Sound: If you've known Ephel Duath, then you've known never to expect that any personal speculation on their upcoming material will be correct. These Italian avant-garde explorers have always thrown several crates full of spanners into their musical works with each album, but this time around they appear to be chucking not only spanners, but Pedigree doggy treats into the mix. That's right, in another bout of eclectic weirdness Ephel Duath have made their new album about a dog. God help us all.
You'll be glad to hear, though, that musically the album seems to be detached from its concept, as is evident from the absence of Baha Men samples. This album is based very much around the detuned guitar parts and the various muddy rhythms that they conjure, however for a band based far more around texture and rhythm than melody Ephel Duath really need some more variety. 'Through My Dog's Eyes' is a pretty short album of nine songs and 30 minutes, but it is still incredibly difficult not to get tired of the dire repetition in just about every department. // 4
Lyrics: The narrative in 'Through My Dog's Eyes' begins with I have a present for you/It's a cat!/Do you like it?/As the cat decomposes/do you like it? Now, my first impression was actually quite positive; it's very quirky and has more than a little humour to match an audience's perplexed reaction. However, Davide Tiso's lyrics can, in places, delve into unnecessarily philosophical territory where Pluto becomes Plato and all of sudden we are meant to believe that a singing dog is the solution to all of humanity's problems. The vocals themselves are capable, blending in pretty well with the rough-around-the-edges tone of the album. The only problem is that Guillermo Gonzalez's voice becomes less animated as the lyrics do, and so the childish charm of opener 'Gift' is completely lost by 'Guardian'. // 5
Overall Impression: So, once the novelty wears off, how good is 'Through My Dog's Eyes'? The answer is 'not very'. It does have it's moments (mostly found in 'Gift' and 'Silent Door'), but for it's entire duration this album doesn't stray from the one sound the band seems to have decided on. For some bands this can work, but this record is not so much Ephel Duath's typical thinking outside of the box as it is Ephel Duath finding another very small, unused box and locking themselves in it. // 4