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EPHEL DUATH

Experimental/Post Metal • Italy


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Ephel Duath biography
EPHEL DUATH started out as a duo in 1998 thanks to the determination, of the then 18 year old Davide Tiso, to try his hand in a musical scene such as Black Metal that is closed to change.
The Duo (with Giuliano Mogicato) publishes its first and only demo in 1998 "Opera" and the distinctive traits of this project immediately emerge and even though their roots are solid, with an evident influence in the Black Metal Scandinavian scene (Emperor), they don't disdain bold solutions, dissonant matches and a strong will to propose something new.
The demo sells 2000 copies and also brings them a recording contract with the newly founded Italian label code666 (today the producers of Aborym, Aghora, Konkhra, Atrox, Void Of Silence, and many more) who, before all others sense the great potential of Ephel Duath, directing them towards the Fear Studios, with Paso at the console, to record their Debut-album. In the meantime Code666 decides to put the tracks of Opera on-line, to make their music more reachable and to prepare for the introduction of their new album: the move is successful as the feedback is enormous with the <> mp3.com site that puts the Ephel Duath in the top 10 Black Metal download charts, for over 4 consecutive months they stay on number one thanks to the 35.000 certified downloads. The anticipation for the new album becomes nerve racking and when "Phormula" comes to the shops in the summer of 2000, the feedback of the international press is absolutely enthusiastic from all areas... Infact, the record, with respect to the demo, is an enormous step ahead due to a larger musical spectrum, a higher production quality and a further improvement of the duo's technical ability, who in this album touch levels hardly ever reached before by similar bands.... The Ephel Duath with "Phormula" drive themselves to the limit, of what up to then, was considered Black Metal, consciously deciding not to totally cross the limit and go too far, as they could have done, or maybe wanted to do, to possibly avoid turning their debut into a risky undertaking.
Just at the most promising moment, Giuliano decides to quit music, leaving Davide by himself and putting Ephel Duath's carrier at risk; they do however find new energy thanks to the management contract with code7 (a branch of code 666) which brings them, after only a short period of time, to the first important result: the prestigious British label Earache (Napalm Death, Carcass, Entombed, Morbid Angel.) offers Dav...
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Through My Dogs EyesThrough My Dogs Eyes
Earache Records 2009
Audio CD$0.99
$3.00 (used)
Hemmed By Light Shaped By DarkHemmed By Light Shaped By Dark
Agonia Records 2013
Audio CD$10.85
$17.25 (used)
Painter's PalettePainter's Palette
Earache Records 2003
Audio CD$4.00
$0.48 (used)
Pain Necessary to KnowPain Necessary to Know
Earache Records 2006
Audio CD$1.89
$3.95 (used)
RephormulaRephormula
Earache Records 2002
Audio CD$5.99
$3.95 (used)
On Death & CosmosOn Death & Cosmos
Import
Ais 2012
Audio CD$8.20
$5.67 (used)
Hemmed By Light Shaped By DarknessHemmed By Light Shaped By Darkness
Import
Agonia Records Imp 2013
Audio CD$12.85
$10.61 (used)
Pain Remixes the KnownPain Remixes the Known
Earache Records 2007
Audio CD$1.99
$0.99 (used)
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EPHEL DUATH discography


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EPHEL DUATH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.45 | 14 ratings
Phormula
2000
4.00 | 117 ratings
The Painter's Palette
2003
3.78 | 23 ratings
Pain Necessary To Know
2005
2.65 | 19 ratings
Through My Dog's Eyes
2009
2.96 | 4 ratings
Hemmed by Light, Shaped by Darkness
2013

EPHEL DUATH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

EPHEL DUATH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

EPHEL DUATH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.57 | 14 ratings
Rephormula
2002

EPHEL DUATH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 3 ratings
On Death and Cosmos
2012

EPHEL DUATH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hemmed by Light, Shaped by Darkness by EPHEL DUATH album cover Studio Album, 2013
2.96 | 4 ratings

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Hemmed by Light, Shaped by Darkness
Ephel Duath Experimental/Post Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Hemmed By Light, Shaped By Darkness" is the 6th full-length studio album by Italian (US based) avant garde metal act Ephel Duath. The album was released through Agonia Records in November 2013. Itīs been a couple of years since the release of "Through My Dog's Eyes (2009)", but mainman behind Ephel Duath, Davide Tiso have kept himself busy with his solo project Manuscripts Don't Burn and the "The Breathing House (2010)" EP and with the "On Death and Cosmos (2012)" EP released under the Ephel Duath monicker. "Hemmed By Light, Shaped By Darkness" features the same lineup that recorded the latter mentioned. Karyn Crisis (vocals), Davide Tiso (guitars), Bryan Beller (bass), Marco Minnemann (drums).

