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Ephel Duath

Experimental/Post Metal

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Ephel Duath The Painter's Palette album cover
4.14 | 126 ratings | 14 reviews | 37% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Passage (Pearl Grey) (4:11)
2. The Unpoetic Circle (Bottle Green) (4:54)
3. Labyrinthine (Crimson) (5:21)
4. Praha (Ancient Gold) (5:17)
5. The Picture (Bordeaux) (4:52)
6. Ruins (Deep Blue and Violet) (4:56)
7. Ironical Communion (Amber) (5:28)
8. My Glassy Shelter (Dirty White) (4:46)
9. The Other's Touch (Amaranth) (6:44)

Total Time: 46:33

Line-up / Musicians

- Luciano George Lorusso / screaming vocals
- Davide Tolomei / skimming vocals
- Davide Tiso / guitar
- Fabio Fecchio / bass
- Davide Piovesan / drums

- Riccardo Pasini / synth, co-arranger, producer
- Maurizio Scomparin / trumpet

Releases information

Artwork: temnO un.Art

CD Elitist Records ‎- MOSH906CD (2003, Italy)

Thanks to useful_idiot for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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EPHEL DUATH The Painter's Palette ratings distribution

(126 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(37%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(25%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

EPHEL DUATH The Painter's Palette reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "The Painter's Palette" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Italian avant garde/ experimental extreme metal act Ephel Duath. A couple of major things have happened since the release of the debut full-length studio album "Phormula (2000)" which was released through the Italian Code666 label. After signing to Elitist Records (which is a subdivision of Earache Records) Ephel Duath repackaged "Phormula" and included the tracks from the "Opera (1998)" demo, releasing it in 2002 as "Rephormula".

The band originally started out as a duo consisting of Giuliano Mogicato on bass, guitar, synthesizer, vocals and programming and Davide Tiso on guitar, synthesizer, vocals and photography, but before the recording of "The Painter's Palette", Giuliano Mogicato had left the band and Davide Tiso started to assemble a new lineup. In addition to Davide Tiso on guitars, the new lineup consists of Luciano George Lorusso who handles the raw extreme vocals, Davide Piovesan on drums, Fabio Fecchio on bass and Davide Tolomei who handles clean vocals. In addition to that lineup Maurizio Scomparin plays trumpet on a couple of tracks while producer Paso acts as arranger, plays synthesizer and adds electronic noise.

The music on "The Painter's Palette" is vastly different from the music on "Phormula". Itīs not long ago I reviewed "Phormula" and my description of the music on that album was something like this: "Symphonic black metal with twisted adventurious riffs and electronic drums". My description of the music on "The Painter's Palette" probably goes something like this: "Avant garde/ experimental extreme metal with twisted dissonant riffing, fusion drumming, extremely aggressive vocals but also calm clean vocals, jazzy non distorted breaks and occasional free jazz trumpet playing". That might sound pretty confusing, but Ephel Duath actually make those ingredients work together extremely well. Itīs a long time since Iīve heard anything this unique from a metal act. Sure there are references to John Zornīs Naked City and Mr. Bungle too, but the music on "The Painter's Palette" is in the end an entirely different beast. The music is dark, aggressive and complex. Yet thereīs that important memorability element present in the music at all times, that is vital in music as diverse and complex as this. After a few listens the music actually becomes a bit more accessible which I certainly didnīt feel that it was upon my initial listen.

The musicianship on the album is simpy outstanding. The diverse nature of Davide Tisoīs guitar playing and his adventurous approach to composing is simply a treat. The new rythm section is outstanding too. New drummer Davide Piovesan is positively on fire with his busy, fast-paced and complex fusion drumming. While the raw vocal/ clean vocal approach isnīt exactly new and wasnīt in 2003, it works very well on "The Painter's Palette". Harsh styled vocalist Luciano George Lorusso is in the same extreme league as post hardcore vocalists in acts like Burst, The Ocean, Converge and Breach. Clean vocalist Davide Tolomei has a pleasant calm vocal style which suits the music very well. No honey dripping emo vocals here thank you. While the instrumental part of the music most of the time is handled by guitar, bass and drums the addition of the occasional free jazz trumpet part is really great feature and brings lots of atmosphere to the music. There are a few electronic elements and keyboards in the music too which also help enhance the atmosphere.

The album should be listened to as a whole but there are of course highlights. The opening track "The Passage (Pearl Grey)" kicks the album in gear with a blast. Youīll find just about everything that is great about "The Painter's Palette" featured in that track. The instrumental jazzy "Praha (Ancient Gold)" also stands out from the rest of the tracks on the album.

