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Ephel Duath - Pain Necessary To Know
Italian jazz-metal maestros Ephel Duath (or Shadow Mountains as heralded colleague and self proclaimed fantasy nerd Carn pointed out clearly to me) are back with their latest discordant master piece 'Pain Necessary To Know'. 'The Painter's Palette'  hovered somewhere in the top 5 of my 2003 yearlist, so as you can imagine I had high hopes for this album as well. And I wasn't dissapointed, but the realisation of that sole fact took me quite a few spins because this isn't your average Joe metal of course.
Described in their biography as the bastard child of Primus, Mr. Bungle and Dillinger Escape Plan, Ephel Duath take the hard road of creating raw, experimental, jazz/fusion infused, dark 'rock' (I really can't call it metal anymore). The traces of their black-metal past have almost completely dissapeared, at least musically speaking. The nasty atmosphere 'true' black-metal used to create is faithfully recreated here, only the tools are radically different... And that alone is already a great accomplishment.
Another difference with the last album is that the saxophone and the clean (Dredg like sounding) vocals have dissapeared. A lot of melody and 'catchy'  elements have also gone with them. Most of the tracks have long instrumental passages anyway, the screaming vocals only being used when absolutely needed, and a few spoken word sections here and there.
So what 'is' going on this album then, with so much taken away? Well, I really don't know but it eventually grabbed me by the nuts and didn't let me go. The creative use of samples, the guitar tone from tube-hell, the playful and at the same time disturbing jazzy interludes, it all adds up to a somewhat haunting experience...The best description would probably be Khanate on speed, with Stephen O' Malley doing some jazz-lessons at the same time as strange as that may sound. What it does indicate is that Ephel Duath have really come onto their own, creating an album that doesn't really has standout tracks (or songs at all for that matter) but should be listened as a cohesive whole.

It's a 38 minute trip down jazzy dark lanes full of monsters, psychotics and all things unpleasant, which gets better and better everytime I hear it. 'Revel in the intentional discomfort' as the bio tells us. I say: Yearlist here we come.
Ephel Duath - Pain Necessary To Know
96/1001Details Elitist Records / Earache Records
Released on Monday Oct 31st, 2005

Writer @Ce-El-Wan on Tuesday Nov 15th, 2005

Tags: #Ephel Duath
Tracklisting 1. New Disorder
2. Vector, Third Movement
3. Pleonasm
4 Few Stars, No Refrain and A Cigarette
5. Crystalline Whirl
6. I Killed Rebecca
7. Vector
8. Vector, Second Movement
9. Imploding
Line up Luciano Lorusso George - vocals
Fabio Fecchio - bass
Davide Tiso - guitars and spare time instruments
Riccardo Pasini - synths and manipulations
Davide Piovesan - drums