EPHEL DUATH — The Painter's Palette

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EPHEL DUATH - The Painter's Palette cover
3.65 | 22 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2003

Tracklist

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 / screams
- Davide Piovesan / drums
- Davide Tiso / guitars
- Fabio Fecchio / bass
- Davide Tolomei / vocals

About this release

Full-length, Elitist Records, 2003

Thanks to UMUR for the updates

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EPHEL DUATH THE PAINTER'S PALETTE reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

UMUR
"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". It´s 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. It´s a long time since I´ve heard anything this unique from a metal act. Sure there are references to John Zorn´s 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 there´s 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 didn´t feel that it was upon my initial listen.

The musicianship on the album is simpy outstanding. The diverse nature of Davide Tiso´s 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 isn´t exactly new and wasn´t 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. You´ll 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 it´s got a raw organic feeling to it that I greatly enjoy. It´s not too sharp and clean like many other contemporary metal productions.

It´s quite amazing how much Ephel Duath have grown and developed their music style since the release of "Phormula" and if I didn´t 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 it´s release influenced loads of other acts. It´s 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. I´ll let time and further listening sessions decide if I´ll upgrade this one to a full 5.
Conor Fynes
'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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