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Ephel Duath frustrate me. Comparable in quality to Nine Inch Nails; when they're on fire, they create wondrous sonic journeys to challenge your perception of music. Conversely, sometimes, they suck. Granted, it's mainly when they elect to remix their works. They have yet to release a truly epic work however; one where each track can be considered a classic. Time will tell whether this album changes all that. Fortunately, 'Through My Dog's Eyes' has a very good chance of doing just that. I listened to each track and didn't feel musically inept at any stage. Sure, I'm never going to be able to play like Davide Tiso (but then who can?), or even arrange songs as he does. However, for the first time, the virtuosity isn't rammed down your throat. Each track is crafted as a song, rather than a series of clever twists and turns. At times, it reminded me of Primus at their peak. The typical censoring ruined the experience of course; when an album contains so many changes in pace and feel, you can soon lose your place when a song is interrupted by a five-second beep. And yes, I'm going to harp on about this until my eyes bleed with rage. As for the story, it's hard to really connect with the concept of a dog's thoughts. Perhaps James Herbert's 1977 novel 'Fluke' was an inspiration. Either way, it's unusual enough to illicit interest, but ultimately leaves me feeling a little bit torn as to whether I got anything from this lyrically. The vocals are very diverse here; ranging from hardcore gang-landing to off-key ramblings. Some work has definitely gone into the phrasing and tonality. Quite whether it is supposed to reflect the varying moods of the titular canine is hard to judge, but it's effective none-the-less. This makes it all the more sad that Luciano has since left the band. Hopefully Guillermo Gonzalez has a similar range for the future; not ape his predecessor, but to retain the diversity evident. In closing, you know if you are more than likely going to like this or not without hearing it. For those who are new to Ephel Duath however, this is as good a starting point as any. Then work your way backwards and understand the evolution and sheer (almost consistent) brilliance of this unique band. The dog's bollocks then?
Review by Steve Cowan
26th Jan 2009
1) Gift
2) Promenade
3) Breed
4) Silent Door
5) Bella Morte
6) Nina
7) Guardian
8) Spider Shaped Leaves
9) Bark Loud
"...for the first time, the virtuosity isn't rammed down your throat. Each track is crafted as a song, rather than a series of clever twists and turns."