Sound — 10
I hope you enjoy it, because it's what you'll be listening to throughout this album. Italy's Ephel Duath combines jazzy metal riffs with passages that will make you feel as if you've been thrown into a European cafe. The dissonant chords used frequently in the riffing, combined with both harsh and gloomy vocals, create an excellent atmosphere. Jazzy clean guitar passages are mixed in frequently with the distorted riffs, creating a nice variety within each track. Often, traditional jazz instruments are employed in creating the unique sound of Ephel Duath. The drums and bass also work together in furthering the jazzy metal sound produced by this band. While on paper, the sound of jazz and metal mixing may sound absurd, Ephel Duath pulls it off easily and makes it sound completely natural, never losing flow.
Lyrics — 8
Ephel Duath has two singers, one who does clean vocals and one who screams like a madman. The clean vocals are pulled off excellently and further the atmosphere with the unique note choice of the singer. The screamed vocals however, while being very suitable to the music, do not sound good. The screams are high pitched and difficult to understand. While there are other styles of harsh vocals that are far more pleasing to the ear, I can't see them being used in a band like this. Ocassionally however, the screams do sound very well done, and always further the atmosphere of this album. The lyrics are typical of heavier music and are obviously not the main focus of this album, that belongs to the skillfully crafted, technical instrumentation.
Overall Impression — 9
The Painter's Palette leaves a very good mark on the musical world. If you are a fan of metal, jazz, or music which sounds different from other music, I suggest looking in to Ephel Duath. The music written on this album is very well composed and performed. The atmosphere of gloom and despair which pervades this CD only adds to the great music. The whole thing sounds like a soundtrack to a mental breakdown, this mental breakdown, however, has awesome music.