Stylistically the music on the album also more or less continues down the same path as the music on the "On Death and Cosmos (2012)" EP. Quirky, dissonant, aggressive and progressive extreme metal, thatīs very hard to describe correctly. Ephel Duath have always been a pretty unique sounding act, even though theyīve changed their sound quite a bit over the years. While some artists mellow and become more accessible over the course of their career, itīs like the exact opposite has happened with Ephel Duath, who since their early black metal beginnings have become more and more odd with each new release. Always challenging conventions and pushing boundaries.

"Hemmed By Light, Shaped By Darkness" is no exception and itīs overall an extremely challenging release. The music doesnīt feature many memorable hooks and the almost constant use of dissonance can be a bit hard on the ears. The musicianship are on a high level on all places. Personally I have a hard time appreciating Karyn Crisis raw, toneless and rather strained vocal delivery, but Iīm sure itīs a case of aquired taste and she is as such not a bad vocalist. Maybe itīs simply the quality of the material, thatīs making her performance stand out in a negative light. The word toneless actually describes the music pretty well and even when Karyn Crisis attempts to include a couple of memorable hooklines (like she does in "Tracing the Path of Blood") it all sounds more or less the same. And that is THE major issue with "Hemmed By Light, Shaped By Darkness". It might be professionally produced and powerful sounding and very well performed (the instrumental performances are outstanding), but itīs just not that memorable. Sometimes to a point where I donīt notice when one track ends and another begins.

So my criticism is a bit harsh this time around, but sometimes "Hemmed By Light, Shaped By Darkness" feels too much like art for artīs sake. An introvert release, that isnīt necessarily meant for the ears of an audience. In some ways itīs an intriguing experiment, but itīs simply too one-dimensional to be entertaining throughout the full playing time of an album. A 3 star (60%) rating isnīt all wrong.

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 The Painter's Palette by EPHEL DUATH album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.00 | 117 ratings

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The Painter's Palette
Ephel Duath Experimental/Post Metal

Review by dragonspirit

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 signatures-- this might be a highlight to some, but for me, it is jarring. I have found this approach to be taken my numerous avant-garde (e.g. Unexpect, some John Zorn, Mr. Bungle). It has never appealed to me. Random, chaotic changes are just that. Yes, they are impressive, but without an intangible musical flow to the changes-- without a intrinsic sense of appropriateness, it becomes a gimmick and nothing more. It is unfortunate because I like a lot this genre of music-- jazz-metal fusion with avant-garde tendencies. It is done well by precious few artists. This is not one of them in my opinion.

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 On Death and Cosmos by EPHEL DUATH album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
3.00 | 3 ratings

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On Death and Cosmos
Ephel Duath Experimental/Post Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "On Death and Cosmos" is a 3 track, 19:43 minutes long EP release by Italian avant garde metal act Ephel Duath. The EP was released through Agonia Records in June 2012. For this particular release mainman and only constant member Davide Tiso (Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Vocals) are helped out by a couple of rather prolific musicians in bassist Steve DiGiorgio (Sadus, Death, Charred Walls of the Damned...among others), vocalist Karyn Crisis (Crisis) and drummer Marco Minnemann (Necrophagist, Tony MacAlpine)).

The music on the EP is avant garde extreme metal with aggressive raspy vocals, time signatures changes and dissonant riffing. All three tracks are in a similar style even though the post rock start to "Raqia" stands out a bit, but the track soon moves into more familar territory again. There's a semi-jazzy fusion edge to the drumming, but other than that the jazz influence that was pretty strong in the some of the band's earlier work isn't that strong here. The musicianship is strong throughout the EP but that's really no surprise when you know the musicians involved. The tracks have a bit of trouble holding my attention though. I hear lots of potential and great ideas, but there are no real climaxes and after the EP is finished I'm left a bit frustrated. I don't expect an Ephel Duath release to be a hook laden hit parade, but a couple of memorable moments wouldn't have hurt.

