The Painter's Palette
Review by Allan on July 11, 2003.
I've always found myself to enjoy those albums that are a bit more innovative than say those that are absolutely perfect in performance or song writing. Something unique and creative is far more liberating for the listener than something we've all heard a dozen times already, except the next time it's just done that little better. That is why I am quite fond of Ephel Duath and their latest release "The Painter's Palette."
Quite a progression has happened since Ephel Duath's debut "Phormula" (later to be re-released as "Re-Phormula"). Whereas "Phormula" had it's moments and was a bit underdeveloped, "The Painter's Palette" is a solid album throughout and is far more mature. Those of you who weren't too keen on "Phormula" owe it to yourself to check "The Painter's Palette" out, seeing as the slate has been wiped clean and this is a new start. In fact, the only remaining member from "Phormula" is main-man Davide Tiso. Ephel Duath has now been blessed with a virtuoso line-up consisting of hardcore-esque vocalist Luciano George Lorusso, professional jazz drummer Davide Piovesan, progressive bassist Fabio Fecchio, and clean vocalist Davide Tolomei. Yes, that is three Davide's in the band.
Such a diverse line-up is bound to produce something interesting. That is exactly what happened. It's a big statement to say that Ephel Duath are utterly treading new ground with "The Painter's Palette," so I'll refrain. Rather, I'll say that Ephel Duath are taking what so many bands have tried to do and failed, and are doing it right. Ephel Duath, more specifically Tiso, put their song writing skills to the absolute max and craft something that cohesively blends together multiple styles into the form of a dark, progressive metal opus.
One of the styles thrown into this progressive mixture is jazz. Countless bands have tried continuously to bring the age-old element to the metal genre, but have only succeeded in poorly throwing in only jazz sections instead of fully integrating it into the song. Ephel Duath succeed in fully incorporating jazz into the songs, be it through the style of the riffs, the occasional trumpet use, or Piovesan's drumming. Countless other aspects of "The Painter's Palette" also substantiate this claim.
The only other thing necessary to point out is that you rarely find somebody as ambitious as Tiso. The music of Ephel Duath is extremely intelligent, well crafted, creative, and dare I say original. There are things you can hear in the music of Ephel Duath that aren't common.
Bottom Line: "The Painter's Palette" is the type of album that doesn't come along very often. It's not a perfect album, but it does show a band still trying to push ahead. That's far more important.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 8.8 out of 10