EPHEL DUATH – Through My Dog’s Eyes (2009)

Ephel Duath - Through My Dog's EyesConsidering how crushing a disappointment Ephel Duath’s previous album, Pain Necessary To Know proved to be, I approached Through My Dog’s Eyes with caution. Unbeknown to me, however, was the fact that even approaching this album at all was a colossal mistake.

Before I paint the ugly picture of how utterly shitty Through My Dog’s Eyes is, allow me to first map the career trajectory of Ephel Duath for you, the (presumably) uninitiated reader. Back in 2000, Ephel Duath released Phormula, a ho-hum black metal record whose single most defining attribute lay in the fact that it was written by a band from Italy (take that, True Frozen North!). However, in 2003, the band released The Painter’s Palette, a maddeningly weird hybrid of death metal and jazz. If you’re thinking it’s somehow along the lines of Cynic or Atheist, you’re mistaken. If ever there was an album that could give legitimacy to “crossover” as a genre, The Painter’s Palette was it. Davide Piovesan (a jazz drummer by trade) supplied a jazz framework for every song, and the band went absolutely apeshit in it. But not just any kind of apeshit. No, they went apeshit in style. Within the opening seconds of The Painter’s Palette’s first track (The Passage (Pearl Grey)), there’s a trumpet solo, hardcore screams galore and a jazzy bass breakdown. Needless to say, it was exhilarating, something that couldn’t be said for the band’s follow-up, Pain Necessary To Know .

Which brings me to this album: what in the hell were Earache thinking when they decided to release this? Through My Dog’s Eyes is a concept album about life, from the viewpoint of a dog. Alright, I’m gonna go ahead and give you a second to absorb that. waits Done? Okay. In case you were wondering, yes, it is unapologetically weird, but sadly, Ephel Duath don’t have the depth as a band anymore to pull it off (guitarist Davide Tiso is the only remaining member from the original lineup). Mr. Bungle could probably make something like this work. Ephel Duath can’t.

Musically, the album is a desultory mess of wah-wah hard rock bullshit tossed carelessly alongside stagnant, empty lounge muzak. For some reason, Ben Weinman (of The Dillinger Escape Plan) interjects his two cents into the final song of the album (Bark Loud), by wrapping up random sections of it in a layer of spastic electro-vomit. Wtih all due respect to Ben Weinman, he should’ve stayed the fuck home. As if Through My Dog’s Eyes needed any more help being both thoroughly incomprehensible and thoroughly unnecessary.

If you haven’t listened to The Painter’s Palette, please, go do so. And don’t come anywhere near this monstrosity. As for me, I’ve got an album to resell. And pronto.

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One Response to “EPHEL DUATH – Through My Dog’s Eyes (2009)”

  1. […] IHSAHN – After (2010) Ihsahn was destined to have a solo career – anyone who heard Emperor’s final album, Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire and Demise, knows this. That album was entirely composed by (and produced) Ihsahn, and from it, you could get a clear handle as to what direction any future music he might compose would be moving towards. And though it took him five years (during which time he worked with his wife Ihriel in both Peccatum and Star of Ash), we were finally treated to a proper Ihsahn solo album (The Adversary) in 2006. Angl followed in 2008, and now, in 2010, we have After. It’s worth noting that each of these albums has gotten decidedly more progressive in both structure and scope, with After being the most progressive of the bunch. Listening to it is sort of like listening to a weird blend of an uber-thrashy Emperor crossed with Porcupine Tree and Ephel Duath’s The Painter’s Palette (not that new crap). […]

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