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Brain-melting stuff - 68%

Daemonlord, February 9th, 2006

Where to start? How does one even go about reviewing, let alone categorising an album with such depth and ridiculous dynamism?! Oh well here goes… Ephel Duath’s 3rd release further pushes the boundaries of what can be classed as not just metal, but in fact music.

Massively influenced by the likes of John Zorn, crazy jazz and a plethora of Mike Patton side projects (most notably Mr Bungle) from their second album onwards (their first being very Emperor-esque inspired black metal), Ephel Duath stand well apart from the rest of the metal community due to their unconventional and eclectic style.

At times very much like Dillinger Escape Plan (no doubt thanks to the many days on the road with the band), albeit with more intelligent structuring to keep your concentration for more than a five minute song of spastic riffing and crazy time changes, their downfall comes in the form of the complete mind fuck which is dealt upon even trying to get your head around the music contained within the seemingly harmless piece of plastic.

Without wanting to use the ‘style over substance’ phrase, it certainly comes to mind at more than one occasion, even with extended listening (I actually owned the album before I’d been given it for review, so it’s certainly had a long time to fully soak in). The album is certainly an impressive musical feat, but for me it takes more than a few random riffs to tug my chain fully.

It can be more appreciated as an art form in my view, but for me it takes more than that to be enjoyed on a higher level, with the incongruous nature of the album taking the listeners patience to the very fullest extent. With the magazines fawning over this album, I ask myself the question, do people really love this as much as they say they do? Or are they simply bandwagon jumping to gain kudos with their similarly ‘elite’ colleagues in the press. The jury’s still out for me, but check it out, and make your own analysis.