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Album Reviews : Ephel Duath – Through My Dog's Eyes

By on January 24, 2009

Remember that ugly little mutt you saw in the pet shop window a while back? You know the one – it had that horrible wiry coat, an out of proportion head, it drooled everywhere and looked like it had been hit in the face by a bus. And do you also remember how, for some unexplainable reason, you instantly fell in love with it and wanted to take it home?

Ephel Duath’s latest album is that dog. Quite fitting too, as it happens to be a concept album written from the perspective of a dog. Don’t ask me how Davide Tiso managed to figure out what kind of music his dog would write, but it’s an intriguing idea nonetheless.

‘Through My Dog’s Eyes’ is an ugly, twisted half hour of music, but it’s oh so good. In a nutshell, it’s is a collection of groovy avant-garde tracks with a strong southern tinge to it. There are obvious jazz and funk influences throughout as well as some fuzzy sludge-tinged riffs here and there. Nothing ever really follows a typical structure, instead often sounding like an inspired improv session. Vocally, expect a bit of hardcore, post-metal, clean singing that doesn’t really fit into a category, and some splatters of whispering here and there. Just like the music, the vocals are all over the place. That’s as much detail as I’m going to give in regards to the music, because really, no matter what I write it’s just not going to paint an accurate picture.

The interesting thing is that despite it being extremely odd, it’s not difficult to listen to. The groove aspect means that it has a relatively smooth overall sound and regardless of how seemingly random a section may be, it never sounds out of place or badly written. I’m extremely grateful that it’s a short album though as there’s a lot to take in and multiple listens are required to really get a good grasp of each track.

I do have a couple of small critiques though, which are solely vocal orientated. There are times when the clean vocals just lean a bit too much toward that prepubescent metalcore end of the spectrum. Those moments are far and few between, but that’s still too many. The vocals are also a bit too prominent and I would’ve loved to hear a few longer instrumental passages. They’re only small issues though, and don’t take away from the album too much.

‘Through My Dog’s Eyes’ is a fascinating, enjoyable album that has no boundaries. If you like your music straightforward then this isn’t for you, and you’ve probably stopped reading the review before this point anyway. But if you’re interested in music that’s a bit different, and pushes the limits, then have a listen and see if it catches your fancy. 8.1/10

Band: Ephel Duath
Album: Through My Dog’s Eyes
Year: 2009
Genre: Avant-garde Metal/Rock
Label: Earache Records
Origin: Italy
myspace.com/ephelduath

Track listing:
1. Gift
2. Promenade
3. Breed
4. Silent Door
5. Bella Morte
6. Nina
7. Guardian <- Reviewers choice
8. Spider Shaped Leaves
9. Bark Loud

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.