Howls of Ebb
Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows


4.2
excellent

Review

by Xenophanes STAFF
March 6th, 2016 | 353 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows" exists for those who weren't already aware that Howls of Ebb are the best death metal act currently making music.

"Sully your minds by attempting to explain what the sounds of The Sour Bogs of Mars spilling upon vapid flesh is like; or perhaps, wondering if its possible to explain the sound of psychic cadence bombing your deep synapse?"

That's an actually line from the promotional materials handed out for Howls of Ebb's second record, Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows. Full of "incorporeal fetid and morbid darkness," the band surrounds itself with a high level of questionably tongue in cheek insanity. Howls of Ebb occupy a strange existential place where you aren't sure how "aware" they are of their own absurdity. Album titles like Vigils of the Third Eye are so excruciatingly "metal" in their approach that it feels like some rabbit hole of schlock pretentiousness. It all seeks to undermine the fact that Howls of Ebb are simply one of the most fascinating death metal acts currently making music.

Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows takes the best parts of Howls of Ebb's twisted and psychedelic EP, The Marrow Veil and packages it in the same manner as their debut. Cursus Impasse, because of this, exists as a morbid and confounding experiment compartmentalized into a traditional death metal record. Songs have relatively clear begins that give way to standard structures. It's clean and tight and oddly enough it works. Some might bemoan that Howls of Ebb didn't craft another set of songs that fell like a fireball into the abyss. Some might be turned off by the set of seven pieces that tie together but exist separately. Understandable, but Howls of Ebb present their music in a way that is both startling challenging and heinously fun.

The series of vignettes that Howls of Ebb have created allows the band to experiment in microcosms, rather than in long form. The opening track, "The 6th Octopul'th Grin" hurdles forth as menacing and scornful piece of raw metal; an explosive introduction that belies the existence of the multifaceted work yet to come. After all, the band dips into strange and winding bouts of doom and psychedlia quite often. Their signature sound ensures that it's as eerie and unsettling as possible, though, which only fuels the strange atmosphere surrounding the album.

Howls of Ebb have never been a death metal band that adhered to "riffs" as their method of attack. When they do manage to throw a catchy guitar line in there, it never really hits hard. The riffs don't fall flat, but rather, skirt alongside the swirling sounds that threaten to consume them. What they do manage is to make an infectious slab of death metal with tracks like "Cabals of Molder" and "Subliminal Lock." These tracks are perfectly written, bruised only slightly by a production that feels somewhat hollow in parts.

Howls of Ebb cannot be given enough praise for what they've manage to accomplish in only a few short years. Topping themselves with a perfect concoction of their first two releases, the band has made an immense and incredibly work of death metal with their sophomore album. It's a bold and winding masterwork of metal that shows how keenly aware the band is to every little facet of the genre. Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows is an album that needs to be heard.



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user ratings (147)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2016


482 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2 | Sound Off

God I love this band so much

Digging: Mothers - When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired

Ryus
March 5th 2016


13437 Comments


omg

Digging: Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked At Me

Hawks
March 5th 2016


48053 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Never jammed the debut, but the EP is pretty sweet. Def gonna give this a go.

Digging: Thou - Heathen

ShadowRemains
March 5th 2016


24501 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

waitwut



needneedneed

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2016


482 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2 | Sound Off

It's good, fam

tempest--
March 5th 2016


19598 Comments


"heinously fun."
excellent

AdolfChrist
March 5th 2016


9263 Comments


my stokeage for this album increases.

Digging: Indian - Guiltless

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2016


1444 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rules, band can do no wrong.



Beautiful write up too, except for the first sentence after the quote where you've written "actually" instead of "actual". Same thing in the last paragraph; "incredibly" should be "incredible". Mind pos.

Digging: Sunless - Urraca

Cygnatti
March 5th 2016


31124 Comments


oh my, sounds like a jam :D

Digging: Zebra Katz - Ima Read

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2016


9823 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you love your 4.2's huh



excited for this

Digging: Fen - Winter

zaruyache
March 5th 2016


16332 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

stop taunts me, staff

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2016


9823 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"hurdles forth as menacing and scornful piece of raw metal"



missing an "a" after "as"





ZippaThaRippa
March 5th 2016


9262 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I don't know about catchiest 'ever'

ZippaThaRippa
March 5th 2016


9262 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Forever is a long time

ZippaThaRippa
March 5th 2016


9262 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJLjuJJSDvE

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
March 6th 2016


482 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2 | Sound Off

"you love your 4.2's huh



excited for this"



It's the perfect rating ; )

brainmelter
March 6th 2016


3618 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yaaaaaaaaaaaas, have to hear this

will read review later

Digging: Guided by Voices - Bee Thousand

Inveigh
March 6th 2016


26175 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

mannnnnn this is like 6 weeks away from being released, stop teasing

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
March 6th 2016


1444 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good things come to those who wait ;)

Inveigh
March 6th 2016


26175 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

touche i guess, but damn jaq spread the love



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