Published: April 28 2023 at 12:14
Aesthetics Of Mortality - A Death Mask Project By Tom Gabriel Warrior
The fury captured in the music by Swiss groups Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, and Triptykon
ranks among the most pivotal influences on the extreme, black, gothic, doom and avant- garde metal genres. The common thread linking these bands is founding member and main songwriter, Tom Gabriel Warrior (née Tom Gabriel Fischer, voice/guitars). Concurrently primitive yet curiously intricate, Warrior's compositions evoke stark and
compelling vistas reminiscent of writings of H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Aleister Crowley, and Charles Baudelaire. Lyrically, Warrior delves into all areas associated with civilizations crumbling into decay, drawing corrosive, sinister parallels between perpetual annual seasons and the recurring collapse of human empires.
Warrior's affinities have long been known to reach far beyond music alone, as manifested, for example, by landmark album covers adorned with work by the likes of HR Giger, Hieronymus Bosch, Vincent Castiglia, or Isolde Ohlbaum. Moreover, Warrior's own art has adorned the covers of two high-profile Hellhammer releases, while both Celtic Frost and Triptykon are noted for ambitiously imaginative video clips such as A Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh (Celtic Frost), Shatter, and Aurorae (Triptykon).
In 2000, Warrior saw his first book published, a much-lauded autobiography titled Are You Morbid? (Sanctuary Publishing, London). It was one of the very few firsthand accounts on the birth of extreme metal during the early 1980s. Warrior's second book, Only Death Is Real (Bazillion Points, New York), followed in 2010. He is currently involved in two further book projects. Since 2004, Warrior partially opened the secretive realm of his inner sanctum to the outside world on his highly acclaimed blog Delineation II.
In early 2007, coinciding with the commencement of his activities as an assistant to his friend and mentor, HR Giger, Warrior began work in earnest on his long-intended Antecedent Death death mask project. Based on ideas originally explored during his youth, Warrior casts and adorns each Antecedent Death life-size death mask individually by hand. The mold used in the process was made from the artist's face by Josh Turi (special makeup effects artist), Tom Denier, Jr. (special makeup effects artist), and Eli Livingston (sculptor), in New York in May 2007. A natural extension of Warriors past and present endeavors, Antecedent Death is expected to expand in various directions in the future. Antecedent Death III, to commence on 8 July 2023 in Knislinge, Sweden, is Warrior's third solo exhibition of his tridimensional personification. The exhibition is hosted as a collaboration between Sweden's Time To Rock festival and Milvus Artistic Research Center