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THE METAL OBSERVER - Review - EPHEL DUATH - The Painter's Palette

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Ephel Duath - The Painter's Palette (8/10) - Italy - 2003

Genre: Crossover
Label: Earache
Playing time: 46:33
Band homepage: Ephel Duath


  1. The Passage (Pearl Grey)
  2. The Unpoetic Circle (Bottle Green)
  3. Labyrinthine (Crimson)
  4. Praha (Ancient Gold)
  5. The Picture (Bordeaux)
  6. Ruins (Deep Blue And Violet)
  7. Ironical Communion (Amber)
  8. My Glassy Shelter (Dirty White)
  9. The Other's Touch (Amaranth)
Ephel Duath - The Painter's Palette

Unfortunately I missed out on the debut album of Italyís extreme crossover artists EPHEL DUATH, which received good scores in an instant after its release. Main songwriter Davide Tiso and his band didnít slow down on their progression, they chose to push it forward instead, ďThe Painterís PaletteĒ truly reflects the experimental phase of a band trying to stir up some weird and chaotic yet interesting music.


Iíll say this before I say anything else, ďThe Painterís PaletteĒ is for the open-minded, those who are open to other music genres and new approaches towards Metal music. Your tolerance and attention is needed in each and every second for the next forty-six minutes of this vast Jazz/Experimental/Crossover/Metal album.


After so many consecutive listens to this album, Iím still not sure if I have succeeded in translating what initially was random noise into a greater art, but I like the challenge, I think albums like these are the most interesting. The band moves around a lot in their compositions but always have some connection with Jazz rhythms and experimental Black Metal guitar arrangements accompanied by brutal shouting and clean vocals. Itís hard to even begin to imagine whatís been going through the head of the individual band member when writing and recording these songs because there are so many different atmospheres being spread out between the metallic outbursts.


Whatís even more perplexing is the albumís lyrical theme, something about the perception of pigments in various colours and they present the album with a black and white cover artwork? They sure got me confused. The most important aspect of the album is the bandís cutting-edge precision in each song, which of course is very much needed when executing material of this technical magnitude; everybodyís on top of their game, even though I detect a few improvisations here and there, extra credit goes out to drummer Davide Piovesan, the way he circulates around his drum fence and constantly changes pace is remarkable. Some of Davide Tolomeiís (thatís the third Davide in the band by the way) clean vocals get lost in the chaotic current, I think they wouldíve worked better if placed in the calmer parts.


Whether ďThe Painterís PaletteĒ was a big success or not I donít know (there are some who will like it, me included), but one thing is certain: it will have something far more challenging to offer than most Metal releases in recent years. (Online December 24, 2004)

Frodi Stenberg

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