Released: 2003, Elitist/Earache Records
Reviewer: Night of the Realm
Bizarre doesn’t even begin to describe the crazy sound laid down by Italy’s Ephel Duath. Davide Tiso, guitarist, songwriter, and the only original Ephel Duath member left has brought in an entirely new line-up for THE PAINTER’S PALETTE, and with it comes an entirely new, and even stranger sound.
As Ephel Duath have bothered to release an album this boring, it would only seem fair that I return the favour and trash it properly, but I simply cannot bring myself to it. Instead of the “evil circus music and death metal” from the first album, Ephel Duath have gone totally jazz-fusion, with but a tattered shred of metal remaining. Scream-core vocals, a blare of brassy trumpets, funky bass lines, and many jazz breakdowns
It would seem that Davide Tiso rounded up some of his favourite albums, probably looking something like the entire catalogs of Cynic, Gordian Knot, Miles Davis, Arcturus, Green Carnation, Opeth, and Porcupine Tree. Then, he must have thrown each album simultaneously into the CD player, put the entire mess on shuffle, and tried to replicate the cacophony. (Mind you, I am a big fan of Cynic, Miles Davis, Arcturus, and Opeth)
My fucking god. The prog elitists are going to shit their pants over this as being the most “Ground breaking, breathaking, innovative, blah, blah, blah...I’m gagging on Opeth’s cock here.”
It’s not that I am averse to jazz, prog, or experimental music; it’s the fact that Ephel Duath cannot wrote a coherent fifteen consecutive seconds to save their lives. If THE PAINTER’S PALETTE were stripped down to its pure jazz-fusion elements, I would enjoy it a hell of a lot more. I mean, there are some awesome jazzy breaks strewn here and there. Instead, the amalgamation of the totally unrelated styles makes this album 46 minutes of unlistenable hell.
To make the torture worse, the label issued me a promotional copy on which each of the 9 tracks is broken down into smaller tracks (though it is still a complete album) ranging from ten seconds to about a minute in length as an attempt to prevent piracy. Guess what? Didn’t work. I’m pissed off that I had to waste valuable bandwidth to download the fixed complete, consecutive songs, and that the chopped promo copy will not play in my truck’s CD player, where I listen to most of my metal while commuting to school. I can’t write off Elitist Records completely, as the young Earache Records offshoot label has already put out great releases by young bands Rakoth and Forest Stream.
Speaking of school, my greatest enjoyment of this album came at about 3am while studying. In my sleep-deprived state while I was listening to this album and reading a 40-page reference paper (for the record, one can only review the synthesis of poly-amine organic hydrocarbons as novel anti-tumor agents for so long before insanity sets in), when I was struck by a brilliant idea. I decided to put the album, and all 98 of its chopped-up tracks, on shuffle play. I still can’t determine if the random play made the album more or less coherent.
Though only 46 minutes in length, this piece is so awful that it seems like it will never end. I would rather self-administer a gallon-size enema bag and pass out, quivering, on the floor than experience the torture of Ephel Duath again. Even my dog hates this.