The production is professional and itīs got a raw organic feeling to it that I greatly enjoy. Itīs not too sharp and clean like many other contemporary metal productions.

Itīs quite amazing how much Ephel Duath have grown and developed their music style since the release of "Phormula" and if I didnīt know I would never have guessed it was the same band who released both "Phormula" and "The Painter's Palette". "The Painter's Palette" is a unique experimental extreme metal album and has since itīs release influenced loads of other acts. Itīs one of those few groundbreaking albums in the genre that you have to have heard at least once. The chaotic nature of the music and the extreme vocals might put off a few people but for most who are able to appreciate the music on the "The Painter's Palette" the album is deservedly considered a classic. This is a must hear album and fully deserves a 4.5 star rating. Iīll let time and further listening sessions decide if Iīll upgrade this one to a full 5.

Review by Conor Fynes
5 stars 'The Painter's Palette' - Ephel Duath (9/10)

There are not many metal bands I know out there that integrate jazz fusion so well into their sound as do Italian progressive metal band Ephel Duath. Although they have been first brought to my attention as a black metal band, their second album 'The Painter's Palette' shows very little of this style, instead going towards a very forward thinking style of jazz metal that sounds often like a progression of what Atheist was doing in the early nineties. A highly inventive and quirky band, the band finds an energetic masterpiece with 'The Painter's Palette', that reinvents their sound greatly into something altogether unique.

Ephel Duath splits their sound evenly between abrasive metal and a more melodic, jazz- infused sound. To the band's great benefit, they manage to put the two together seamlessly, making a chaotic barrage flow into a classy jazz break as if it came naturally. Although Ephel Duath do both sides of their sound with great skill and talent, it is indeed the jazzy side of their music that distinguishes them and makes 'The Painter's Palette' an underground masterpiece. To make the jazz jump out even more, there are even a nice number of trumpet solos that almost make one forget that they are listening to what is otherwise an extreme metal record.

On the more metal side of things, Ephel Duath relies on some screams that sound more like they come out of metalcore than anything else, but noisy guitar textures and some beautifully organic drumming makes it all sound as if it is in place. The harsh vocals of Luciano Lorusso are nothing special, but help accentuate some of the album's heavier moments. Where the vocal work really compliments the sound however is with the clean vocals of Davide Tolomei, who takes point for most of the band's melodies. The melodies are not normally particularly catchy or memorable, sounding all over the place. For Ephel Duath though, it works fairly well, and instead the memorable effect of 'The Painter's Palette' is shifted over to the instruments, which are all not only performed, but also produced beautifully.

Ephel Duath's 'The Painter's Palette' is an album that takes a while to grow, but with each passing listen, the experience does ferment into a level of appreciation that I can only associate with a masterpiece. An essential album for jazz-metal fusion.

Review by Negoba
5 stars THIS is Jazz Metal

I love jazz. I love metal. I have been on a long long search for a true marriage of the styles, and I've ventured down some bizarre rabbit holes in the process. THE PAINTER'S PALETTE has actually been on my radar for several years, but the extreme elements initially put me off and I never really gave it the time it deserved. However, the album kept pulling me back for another peek. Now I feel it is one of the best examples of an album that has true sensibilities of both jazz and metal, rather than being rooted in one and toying with the other. (such as Atheist or Panzerballet) This is the kind of album that is the reward of exploring obscure paths. This is the good stuff we insane music nerds save for ourself.

The range of sound on this album is vast. The opener, "The Passage (Pearl Grey)" begins with a syncopated clean guitar line that quickly morphs into a metallic riff not unlike Opeth but with a chaotic trumpet screaming above. From there, we get a frenetic interchange of metalcore vocals, jazz drumming, clean melodies, and clean grooving breaks. There is certainly a Bungle-ish sense of juxtaposition, but the Ephel Duath makes the rapid stops much more coherent. As other reviewers have said, despite the immense variation, it just works.

If jazz rock had begun in 2005 instead of 1970, it would likely sound like "Praha (Ancient Gold)." Here, a mournful trumpet meanders and intertwines with an increasingly overdriven guitar over a distinctly swinging beat. The rock elements are more rooted in punk and metal than blues and psychedelia, creating a clearly modern, though very organic, sound. "Unpoetic Circle (Bottle Green)" sports a suprisingly memorable melody whose lyric is appropriately intellectual for the target audience. The guitar and drum tones are extremely natural, eschewing the over- production of many contemporary prog and metal acts. (Perhaps the band's black metal roots show a little there).

