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Album Of The Month April 2016
Howls Of Ebb| ‘Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows’


How utterly, utterly strange.

It’s not just the first reaction hearing this – it’s probably the only reaction.

Because it stays that way with every spin.

Taking monstrous underground extreme metal places it genuinely hasn’t been to before isn’t easy.

But I think Howls Of Ebb might just be doing it.

A couple of years ago, Andy flagged up their debut as a bizarre little gem not to be missed. How right he was.

The insanity of this record is hard to capture in words, but what’s certain is its inherent grooviness that stretches right back to the likes of Celtic Frost, Nocturnus and the dawn of the underground.

Disgustingly Difficult

This disgusting, difficult but absorbing album kicks off in a flurry of blasts and bellows, grabbing you tight with its tentacles and thrashing you around for dear life.

The guitar tone is like few things you’ll have heard before – an even stranger ‘Ordo Ad Chao’ perhaps, or Dodheimsgard, or Virus – yet it works like crazy.

It’s thin and weedy, but at the same time has a definite warmth and permanent, weird buzz, like the noise you hear when you stand too close to electricity pylons. It fizzes with its own field of energy. It sounds like Darth Vader’s voice from the latest Star Wars. I’ve never heard the like of it.

And that’s before the tortured, wailing, howling solos. Remember the first time you heard Jeff Hanneman’s crying solo in ‘Necrophobic’? They have that same chilling human feel to them.

Lovecraftian

‘Cabals Of Molder’ almost defies description it’s so odd. In fact for much of this record, the only comparison I feel able to make is like Fleurety or Swallowed’s similarly bonkers-but-brilliant ‘Lunarterial’.

Despite being so adverse to try to listen to, it’s its own story, it’s own world.

It is deliciously Lovecraftian- a jumble of images and unwords writhing around in a giant maw.

There is power too though. And a certain stilted groove. The madly titled ‘7 Ascetic Cinders, 8 Dowries of gA’nOm’ (answers on a postcard to the usual address) has a bit of Virus about it, and gives the impression of some horrid little creature ferreting about in a tomb.

The lightning fast drumming and utterly obscure playing style also reminds me of Absu and their madcap main man Proscriptor. In fact now I think of it, there’s a pretty huge Absu influence across this, and it’s audible in ‘Subliminal Lock – A Precursor To Vengeance’.

Dig that creepy riff in the middle with those shimmering mirror notes above it… it’s is almost frightening.

Rare Commodity

You just have to hear it. Despite the comparisons above, it is absolutely unlike anything else. Howls Of Ebb have created a voice that’s entirely their own, which is a rare commodity even in the underground anymore.

It feels like if you could touch this music you’d get an electric shock.

What’s even better is that despite all this strangeness, it has real songs. Songs that you keep wanting to hear to get the measure of. And that’s a fantastic sign. So too is the surpassing artwork.

A weird and absolutely wonderful mind-melter of an album. Have it.

4.6/5 – Earl Grey ::: 14/04/16



14 Comments
  1. Great to see HoB getting album.of the month. They are a truly unique experience! Looking forward to getting this on vinyl.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I find this a lot more restrained and straight forward than the Debut or Mlp !! Still deadly though

  3. That track is deadly!

  4. OpenSores Says:

    Embarrassed to say I’ve never checked this abomination out previously. Very impressed by what I’m hearing.

  5. open face surgery Says:

    Had this on again yesterday. Quality stuff but as I said before I still need to give more time to the debut and EP.

  6. I’m impressed with that track must give the album a go. The tone for the leads is brilliant.

  7. bad reputation Says:

    Wasn’t gone on this on my first listen, but it’s infectious – I’ve come back to it a few times in the last 2 days. It’s a classy act, especially love that stuff going on from around the 3 minute mark on.

  8. leatherface Says:

    Is this on sale yet?? Seems to be just a pre-order at the moment.

  9. Eoin McLove Says:

    Only the tape version is available at the moment through Caligari Records.

  10. leatherface Says:

    Will have to be patient so..

  11. Smythsonian Says:

    That is very refreshing and inspiring! The guitar tone sounds like it came straight from a haunted strat unearthed from a desert ruin. Love the treatment of the vocals as well, they sound vicious as hell over the blasting in the first few minutes especially.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    @Leatherface: If you preorder the CD directly from the I, Voidhanger bandcamp you’ll get a download of the album right away to tide you over until the CD arrives.

  13. great album. Probably one of the only bands where I can say I’ve never heard anything it like before. Though I still think I prefer their debut which is a bit more demented.

  14. Angel of Debt Says:

    I’ve not heard metal put together like this before, genuinely unsettling and entrancing. Can’t stop listening to this and the previous one now.

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