Ephel Duath - "The Painter's Palette"
(Earache Records 2003, MOSH 906CD)
From Aural Innovations #24 (July 2003)
I have to say I had never heard of this band before and to give you some background, they started out as a Black metal band and some of the elements from their beginnings still exist as the music is quite heavy. The band plays a very complex mixture of odd time signatures, strange rhythms and chaotic voices (one melodic and singing and one screaming!). I have to say that I liked quite a lot of the progressive jazz metal music on the CD but the screaming vocalist just ruins it all for me. I heard the whole CD a few times and these vocals totally disturb the music and I am guessing that is the whole point. It brings a more hardcore attitude to the music. The opening song is fantastic including a sax solo but the screaming vocals disrupt the beautiful music. There are some very excellent musical passages such as the middle section of "Labyrinthine". Very cool stuff. "The Picture" begins with a very spaced out beginning and very melodic jazz rock like guitar and melodic vocals. The song takes a radical turn in the middle. The songs are all quite complex compositions and the players quite competent, especially the drummer and less so the guitar playing. File this band under progressive death metal if you have to stick it somewhere. If you like complex progressive metal and can tolerate screaming hardcore-death metal vocals, then give this one a chance as there is some excellent music here. The CD contains a lot of multimedia stuff with photos, videos and an interview. One note: this is the first CD I have ever seen that splits the tracks into like 20 parts to prevent MP3 ripping.
For more information you can visit the Earache Records web site at: http://www.earache.com.
Reviewed by Scott Heller