Adding yet another surprising twist to Ephel Duath's already unconventional career path -- one that has seen them evolve from a somewhat predictable black metal band into free jazz-inspired avant-garde extremists of the genre -- 2007's Pain Remixes the Unknown finds the risk-taking Italians leaving the analog world behind for an immersive electro-digital adventure. In fact, it's often almost impossible to recognize the original source material, culled from 2005's critically acclaimed Pain Necessary to Know LP, within the drastic remixes delivered by ambient dub producer and musician Eraldo Bernocchi. And, needless to say, there's very, very little that one might consider remotely metallic remaining in the nine movements (all simply named "Hole" and neatly numbered in sequence) contained herein -- lest you count the occasional lingering traces of agonized screeching, brief, quasi-industrial passages, or general sense of atmospheric foreboding. Rather, Bernocchi has utterly deconstructed and then completely reassembled Ephel Duath's work in the ambient techno image of Aphex Twin or Autechre, then invites another outside collaborator, singer Lorenzo Esposito Fornasari, to graft vocals onto several tracks -- thus incrementing their alien-ness to Ephel Duath fans and conservative headbangers alike. Both of these factions should therefore beware of entering here, but there may not be that many of them, given the fair warning of Ephel Duath's daring transformations past.
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AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia