Italian underground metal label, I, Voidhanger, specializes in the obscure and peculiar. Their bands are known for their outer limit experimentations, atmosphere, and ability to shatter concepts of reality. The label houses dynamic acts like Aevangelist and Spectral Lore and has produced outstanding releases this year from Midnight Odyssey and Antagoniste, among others. Their next release comes from San Francisco’s Howls of Ebb this coming August and looks to add to the label’s repertoire of recherche recordings.
The Marrow Veil is Howls of Ebb’s follow-up to their acclaimed Vigils of the 3rd Eye. Their newest effort sees the enigmatic trio inhabiting a void in which all knowledge of time and relativity is evacuated. HoB’s blackened style of death metal is systematic in execution and brilliant in its construction of a dichotomy between vacuity and density. Their three limbonic death hymns span roughly 35 minutes, with album opener, “Standing on Bedlam, Burning in Bliss” accounting for nearly two-thirds of it. A 20-minute song would typically see a listener’s attention wane throughout its duration. However, Howls of Ebb avoids this dilemma by masterfully captivating the listener by by use of the aforementioned dichotomy and complex rhythm sections within the song, making it feel as if it were multiple tracks. Vocalist Zelevthand’s near-whispering growls and caustic screams emanate an eeriness that shrouds the hymns while Benign Blight and Rotn Bliss sprawling guitar and drum work is extensive without feeling forced or overbearing.
Overall, The Marrow Veil is an excellent lesson in the exploration of death metal. Howls of Ebb successfully venture outside of the realm of standard blackened death and into the beyond of experimentation. The album comes out officially on August 8th, vinyl LPs and digital download are available to purchase here.