The Path of Self-Rephormulation
CoC talks to Davide of Ephel Duath
by: Adrian Bromley
Even in the face of something as severe as losing a key entity within the band, Ephel Duath member Davide (guitar/synth) is very optimistic of the future of his band and about how he will get past this temporary dilemma.

"This is just something I have to face and deal with my own way", says Davide in a thick Italian accent. "Giuliano (vocals, guitars, bass, synth and programming) recently left the band because of personal reasons and that makes me the single composer now in the band. It'll be a challenge for me for sure."

With their album _Rephormula_ just released via Earache imprint label Elitist Records, you'd think that this would be a terrible way for this eccentric avantgarde Italian black metal band to get things going for a new label.

"That's right, his leaving couldn't have come at a worse time. It has been a terrible time indeed, but right now I am currently working with a bunch of musicians who are helping me keep this band alive and creating music", says Davide with assurance. "Giuliano was the band's main composer, so his loss is felt strongly now, but I have had to put things together and try to make things happen and not let this incident ruin the band. Right now ideas are forming and things are going very fast for Ephel Duath in regards to new compositions. I have lots of ideas ready and I trust they will make the future worth it."

The music of the band is rich of ideas and arrangements, influenced heavily by older era Emperor, but still flowing with a real dark, gothic vibe and luscious avantgarde song structures. It must have taken a long time to get all of these songs assembled?

"You'd think by listening to this record that that was the case, but in reality a lot of the ideas that Ephel Duath does when composing songs are very spontaneous. I know the arrangements are pretty intricate and full of some technical ideas, but we really do not plan out much. It just flows from within us. We love to have spontaneity with what we do, a lot of it comes from the initial guitar lines that act as a skeleton for the song at hand. Then we add drum machine parts and onto the keyboards and finally the vocals. We try to keep our ideas very open to every style of influence and bring that somehow into what we do."

He adds, "For example, now with some of the new stuff we are working on, '70s prog music is finding a way into what we do. It will be interesting to see what comes out of this, won't it?"

And what about the influence of black metal giants Emperor, a band whose sound is no doubt part of the make of Ephel Duath?

"Oh yes", the frontman agrees. "Without a doubt. Emperor was a huge influence in the early stages of this band and what we had accomplished musically. If you listen to our demo _Opera_ (which is included on the release of Rephormula) you can really hear the Emperor style of vocals and complex guitar parts. Nowadays, while we still look to Emperor for inspiration and influence, I find that we are now highly impressed by the works of Opeth, Katatonia, Ulver and Solefald. As well as what I mentioned above, '70s prog rock (King Crimson, Pink Floyd) and jazz are influencing what we are creating too."

With all of these ideas running rampant and multiple influences tickling the sense of creativity, what instigates the need to write material for Davide? What gets the ball rolling?

"I don't know, really", he laughs. "It just happens sometimes. I just start writing. I'll just be there with a guitar and things will start coming to me -- I am so excited when things start to take shape and I can put musical ideas together. There is nothing like that. And now that I am the only composer left to generate ideas, it is actually more exciting for me knowing that I'll be able to create numerous new songs and arrangements for Ephel Duath."

Talking to Davide, you really get to feel and hear the passion in his voice when he talks about the music of Ephel Duath. This isn't just some metalhead rocker out to right a killer riff and play it loud and get wasted. This is about making something vivid and passionate with his musical talent. To bring life to an idea and have it make an impact on the listener. Davide is a dedicated musician who believes in his strengths and talents as a musician.

"Music is very important to me, and without it, I would be a very different person", Davide states. "This is the only way I can explore and explain my inner emotions to people. I put a lot of hard work into what I do, and I find sometimes when I write lyrics or music for the band, I really dig deep into my soul and pull out certain ideas and thoughts that I can't even seem to comprehend. The best thing about making music is that I get to express what I want. I get to control how much I want to give out to the music fans and how it will be assembled. I also love the idea that strangers get to experience my own thoughts and compositions."

Davide ends off by saying, "I see my music as a deep experience, a sort of cleansing of my inner soul. It is hard to explain, but I think I did my best to let you know just how important this is to me. It truly means the world to me to create music, and I hope people walk away from my band feeling that as well."

(article submitted 3/7/2002)

10/25/2000 P Azevedo 8 Ephel Duath - Phormula
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