Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Album Review: "Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows" by Howls of Ebb

Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows
About 24 years ago, there was a local band in St. Louis called Crucible. They were good friends of my cousins.

On side two, they used a snipped of dialog from Stanley Kubrick's masterwork, A Clockwork Orange. At that time, it wasn't clear how much of an impact this movie would have on my life.

But here we are not too shy of three decades later and four decades after Malcom McDowell brought Alexander DeLarge to life on the big screen and the slang is still a part of my personal lexicon.

You may have noticed little snippets of it here and there in my posts. Over the years there have been a great many discussions about the English meanings of the Nadsat words.

It's only now that I know the true meaning of the slang word, horrorshow.

Howls of Ebb
In this world, we all have stories to tell.

In music, that is is covered by what's called Narrative Music, but in popular music we call it the Concept Album.

Nowhere is it listed that Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows is in fact a concept record.

Honestly, I can't say that it is, but it certainly feels like one.

This songs burst out of the speakers, but stumbling a bit early as though we are disoriented.

The mood of the first few movements, it would be profane to merely call them songs, is one of confusion. Where is the road? Where is the plot? Where are we going?

As the music relents into a feeling of normalcy, we are attacked by pit vipers. What are they doing in these woods?

Why can't we get out?

Howls of Ebb slowly brings us along through their very long and very dark songs. As soon as a measure of comfort is found, they switch the mood and attack from a new front.

This is what horrorshow must feel like. The listener is always playing defense to this brilliant epic(s).

Metal is supposed to be scary and there's nothing more terrifying than this album right now.

Release: 5/15/16
Genre: Metal
Label: Nuclear War Now!

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