Ephel Duath - Through my dog's eyes (Earache/Riot)

Many metal fans are likely to baulk at this release... I'm a pretty tolerant journo and even I didn't get through the whole thing.

This release is one that I think a lot of people - especially diehard metal fans - wouldn't really consider to be metal. Vocally, the release reminds me of certain styles of metalcore/rock crossovers, especially given the paired vocals at times. Parts of it are quite chunky, others are rather chilled out, smooth, with a country/bluesy tone to them.

The album features a syncopation that pops up occasionally; but it has an overtone of indie rock that some people will love and some people will hate. The construction of many tracks are interesting: some are gappy, a lot of them have a real 'road-trip' feel to them, and it appears that Ephel Duath have tried to do something interesting with their style. They've achieved it in the short-term, but in the whole-of-album sense, it does tend to get rather same-same, a bit tedious, not particularly original.

Many metal fans will, I dare say, baulk at the first track - but those who stick to it are likely to get bored, or even irritated, by the indie pop/rock sound that it has. In fact, parts of it totally smack of a young band from Byron Bay back in the late 90s called Eaglebuns; but I doubt a huge amount of people would have heard of them! Having said that, though, there's a huge energy here, and the band are good at what they do, and clearly enjoy it.

Many metalcore fans - especially the young'uns - are likely to get into this. As for your run-of-the-mill metalhead? Forget it. It's a different genre altogether. I'm a hugely tolerant listener compared to many metal journos, and even I didn't get through the whole thing.

Ephel Duath's Through My Dog's Eyes is out now on Earache/Riot.