Rating:
5.0
Ephel Duath - Hemmed By Light, Shaped By Darkness
19 November 2013


01. Feathers Under My Skin
02. Tracing The Path Of Blood
03. When Mind Escapes Flesh
04. Within This Soil
05. Those Gates To Nothing
06. Through Flames I Shield
07. Hemmed By Light
08. Shaped By Darkness


What Ephel Duath gave us here is a collection of sort of bizarre riffs and sort of bizarre time-signaturing and sort of bizarre vocals that seem like they were tossed together more for the sake of seeming bizarre than for the sake of making good music.

That's the impression I'm getting. I don't listen to much prog and psychedelic stuff, and these guys seem to be wading in proggy and psychedelic(ish) territory on this, but I doubt that anyone who likes said types of music will find much to enjoy on this anyway.

Songs all start out in a promising enough way here (either weirdly or in a catchy way), but they never seem to go anywhere. It feels like these guys were trying too hard to come off as ahead of the curve, putting the pursuit for solid tuneage to the back. There's a dishonest feel to the album as a whole, and that's the sort of thing that even a handful of good songs can't fully redeem.

And there really aren't a handful of good songs on this.

And even if there were more technical prowess (and there is some) from the guitarists, it wouldn't change the fact that the whole album is caked in vocals that sound more suiting for a roll call during an after school meeting of hot topicked satanists under the bleachers.

They seem to have been going for a bright, black metallic sort of sheen (maybe a Nachtmystium-y sheen), but what they ended up with and what we ended up with is some small piles of promising tidbits, then large heaps of motionless (and emotionless) moments that lack any kind of fire to keep things moving and interesting.

It's just not a good album.


Band profile: Ephel Duath
Album: Hemmed By Light, Shaped By Darkness


 



Written on 01.12.2013 by
wormdrink414
Wormdrink's real name is George and he works at a convenience store in the Eugene/Springfield area.
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BlueMobius - 01.12.2013 at 04:02  
I'm guessing this is your first experience with the band? They definitely aren't for everyone, which is evidenced in the range of reviews this album is receiving. This album will please fans of the band I think but will be hit or miss with those that are hearing them for the first time.
wormdrink414 - 01.12.2013 at 04:10  
Written by BlueMobius on 01.12.2013 at 04:02

I'm guessing this is your first experience with the band?

kinda. only heard an EP they put out a year or so ago, enjoyed it.
BlueMobius - 01.12.2013 at 04:22  
Written by wormdrink414 on 01.12.2013 at 04:10

Written by BlueMobius on 01.12.2013 at 04:02

I'm guessing this is your first experience with the band?

kinda. only heard an EP they put out a year or so ago, enjoyed it.

I think they are a band with one core songwriter, so the sound is always changing, for better or worse, from album to album. This is what Ephel Duath sounded like a decade ago when I first heard em: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX9cgbNMMEo&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Diverge - 01.12.2013 at 04:50  
Hmm I found it to be disappointing but certainly not 5-worthy.
Tristus Scriptor - 01.12.2013 at 07:25  
Karyn always reminded my 80s-kid ass of Judy Tenuta. (I know I'm old. Haha.) I do think it is bizarre (the word of the day?) that she ended up resurfacing in a band like this, though.
-Morbid- - 01.12.2013 at 13:59  
Written by Tristus Scriptor on 01.12.2013 at 07:25

Karyn always reminded my 80s-kid ass of Judy Tenuta. (I know I'm old. Haha.) I do think it is bizarre (the word of the day?) that she ended up resurfacing in a band like this, though.


I think (hope?) the only reason she surfaced again is because she married the guitarist/founding member/main songwriter of Ephel Duath, Davide Tiso. I'm not really a fan of her vocal work from what I've heard so far... although none of the Ephel Duath albums I've heard so far have had good vocals really.

I've only heard one song off this one, and same for the EP before it, but have a few of their albums and I can fully understand how/why someone would feel this way about their music and I think it is a very fair assessment.

I get the feeling that Tiso could write an album I really really enjoy because there are instrumental parts all over the albums that I love, although they are a bit spread out and, depending on my mood, the vocals can be hard to stomach between them. I'll probably pick this up when I spot it, while I wait with futile hopes that he will make an instrumental album that focuses more on his jazzy side.
Mr. Doctor - 01.12.2013 at 16:17  
Written by BlueMobius on 01.12.2013 at 04:02
This album will please fans of the band I think but will be hit or miss with those that are hearing them for the first time.

I think that's up for debate as most of the opinions I've heard/read (mine included) feel like they have gone downhill after the great Pain Necessary To Know...
Ritual_Suicide - 01.12.2013 at 21:07  
This review pretty much sums up my feelings on what I've heard from this album.
Tristus Scriptor - 01.12.2013 at 22:24  
I am VERY reluctant to have negative feelings because I love everything from old-school death, to depressive black metal, to happyass power metal, and I study the nuances of what the songwriters are attempting to pull off. I agree about the songwriter being able to entertain. Oddly enough, I actually like offsetting and jagged Frankenstein's Monster compositions. I was really just being funny about Karyn's chosen tones. I do applaud her ability to do what she does over and over and stay "strong" in her style.....whether it gels with me or not. I know sometimes, just sometimes, someone's songwriting choices are obvious dishonesty and forced. But I really don't hear that here. I just hear "I love WEIRD!" from the members.

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