Ephel Duath – The Painter's Palette

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.

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)

Line-up:

* Luciano George Lorusso – screams
* Davide Piovesan – drums
* Davide Tiso – guitars
* Fabio Fecchio – bass
* Davide Tolomei – vocals

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