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Review: Ephel Duath - RePhormula
Ephel Duath

Label: Elitist Records
Year released: 2002
Duration: 74:19
Tracks: 13
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 5/5

Review online: May 7, 2002
Reviewed by: Dakuroth
Readers Rating

Rated 3.4/5 (68%) (5 Votes)

"The new dawn of black metal", proclaims the sticker on the front of this reissued debut from Italian avant-gardists Ephel Duath. Talk about putting the cat among the pigeons. But for once the music actually lives up to the claims of its creators. This is very impressive stuff.

First, though, a warning. If the only black metal you listen to is Darkthrone and you thought the last Emperor album was too complicated then steer well clear. This is complex, mind-bending stuff, blending black metal atmospherics and progressive technicality, flavored with elements of almost every genre imaginable. Layers of harsh guitars and atmospheric synths are driven by an unfeasibly fast drum machine, with screaming vocals, broken up by digital ambience and clear singing. The result is a record that feels more like a single elongated onslaught on your mind than a collection of distinct songs. This is not easy listening, and will probably require a few listens before it really grabs you. But perseverance is rewarded, because this is an album of rare depth and character that stands out from much of the dire retreads released today. It really is hard to fault this.

"RePhormula" comprises the band's "Phormula" debut, two remixes and three tracks from the bands' "Opera" demo. The remixes are not to my taste, but the demo tracks compare well to the album proper. Basically, if you like your music straightforward and uncomplicated, avoid; you will hate this. But if you like technical, elaborate and powerful music, this is pretty much perfect.

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