Evil Dr. Smith : "Dillinger Escape Plan for the experienced.”
We had the Detroit proto-hard rockers from MC5 that (tried to) combine elements of hard rock and jazz, already way back in 1968. On their live album 'Ice Pick Slim' (one year before their revolutionary break-through album 'Kick Out The Jams') it resulted in smoky hard rocking jam sessions with a free jazz vibe. It wasn't really something that people like Ornette Coleman, Cecilt Taylor or Sun Ra would amaze, but it makes clear that already in the primary stage of hard rock music, musicians tried to combine it with jazz. Throughout the decades we have met other incarnations that mixed hard rock / metal with jazz (from Van Der Graaf via Cynic and Sieges Even to Naked City / Mr. Bungle and Motorpsycho's 'Roadwork Vol.2', etc.etc.), but since 'The Painter's Palette', the pioneering and revolutionary second album of Ephel Duath, the combination of (extreme) metal and jazz has found a new definition. Some press already made statements that it's not done to call Ephel Duath jazzmetal, but what else would you call it then? So, don't force it too much and just give it the most logical and appropriate name: Ephel Duath plays jazzmetal, or better: jazzmetal is Ephel Duath.
'Pain Necessary To Know' goes even further than its already exhilarating frantic predecessor. The album sounds like a long improvising session wherein extreme metal eruptions compete with freaky jazz twirls for your attention. The first few spins it all may sound like a fascinating collage of ideas and sounds (or it'll give you an exploding headache), but then it slowly started to become coherent and even logic. It's even freer from limitations on expression and with musical infiniteness Ephel Duath manoeuvres through a complex accumulation of schizophrenic time signatures, unexpected moods and moves, bizarre tempo breaks and more of these typical music related terms to explain the wizardry and challenging level of its music. It made me also think of a live performance I saw from the Swedish free-jazz punkers of The Thing, of which Ephel Duath is like their screamo-metal equivalence.
Despite the distinguish and highly original sound Ephel Duath, there are still a few other significant differences with 'Painter's Palette'. Screamer Lucio Lorusso sung all vocals on this album, having no vocal counterbalance from the singer-songwriter-like vocals of Davide Tolomei, who had left the band shortly after 'Painter's Palette'. The band chooses also not to invite an usual and, for rock music, highly exotic music instrument (like the trumpet on 'Painter's Palette'). Two elements that gave thrilling surplus value to that album and therefore could have benefit the adventurous aspect of this album, which is, let's not forget, already pretty extreme. It surely will cost lots of investment hours for the progressive freaks among us, that is if they want to understand the cryptic but praiseworthy value of 'Pain Necessary To Know'. In this issue you can find an interview with the mastermind of this remarkable band.