Howls of Ebb - The Marrow Veil
I, Voidhanger Records
Experimental black/death
3 songs (34:34)
Release year: 2015
I, Voidhanger Records
Reviewed by Charles
Here is a very interesting short EP. Howls of Ebb is a three-person project from California, who play an experimentally-inclined and somewhat creepy kind of extreme metal. While there aren’t many genuine black metal tropes herein musically-speaking (though the imagery and band aesthetics would suggest that scene), I was reminded strongly of a project like Wormlust. Here we have a similar penchant for grumbling, almost-psychedelic grooves, which tend to twist and drop suddenly into eerie near-silence, before chuntering inexorably back again. But having said that, the dark mid-tempo rock feel of some of the bass hooks used throughout also put me in mind of a more extreme metal-oriented version of a Mike Patton project such as Tomahawk.

Excluding the very short middle track which is mostly there for ambiance, there are two real offerings here. The first (Standing in Bedlam, Burning in Bliss) is almost twenty minutes long but actually has a very cohesive structure. There is this rumbling bass groove which crescendos, overlaid by “zELeVthaND’s” (if that is his real name) grunting, barking vocals (which give it quite a motley, piratical edge) and lots of freakish percussion and background noise. But this keeps teetering away into sinister quiet, populated by menacing swooshes and whispers, before re-appearing again in yet more menacing form. Iron Laurels, Woven in Rust follows a similar path, with, again, a strong Wormlust likeness, especially in the oppressive chromatic riffing that surfaces at its climax. Before this, the percussion is the focal point, with its repetitive pulse having a pleasingly invocatory tone. Very nice EP; should be sought out by fans of more experimentally-minded extreme metal.

Killing Songs :
Standing in Bedlam, Burning in Bliss
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