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on 16 July 2003
While this album is not without flaws, and is bound to appeal only to particular people, do not just brush it off! This album is one of the most mind blowing to appear in our shops all year!
Ephel Duath are largely discriminated against for being loosely part of a musical genre know as black metal, which generally seems against the progression of their own musical style. As you may have guessed Ephel Duath are all about musical progression, and experimentation, and while still without a doubt a black metal band, they are also something worlds away from black metal.
While the founding member of Ephel Duath and lead guitarist(Davide Tiso) is rooted in metal guitar stylings, the drummer and bassist are both from jazz roots, with no previous experience in the metal genre. However the band manages to gel their sounds together perfectly to create highly complex and intricate jazz/metal sounds. And i'm not talking subtle jazz, this really is as much "laid back" jazz music as it is heavy metal. The band weaves from heavy sections to mid-song, jazz breakdowns seamlessly without any sort of pause or obvious change.
While listening to Ephel Duath you will often find yourself surprised at the direction the music takes you. While much of today's metal is predictable at best, Ephel Duath tend to do the complete opposite of what you expect, avoidoing the mundane and tedious. This is a band that knows how to keep things interesting.
While every song incorporates many different layers, sections, textures, up's and down's, it is hard to describe this as anything but a rollercoater ride, the technicalities of this band will go straight over most peoples heads, but this definatly does not mean you cannot enjoy the music. After repetitive listening i am still finding myself honing in on certain aspects of a song that i did not here before, and relishing in it far more than i did on previous listens!
As for the vocals, they are consistent throughout, though always seeming to take a back seat to the music. The first vocalist screams in an energetic manner that seams to peirce through all other sounds to great effect, however this is all it can do. It is generally flat and emotionless, doing little else other than to complement the music, and give certain sections that little bit more energy. The "clean" singer is, while not the most original voice, withought a doubt talented, it's just a shame that most of the time it seems to have been produced in a way that sounds like he is singing somewhere off in the distance, nothing more than a whisper in the backround.
So while neither vocalist seems to have any realy power or emotion behind their voice they do complement the music, acting as extra instruments as opposed to a voice conveying lyrics ON TOP of the music. And Ephel Duath are all about sound, and the way the SOUND makes you feel.
Ephel Duath have a loose concept on the painter's palette. They want each song on their album to convey a colour, or multiple colours so as to stimulate your emotions both with image and sound. They have included (if you look at the track list) a rough idea of the colours they wished to convey. On some songs this method is surprisingly effective, however it is not the backbone to this CD.
Ephel Duath is definatly a "weird one", I had heard none of their material, only read about them when i bought this CD, however i was pleasantly surprised, i am not a fan of black metal or jazz, but this cd had me smiling in astonishment from the very first opening sounds of the first track to the end of the cd. The only flaws being the production somewhat suppressing the vocalists, and (not that it is a very good argument) the music fails to be immiediatly emotive, you have to close your eyes and lose yourself in all the subtle sounds (sorry to be pretencious).
While not for poeple who are picky about what they listen to, Ephel Duath will please those with an open mind to music, that wish to explore new and interesting ground. Be daring and adventurous. You will not be dissapointed!
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on 20 June 2003
This album is really really good! Its a big step up from Rephormula as its more cohesive, complete work. It seems to have a conseptual presentation but don't let that put you off. The songs are really high quality and often damn brutal! I draw your attention to Laberinthine and The Picture here. Also, don't just by-pass the instrumental called Praha, it blew me away.
Like this? Try Earthtone9, The Haunted, Lunaris, or From Autumn to Ashes.
For lovers of quality metal and who don't mind hereing jazz sections alongside their downtuned basses!
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on 11 January 2012
This is a great record that combines huge metal riffage and elements of what I would call free jazz. The jazz element gives the sound a really interesting texture and lift. In truth it makes the dense guitar and drum attack seem looser.
Some might call it self indulgent, but to me it's the sound of musicians stretching themselves, in the way that the best progressive rock always has. It's not to everyones taste, but I found it refreshing.
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on 19 December 2006
Strange and powerful. As other reviewers have said it defies description, but I tend to think of it as trad jazz and hard metal. I'm a metal fan and tend to find a lot of stuff out there pretty repetitive and unoriginal. This is the most interesting and original album I've heard and I return to it often. The predecessor, "Rephormula", feels underdeveloped fairly standard Black Metal, while I find "A Pain Necessary to Know" too abstract to really enjoy. Though both albums are fine in their way "A Painter's Palette" is superior and spectacular.
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on 19 December 2003
Only it's not jazz. It's black metal. No, it's death metal. No, it's prog rock. Oh heck, it's none of these things - it's just the most original record of 2003, so go buy the thing ok?
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on 29 June 2003
On The Painter's Palette Ephel Duath play what I refer to as Jazzcore (sounds cool doesn't it?). Thrash-like or even possible Death Metal-like riffs are kept company by jazzy guitar playing and occasionally a trumpet which adds mood at certain points before or after various catharses. The technical playing is accompanied with a mixture of atmospheric singing and then screaming.
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on 18 January 2005
After the brilliant predecessor there is no excuse for such a poor offering. Embarassing and sad. As much as I try, this album is just unlistenable and at least is a good example of what happens when you become to big headed and obessessed with "experimenting". Nothing good here whatsoever. Well the artwork's cool, taht's about it.
I absolutely loved their previous album though, which makes it all the more sad.
Hope they're all working in some café now, cos they should be barred from playing...
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