I am not a fan of -core vocals, and this was the main reason it took me so long to come around to loving this album. But they do make sense in context, and are not overused. Weaving in with the clean melodic singing, and prominence of the instrumental grooves, they become part of the overall texture of the music. The harshness is a bit frontloaded on the album, and by the end of the 9 tracks, the metalcore elements leave less impression than the jazz and proggy elements.

To be clear, this is a modern prog fan's paradise. Complex rhythm, harmony, high levels of musicianship, composed lines, all the things I love about the genre in general are here in spades. But Ephel Duath has put these familiar ideas together in a combination that exists nowhere else. It does take some time to really let the feel connect, but once it has, this is one of the jewels of extreme prog metal.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Not jazz, not metal, but both: 9/10 EPHEL DUATH (name probably inspired by Lord of the Rings' eponymous mountain range) has for a long time been mostly a duo that made blackish experimental metal. It's rather surprising to find out that in the band's second release, THE PAINTER'S PALETTE, not ... (read more)

Report this review (#1886307) | Posted by Luqueasaur | Sunday, February 18, 2018 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I strongly recommend this to people who like a certain music that is the following: avant-garde, extreme metal, and having abrupt transitions in style. For me, the extreme metal moments are generally the weakest and the least compelling. The abrupt changes in musical style and time signatur ... (read more)

Report this review (#992219) | Posted by dragonspirit | Friday, July 5, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A very interesting job form the heirs of amazing prog rock italian scene. Definitely the best album of Ephel Duath (at least until now) it merges with success classic jazz progressions (notably with trumpet and sax), death metal riffs (the signature syncopated ones) and some other "experimental" stu ... (read more)

Report this review (#486316) | Posted by elcaballodecaligula | Tuesday, July 19, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is truly one of the most interesting albums I have heard. Intense, dissonant, and unsettling, it is certainly unique. The band rips through blistering hardcore sections, eerie electronic noises, and even eerier Avant-Jazz with incredible musicianship and skill. I think this album is a concept ... (read more)

Report this review (#251708) | Posted by sbooth | Thursday, November 19, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is one of those amazing discoveries that I made not too long ago when I was browsing for music that was new to my ears and at the same time I was browsing for music that captivated me and interested me throughout and impressed me with their music. This is one such band that I was basically b ... (read more)

Report this review (#194699) | Posted by faceofdoomness | Monday, December 22, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is an amazing Italian band who are truly unlike anything I've ever heard before. Ephel Duath plays jazz metal, with musical ideas flowing from classical to black metal. Vocals range from hardcore screaming to melodic singing that tends to remind me of John Wetton on certain tracks. The ba ... (read more)

Report this review (#134854) | Posted by jikai55 | Saturday, August 25, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is one of the most interesting discs I have ever heard. It has a great concept (all the colors of a painter's palette are represented) and experimental music to go along with it. This is a mix of hardcore, jazz, and metal with some melody here and there, but mostly screamed lyrics. The ... (read more)

Report this review (#124289) | Posted by pianomandust | Friday, June 1, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In the most basic of terms, Ephel Duath second album is the opus of a lifetime many experimental bands can only hope and dream of somehow stumbling onto. By mixing the odd genres of hardcore, jazz, electronica, and glimpses of their black metal base, Duath has truly created one of the most ori ... (read more)

Report this review (#69166) | Posted by | Sunday, February 12, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Not to sound pompous, but EPHEL DUATH was an act that deserved attention; and my next additional target besides PECCATUM. When I first discovered EPHEL DUATH, it was filed under "progressive jazz fusion black metal". I had never heard something so insane as I listened the samples. And one d ... (read more)

Report this review (#60968) | Posted by Spiral Artist | Tuesday, December 20, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Hi guys this one of the greatest progressive-metal album I've ever heard!!! This album is really amazing!!! This is a sort of jazz-metal music, two voices (growl and clean), guitar, bass, drum, drum machine and... trumpet!!!! This album is based on the concept of coulors. The artwork is black ... (read more)

Report this review (#52539) | Posted by | Friday, October 21, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is it! Finally, my prayers were heard, EPHEL DUATH is in the archives, and now i'll explain you why... This amazing italian band have created an unique, intense, mindblowing and beautiful form of Avant-Prog/metal. "The Painter's Palette", their sophomore effort has it all, jazzy drum s ... (read more)

Report this review (#50135) | Posted by Mnemosyne | Wednesday, October 5, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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