Ever since 2017, there has been a gaping hole in my listening habits where Howls of Ebb used to be. The band’s split-up, whether on good terms or not, was a real blow for someone like me who came to truly look forward to seeing new material from the act who really brought a new level of insanity to death metal in every possible way. Since then, I’ve done my best to find other acts that could somehow compare like what acts like Esoctrilihum has greatly accomplished for me while Cryptae has done it on a smaller scale. Although, I always had a slight feeling that the members weren’t going to stay silent for too long according to a purely gut instinct. For once, I was correct as it’s with Herxheim that we see the vocalist, guitarist, and bassist from Howls of Ebb (all one guy) return to us in the form of Herxheim with equally challenging black metal.
This is about the closest thing to a new Howls album that we’re likely to get, and we need to remember that this is a release all of its own as, even though it shares DNA and elements with its predecessor, Herxheim is a beast all on its own. Touting itself as “mephistic black metal”, “Incised Arrival” is everything I could’ve hoped for from such a release and it’s a gift that just keeps on giving no matter what. Across six tracks and 37 minutes, Herxheim never once drops the ball nor offers a single sliver of mercy in any form to the weak and unsuspecting listeners who are truly in for a wild time should they cross into Herxheim’s domain of suffering and blackness that we never quite see elsewhere in this form. It makes the whole of “Incised Arrival” a truly unique listen with all of its unorthodox riffs mixed with highly corrosive vocals, tantalizingly evil tones that permeate every single track, and the amazingly seductive nature that it has about every second that it presents before us and it’s almost all but irresistible. One cannot help but fall into the swirling chaos of chaos and disease that Herxheim effortlessly brings forth with its extremely unusual sound that not only sets it apart from the rest of the entire black metal scene but it shows to us with its unquestionable quality that Herxheim is the newest band to know that any fan of the most insane should investigate with absolute haste, for, surely, only further greatness is to follow “Incised Arrival”.
This is a record whose excellence I cannot let go untold of for too long, and I can’t help but get the feeling that this will quickly become one of my favorite albums of the year with the hours I’ve already sunk into “Incised Arrival” not showing any signs of boredom or wear no matter how many times I listen to it. Herxheim has created a truly evil work here, and it’s the exact sort of material you’re going to see me crawling back to time and time again, I expect to see more of you with every following effort.
“Incised Arrival” releases on CD on July 17th via I, Voidhanger Records!
LISTEN to “Incised Arrival” on Bandcamp here.