Review: Homeskin – Subverse Siphoning of Suburbia (self-released, Nov 5)

Typically, the advantage of black metal music recorded by a single person over that played by a band of two or more people (or vice versa, of course) is the unitary of sonic and aesthetic vision that can often only originate from a singular source. There are exceptions of course—solo albums that sound like a mess whipped up by cohorts of five, ten, twenty; ensemble performances with such disciplined tightness and technique that they end up surpassing what any one of the members could achieve on their own—but it’s enough of a trend for me to pick out, and it’s certainly rare to find a release that somehow hits both spots, especially on the “solitary creative” side of things. The fact that Subverse Siphoning of Suburbia does can perhaps be attributed to its extremely quick production process: GB, who contributes all of the instruments and vocals for their new project, composed, tracked, and then uploaded everything on this sizeable debut EP within 13 hours between November 4 and 5. A feat in itself, even if the results weren’t stellar, but they are, which makes Subverse Siphoning even more impressive as an inaugural declaration. Dense mazes of tremolo guitars slicing with both single-note melodic riffs and painterly chord-sweeping thread with invigorating drum work that’s precise enough to be a machine and full enough to be a real set, breaking into groovy, interlocking vamps on “Mounds of Dead Skin” and animalistic thrash stampedes on the sprawling “Crevice in a Window to Reality.” It’s all capped off by the immobilizing atmosphere of “Underside,” which true to its title feels like the tarry residue left over after the previous three tracks, the globs of darkness and shards of melody that have dripped to the bottom like an infernal grease trap.

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