ECNEPHIAS
Death Metal / Gothic Metal • Italy

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Ecnephias is a melodic death black metal band formed in Potenza, Italy, in 1996 by vocalist and guitarist Mancan (lawyer and musician). The current line up, led by Mancan himself and Sicarius Inferni, has recently welcomed Nikko, Demil and Miguel.

The sound of Ecnephias can be described as a personal blend of heavy, doom, death, black, gothic and, occasionally, folk elements with a very personal ‘mediterranean’ and ‘theatrical’ touch. The language used is for the most part English, but a distinctive trait of the band is the frequent use of inserts in Latin and Italian, often orchestrated in a way reminiscent of medieval spiritual chants. Ecnephias members interpret extreme metal like “exploration of the unconscious”, of the orrid, of the fantastic and the mythical one, a musical travel in the popular traditions of the ancient lands of the Earth.

The new release, “Necrogod”, featuring special guest Sakis from Rotting Christ, has
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Thanks to UMUR for the addition and Time Signature, Kev Rowland for the updates

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InfernoInferno
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ECNEPHIAS Discography

ECNEPHIAS albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Dominium Noctis
Death Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ways Of Descention
Death Metal 2010
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Inferno
Gothic Metal 2011
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Necrogod
Gothic Metal 2013

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.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Haereticus
Death Metal 2008

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ECNEPHIAS Reviews

ECNEPHIAS Necrogod

Album · 2013 · Gothic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
J-Man
Drawing inspiration from the myths of pre-Christian cults present in the Southern hemisphere, the latest effort from Italian gothic metal act Ecnephias is a lyrically rich exploration of a topic that isn't talked about nearly enough in metal. Entitled Necrogod, this 2013 observation is the fourth full-length album from Ecnephias, and although they began life as a fairly lethal extreme metal act, this sounds like a very melodic, symphonic, and gothic brand of metal with a few elements of death metal. The riffs here are pretty simple and melodic, but if I'm being honest, not very many of them are particularly interesting to these ears. Although some of the guitar leads and keyboard flourishes grab my attention, the sleek riffs lack any sort of bite in my opinion.

Some of the choices in arrangement are also a bit questionable, particularly the use of growling vocals in some of the more mellow sections. Listening to the savage growling vocals in a track like “Ishtar” - a fairly laid back, piano-led piece - reveals that something is out of place, and although I'm not too impressed by Mancan's clean vocals on Necrogod, the growls often feel misplaced on this album. Ecnephias are not a very heavy band at this point, and while I'd like to hear what they could do in a more melodic and gothic style, Necrogod is not a particularly successful attempt. It's not a bad album, but it's not something I would easily recommend either.

ECNEPHIAS Necrogod

Album · 2013 · Gothic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kev Rowland
This has be some of the best album artwork I have come across for a while. Not only is it a stunning piece of work in its’ own right (care of Pierre-Alain D), but it fits perfectly with the lyrical theme, which is inspired by the ancient pre- Christian cults of the southern hemisphere of the Earth: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Africa, India, South America. The dark brooding colour scheme also gives an idea of what is on offer here. The fourth full-length album from this Italian band can best be described as a mix of heavy, doom, death, black, gothic and, occasionally, folk elements with a very personal ‘mediterranean’ and ‘theatrical’ touch. Mancan’s vocals contain a strength and passion that is often missing from some bands, and the ability to sing in both ‘clear’ and ‘growl’ is a definite benefit as it adds an additional touch to a band that is definitely channelling the spirit of Paradise Lost, but in a way that definitely is way more Mediterranean than British.

Mancan also invited Sakis from Rotting Christ to sing on “Voodoo (Daughter Of Idols)”, the longest song on the album at more than 7 minutes, and this adds an additional element to the band. The album itself both starts and ends with an instrumental, so it feels bookended, but I think that aspect works. But, I am not sure about the whole album itself as it feels as if something is missing, although I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. There are times when the band come across as an all-conquering force of nature whereas on others they feel far more shallow and lightweight. It is quite possible that this album needs far more plays than I have the opportunity to give it, but at worst it is an interesting diversion that warrants further investigation, and at best maybe it is better than I think it is. www.code66.net

ECNEPHIAS Inferno

Album · 2011 · Gothic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Time Signature
Voices of Italian souls...

Genre: gothic metal

Carrying on the tradition for melancholic and dark metal with nods towards death and doom metal which was established by former death-doom bands in the 1990s, Italian metallers Ecnephias explore deeper than before the universe of gothic metal on their third album "Inferno".

Gone are most references to death metal, with the exception of the use of growled vocals (which are accompanied by a raspier more rock-oriented style of singing as well as a more pompous type of chanting), and Ecnephias have opted for a very melodic and, at times, epic style of gothic metal which draws more on traditional metal and hard rock than death metal. Most of the tracks are kept at midtempo, and much of the riffage is akin to classic heavy metal riffage with a couple of heavier and doomier passages every now and then as well as some more mellow clean-guitared passages that are reminiscent of the melancholic alternative rock of the 90s.

There are three major sources of the melodic feel of this album. First of all, the band make heavy use of melodic guitar leads - and they use the guitar melodies to great effect. Most of them are catchy and memorable, and quite melancholic. Secondly, synths appear throughout the album, performing both ambient background layers and lead melodies (various synth effects are used, but the most striking one is the plain piano sound). Thirdly, while there isn't much melodicism to the growls, Ecnephias make use of the two more melodic styles of singing in many of the choruses, which is a strategically smart move, because it ensures that there are memorable chorus lines that you can sing along to and remember (the choruses of 'In My Black Church' and 'Chiesa Nera' have an almost Depeche Mode-esque feel to them, while 'A Stealthy Hand of an occult Ghost' features a very catchy chorus, whose melody combines the sensitivity of The Police with the appeal of Iron Maiden). It is the use of melodic guitar leads, by the way, that earns the album the last 0.5 star that brings the final score up to 4 starts (I'm a sucker for melodic guitar leads, you see).

At times, the music becomes a bit cheesy and pompous, but I think that this is an integrated feature of this genre of music. also, the level of cheesiness never becomes too much. It is there and it serves to contribute to the overall sound the way it should. Lyrically, Ecnephias combine English-language lyrics with Italian-language lyrics (and some Latin, too, I think) and the way that the different phonetic qualities of these languages contribute to the overall sound of the album is interesting. For instance, for some reason the Italian-language lyrics kind of cancel out the cheese effect, while the English language lyrics go well together with the growls.

The production is crisp, polished and well-defined, but with this style of music, it has to be, as it allows you to enjoy all the details and appreciate how the different instruments contribute to melodic harmonies and so on.

Hugely melodic, powerfully melancholic, and massively expressive "Inferno" is a fine piece of gothic metal, and fans of Crematory and late 90s Paradise Lost should definitely check it out.

(review originally posted at seaoftranquility.org)

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