Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
Don't walk away, give it a chance!
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!