXI



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deni wrote:
But now that you have posted and received a very detailed answer about this topic, I think there's no problem to express my personal opinion too.

I think us long-time fans are maybe over-sensitive to certain subtle cues that 99% of folks wont even register. Monotheist was the darkest album since Morbid Tales, not Satanic at all really, but with *some* allusion that we have not seen before. Tom's detailed response should set all our minds at rest that the creative influences on Triptykon will continue this dark vein but be varied and interesting rather than a BM cul-de-sac.

I'd also like to add my disappointment on the Reed news, did anyone else feel there was an air of inevitability about it? I dunno, seemed almost too good to be true. In the end we should rally behind the band fully and give them our utmost support. Better to have a fully functioning Tom Warrior and cohorts in action than none at all imho.
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Tom Gabriel Fischer



Joined: 13 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ApolloXI wrote:
did anyone else feel there was an air of inevitability about it? I dunno, seemed almost too good to be true



When Martin and I first began to seriously pursue a reformation of Celtic Frost in the second half of 2000, it was clear to us beyond any doubt that we wanted to do this only with Reed St.Mark. We could not imagine it any other way. Moreover, Reed had reaffirmed to me many times in the course of the preceeding years that he would love to play with us again as well.

That we still ended up with another drummer, a shoddy emergency solution to boot and not least after searching for some two years, had a solid and simply unavoidable reason, a reason far beyond our sphere of influence.

Notwithstanding, the friendship between Reed and I persisted throughout all of this, and Reed's life progressed, as did ours. Reed came to see Celtic Frost play several times when we toured the US in 2006 and 2007. There always remained some sense of incompleteness, at least for me personally, due to the fact that Reed was not a member of the disinterred Celtic Frost. Sometimes it remained unsaid, sometimes Reed and I discussed it openly. I also sensed that Martin now appeared to be dismissive of the idea. Perhaps he was right. But I still felt as if destiniy had not been fulfilled completely.

When Celtic Frost broke apart so dramatically in April of 2008, and I was faced with the task of building a new group from the shattered remains, it was clear to me that I would talk to Reed about it. He had vowed to me in the US that he could and wanted to play the style of music Celtic Frost performed on stage during the "Monotheist" tour.

Reed flew to Switzerland and practiced with Triptykon. There even exist a couple of very basic early rehearsal recordings from those sessions. Again, however, that Triptykon still ended up with another drummer has a solid and unavoidable reason, far beyond my sphere of influence. The realization and decision was mutual.

Somebody wrote earlier in this thread "I have to admit a bit of shock at this news"... Indeed, there are no words to properly express the shock, disappointment, and emptyness I felt at the time all of this took place. Not least because 2008 and the founding of a new group had been difficult enough already.

Norman Lonhard, however, is anything but an emergency solution. He is an absolutely amazing drummer, and Triptykon now actually sounds exactly how I had envisioned it when I approached Reed to play with the group. We are lucky to have him. Norman's drumming is as if tailored to my very own style of writing and playing, and vice versa.

I don't know. Perhaps all of this had to take place. Perhaps I had to find out one way or another. Perhaps certain things had to be exorcised, just by the natural course of events, for us all to embark into the future. For this is exactly what we are doing.

Tom Gabriel Fischer, Zurich, Switzerland


Last edited by Tom Gabriel Fischer on Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:15 pm; edited 2 times in total
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