by Paul Lee
I’m all for infusing Emperor influences into your music, but this Italian duo overuse Isahn and company’s symphonic style and the thin production and mediocre drum machine don’t help. This is a re-release of Ephel Duath‘s debut that’s been remastered by a guy who’s worked with the mighty Opeth, but Ephel Duath failed to impress me. They have some decent musical ideas and talent, but they want to cram so many riffs, keyboard sounds and time changes into their music that they’re willing to sacrifice memorable songs for complexity. This CD reminds me of how the Italian horror cinema has spawned some unique fare like The Beyond that ultimately loses its effectiveness because of huge plot holes and too much reliance on eye candy over clarity. The same goes for Ephel Duath in musical terms. They may well have a future if they can follow their own path and get beyond the Norwegian cloning tendencies, but they have a long way to go.
(43 West 38th St. 2nd Fl New York, NY 10018)