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Herxheim – Incised Arrival

Herxheim
Incised Arrival
by Mark Machlay at 21 July 2020, 4:03 AM

HERXEIM, a new solo project from HOWLS OF EBB multi-instrumentalist Patrick Brown (recording under the pseudonym Brungard) further marries the world of black metal and death metal on his first full-length LP “Incised Arrival”. Also known as blackened death metal, the Texas-based band was first formed in 2017. A demo followed two years later in March of 2019 titled “Cultivating Throne of Fur”. Creating a frenetic and hyper approach to the genre it gained a lot of traction locally in the scene. Quick to capitalize on the popularity, the newly prolific Brungard set out to craft a full album. Looking through the many list of credits to their name Brown has had a long history in the genre before forming his one man act. As far back as the early 90s, he released a few demos with NEPENTH playing guitar, a demo and a single providing vocals, bass and guitars for LIGEIA in 1997 and 2004, a full-length with another solo project named KING CARNAGE, and most recently providing everything but drums for HOWLS OF EBB with a handful of releases.

Extremely lo-fi, garbage production is some of the appeal of this particular genre but it always comes off as a lack of effort and care to me. Sounding like it was recorded in the garage of my next door neighbor does nothing to help this record but I get the feeling it’s meant to be dingy and dirty. Starting off the album is “Wanton of Idols”, opening with a stark, atmospheric build in tension toward aggressive black metal vocals, thin guitars, weaker drums – complete with plenty of china cymbal smashes – and a bass that crackles and booms, providing a decently solid foundation. If only the other elements were worthy of holding a candle to the robustness of the bass tone that sometimes sneaks out beyond the cacophony to shine. “Lesson Crescent” is faster and even more aggressive – if that can be believed – bordering on the chaotic going between blast beat frenzy and atmospheric eeriness provided by synths. Starting out like the bastard offspring of SLAYER’s “Raining Blood”, “Branded by Pentagram” has by far the best production, the most engaging rhythmic and melodic elements and intelligible lyrics making it the easy stand-out track for me.

Most of the other tracks are typical blackened death metal. I have heard poorer production so that gives this release a step above other similar albums. While not being entirely versed in the genre, I can tell that their sound isn’t entirely unique. Atmosphere is provided in delicate ways as to elevate the work and provides a break from the consistently bleak production. This certainly isn’t something I personally will be revisiting but I can see its appeal among the rabid devourers of the two genres.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 5
Production: 5

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Wanton of Idols
2. Lesson Crescent
3. Branded by Pentagram
4. Chateaux Delirium
5. Eve’s Rampike
6. Warrior Master Lore
Lineup:
Brungard – All Instruments
Record Label: I, Voidhanger Records
     


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