Ephel Duath     

On Death And Cosmos

Agonia Records 2012

The new 3-song EP from Italian progressive post black metallers is quite a work to behold.  The intricacies woven through each song's structure are immediately evident as the release gets underway.  Black Prism is up first and I am immediately making mental comparisons to Death's later work with awkwardly paced, but interesting riffs slip and slide out from my speakers.  Then the song meanders towards progressive instrumentation that draws you in and takes you on journey that leaps from one soundscape to another.  Clean guitars, crazy drum fills, layered vocals, and so many other tangents that leave your mind spinning.   I am not huge on some of the different vocal approaches, like the attempts at purely sung phrases.  Raqia uses some stumbling clean guitars to open and I am instantly reminded of Eucharist's The Predictable End, only not as melodic.  This however is over so quickly and I am left wanting more.  Instead we journey further afield into non-linear song structures and disorienting drum lines that serve to rip any solid footing out from under the listener.  Stardust Rain continues with drumming insanity and those rough edged, almost black metal layered rasps.  The snares hit so sharply and punctuate the guitar patterns the leap, prance, and swirl around.  Despite the complex songwriting, there is a melodic undercurrent in this song that imbues the track with a sense of calm and a hint of regret.  The jazzy fingerwork and drumming remind me of a much darker Irepress.  Ephel Duath's new EP is quite an interesting and complicated set of compositions and prevent there from ever being any hint of a dull moment.  I am constantly being challenged and dizzy from the experience.  This is for fans of Death and Atheist but with a black metal bent!