Still "On Death and Cosmos" is a well produced EP and despite my reservations I still consider it a quality product and a 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is deserved.

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 The Painter's Palette by EPHEL DUATH album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.00 | 117 ratings

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The Painter's Palette
Ephel Duath Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Negoba
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 The Painter's Palette by EPHEL DUATH album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.00 | 117 ratings

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The Painter's Palette
Ephel Duath Experimental/Post Metal

Review by elcaballodecaligula

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" stuff that ranges from funk to prog metal. Still, I have to say: this is NOT an avant-garde album at all. The jazz parts can be compared to most of the textbook classics of jazz (Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington or Bill Evans) which make standard chord progressions based on 9th and swing notes. But this is no impediment to rate this album as Good, but non essential; mainly because of the pretty weak work on the gutural vocals, makes the album loose a lot of interest if you are a musicianship fan or your main concern is to hear something new, i.e. something "avant-garde". Still, it is a must hear for every prog fan, especially those interested in the jazz/metal movement.

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 The Painter's Palette by EPHEL DUATH album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.00 | 117 ratings

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The Painter's Palette
Ephel Duath Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Rephormula by EPHEL DUATH album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2002
3.57 | 14 ratings

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Rephormula
Ephel Duath Experimental/Post Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "RePhormula" is a re-release of the 2000 "Phormula" album by Italian black metal act Ephel Duath. "RePhormula" was released by Elitist/ Earache. The album is considered to be a seperate release though, with a new title, cover artwork and 5 additional tracks.

The eight first tracks on the album are the tracks from "Phormula". The next two tracks are remixes of "The Embossed" ( called "The Embossed (On the Corpse)" in this version) and "Instinkt" from "Phormula". "RePhormula" ends with the three tracks from the 1998 "Opera" demo.

The music on the album is experimental/ symphonic black metal with programmed drums. A band like Emperor often comes to mind because of the chaotic sounding swirling classical inspired synths. The programmed drums are an integrated part of the music rather than an excuse for real drums, which I unfortunately often find is the reasoning behind using programmed drums instead. There's good variation in the tempo on the album and you'll be exposed to both mid-paced and blasting sections. The vocals vary between harsh black metal rasps and clean vocal parts. The remixes aren't the most exciting thing if you ask me, but remixes are usually an aquired taste. The three bonus tracks from the "Opera" demo are pretty interesting listening though.

I gave "Phormula" a 4 star rating and there's no reason to give "RePhormula" anything less. It's not that the bonus tracks are the most nessesary additions to the original album, but they don't hurt either and personally I think it's pretty exciting to hear how innovative the band already were on their demo. A 4 star rating is deserved.

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 Through My Dog's Eyes  by EPHEL DUATH album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.65 | 19 ratings

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Through My Dog's Eyes
Ephel Duath Experimental/Post Metal

Review by FarBeyondProg

2 stars When i first heard this album i thought hmm.....who's trying too hard to sound like Frank Zappa? it really is, they sound like if Zappa went metal, and the concept is as barmy as anything Mr.Zappa would have made up, a concept album revolving round his dog, now as a guy who has recently lost a dog due to old age just a few days ago this release appealed to me, for some reason. Im not really gonna say too much else about this album only that i was really dissapointed, i thought it started good, interesting even but after a while the 'novelty' just seemed too stale and wasnt even funny anymore;

Gift - 8/10 Promenade - 7/10 Breed - 4/10 Silent Door - 5/10 Bella Morte - 4/10 Nina - 4/10 Guardian- 3/10 Spider Shaped Leaves - 7/10 Bark Loud - 4/10

My Conclusion? saying as this is the first album i have heard of this band im gonna let them off lightly as i think they can and maybe have done better than this, if you wana hear this band this is not a good starting point.

RIP Toady Payne 1997-2010

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 The Painter's Palette by EPHEL DUATH album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.00 | 117 ratings

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The Painter's Palette
Ephel Duath Experimental/Post Metal

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.

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 Phormula by EPHEL DUATH album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.45 | 14 ratings

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Phormula
Ephel Duath Experimental/Post Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator 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 Iīve changed my rating to 4 stars. A very exciting album this one.

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Thanks to useful_idiot for the artist addition.

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