There are albums that are difficult to wrap your head around and there are albums that are impossible to wrap your head around. I thought the album Triangle by Switzerland’s Schammasch was going to be the latter after reading the press release, which points out that it’s 100 minutes long, a triple album in three movements, and a concept album on top of that. I just couldn’t see myself getting into something that complicated. That said, it sucked me in enough that first time that I listened to it that I went back and listened to it again. Turns out, it’s one of the best black metal albums I’ve ever heard.
I think the way I enabled myself to access this album was by only listening to one of the three acts at a time. I’ve tried listening to the whole thing at once and it becomes overwhelming, dizzying my head. It’s such a brutal onslaught that your brain can only take it in 40 minute doses. Aside from everything else I’ve written about it, it’s also very technical, each note sounding very precise and well-placed. It’s obvious that a lot of thought went into creating these songs, not unlike when a classical composer writes an epic piece. Each of the album’s three parts is its own distinct movement. You simply need to listen to each of them a couple of times individually to appreciate this.
Obviously, this album requires a certain investment on the listener’s part. It’s not a record you just turn on and immediately get hooked by. There aren’t hooks on this album so much as changes of direction, songs shifting gears, but not in a verse chorus verse manner.
It’s impossible to pick favorite songs here because each album tends to feel like one long song. In a good way, though. They fit together precisely like pieces of a puzzle. To say you like one more than another would be like saying you like the third verse of a pop song far more than the rest of it. Either you like a song or you don’t. Nobody claims to just like a specific verse. I’m sure people say that they prefer a chorus over the verses, but that’s irrelevant here anyway because these aren’t verse chorus verse songs. They’re well-calculated chaos, the sounds of the old gods putting humans in their place, tearing them into bits and pieces, devouring their souls and spitting the rest into nothingness.
Release Date: 4/29/16