Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ephel Duath: Pain Necessary to Know (Earache, 2005)

For the first English language album of the blog, I chose one of the few internationally praised metal albums of the Italian scene.
Here's a review I wrote two years ago for the site rateyourmusic.com. It was chosen to be put on the homepage and probably contributed substantially to the popularity of the album in the RYM community.
Such a weird album! When I got it, I thought it should have been a more polished version of the hyper-technical death-jazz of their previous album, with amazing trumpet works, clean guitar-vocals passages and so on. Then I start listening to it and I'm completely bewildered: what's that swamped guitar sound? Where have all the jazz influences gone? Is this the same group? Do these songs actually have a sense, or are they just plain noise?
It took me quite a long time to answer these questions, and even now I'm not totally sure I actually "got into" the album. The music is definitely one of the heaviest things I ever listened to. The guitar sound, which is obtained combining three amplifiers or something like that, is muddier than anything the Melvins could even imagine. Clean vocals and direct jazz influences have completely disappeared. The music is mostly instrumental, with screamed vocals appearing here and there even more disturbing than in "The Painter's Palette". Jazz has migrated from the surface to the true essence of their music: the tempo is never the same throughout the song, which have something of math rock structures-meet-jazz harmonies. I can't even say if this album is still metal or it's something completely different, but it's definitely something which deserves to be listened to. Highly recommended!

  1. New Disorder
  2. Vector, Third Movement
  3. Pleonasm
  4. Few Stars, No Refrain and a Cigarette
  5. Crystalline Whirl
  6. I Killed Rebecca
  7. Vector, First Movement
  8. Vector, Second Movement
  9. Imploding
Download (~210 kbps)