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Ephel Duath - Phormula CD (album) cover


Ephel Duath

Experimental/Post Metal

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3 stars I'm not going to give any information on the band since the biography on PA is excellent so I will cut to the chase. After the promising demo tape "Opera" Ephel Duath release their first studio album "Phormula". The demo tape released in 1998 had showed that Ephel Duath was no ordinary band but it was "Phormula" the album that showed the true abilities of the band. While the music was heavily influenced by the black metal scene and especially "Emperor" it showed that the band's influences weren't restricted there. Phormula came to prove this mixing the black metal sound with many classical music arrangements and compositions and a progressive point of view. Strange song structures and crazy part changes make you forget you are listening to black metal after a while. The duo, Giuliano Mogicato and Davide Tiso, offers an amazing guitar work. They also play synthesizers which are all over the place and give a more atmospheric feel to the music. The vocals are really screams which while I cant say I like, I tend to forget after a while. The songs are near 5 minutes but the fast tempos and the crazy changes let many ideas to be heard in each song.

Overall, I think it's a very good debut album and probably one of the best black metal albums I've listened. If you never were a metal fan, it will be a really hard album to listen to, but if not, I think it's a really good recommendation. Some crazy music which shows that no music genre can limit someone's imagination and talent. Of course, Ephel Duath's later works are even better and very different from this on, following a more jazzy approach but this is a brilliant album too. 3 stars!

Report this review (#101072)
Posted Thursday, November 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Phormula" is the debut full-length studio album by Italian avant garde/ progressive extreme metal act Ephel Duath. The album was released in 2000 by the Code666 label. "Phormula" would be reissued two years later by Earache Records sub-label Elitist as "Rephormula (2002)". The "Rephormula" version includes 2 remixes of songs from the album and 3 songs from the 1998 "Opera" demo.

The music on "Phormula" is rooted in symphonic black metal, but far exceeds the boundaries of that genre. There are some quite unique features that make this album stand out quite a lot from other releases in the genre. First of all the drums are programmed, which honestly took some getting used to for me, but I understand and now appreciate that the electronic element is defining for sound on the album. The vocals vary between harsh black metal rasps and clean vocal parts. Mostly the former vocal style though. The excessive use of keyboards/synths in the music was hard for me to appreciate the first couple of times I listened to the album, but slowly the music has opened up to me and what upon initial listen seemed almost chaotic, has now revealed itself as tightly structured and greatly enjoyable music. The band vary the tempo several times during songs and they go from melodic mid-paced passages to fierce blasting ditto in a split second. There are both classical and folky influences in the music in addition to the harsh black metal attack. Acts like Emperor and Limbonic Art come to mind a couple of times during the albums playing time but add to that an avant garde edge and of course those electronic and brilliantly programmed drums.

The sound quality is excellent if you can appreciate the electronic sound of the drums.

Overall this is a very extreme and quite progressive album that should please the musically adventurous extreme metal fan. Be prepared for challenging chaos though. This is not an easy listening album. The album started out as a 3.5 star album to me but as I have given it more and more spins Ive changed my rating to 4 stars. A very exciting album this one.

Report this review (#252764)
Posted Thursday, November 26, 2009 | Review Permalink

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