Homeskin “Cries Methodically” On New Nine-Minute Album (Full Album Stream + Interview)
This isn't the first time I've covered multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Garry Brents, and it certainly won't be the last. Though primarily known for his works as half of Cara Neir, Brents' work over the years as Gonemage, SAL, and countless other projects has garnered this Texas native attention as one of the underground's most creative minds. As Homeskin, Brents seeks to find atmospheric black metal's center, often reaching to related genres like screamo, emoviolence, and more, which actually have more with black metal's sonics than one might think. Masquerading as a grind release, the nine-minute-long Cries Methodically thrashes violently across its short length, citing black metal, grind, and screamo influences alike, resulting in a chaotic and vicious, but also emotional and tender sound.
Listen to Cries Methodically in full and read an interview with Brents, his first as Homeskin, below.
Homeskin follows more of an automatic songwriting process, your first release taking a mere 11 hours to compose, record, mix, master, and release. How does this differ from the processes you take for your other projects?
Absolutely. Each other project has much more deliberation and puzzling components together in longer stretches of time. I treat Homeskin with a very short gestation period between conception and final rendering of the songs.
This newest release is intense and dense but only occupies nine minutes' time, showing a progressive shortening in Homeskin release times as the project progresses. 1) Why the short album length? and 2) What does time and time length mean to this project?
I saw this as an opportunity to condense the feeling of previous releases into these micro songs, with a newly added intensity. A little spontaneous experiment where once I started I had to see it through and then cap it off when I felt the material was deemed complete.
Since this is the first stylistic shift of the project, I’ll say this is more of an outlier in terms of length but if and when there’s more releases like this one they would similarly be brief bursts. Time in general is like a capsule for Homeskin. Every release feels like I’m sitting in a closed off chamber and I’m hyper focused on starting and finishing a release by giving myself difficult time restrictions, often less than 24 hours.
You've mentioned this is more of an experiment for this project, citing screamo and emoviolence influences (sounds which are normally used in your other band Cara Neir) to increase intensity and emotive content. What was it like using these influences for this project?
Definitely. It felt pretty comfortable while at the same time a sense of newness seeping in, mainly that I haven't really harnessed those elements as much lately. Gave me a fresh slate of ideas while writing/recording. Vocally, extending Homeskin with higher pitches and lung power was a little more straining physically but well worth it.
I don't think many people really understand how closely black metal and emoviolence can be related purely on a sonic level. Why do you think these two elements are so distant otherwise?
I agree, especially the more passionate sounds of second wave style and 2000s BM. I think the cadence of drumming and vocals can be big difference makers. More snare fills or fills in general in emoviolence used as a drum pattern for a section where fills are typically reserved as transitional devices in black metal. There’s always exceptions but I find that to be a notable divide. In general, emoviolence has more expression in the vocals coupled with the strumming and perhaps tonal choices as well for guitar. Most of the time black metal feels cold, calculated, and more rigid. Tremolo picking is usually another notable divide. There’s exceptions again, but you can usually hear/feel the chords strumming more vigorously in emoviolence and screamo. It’s something I’ve been strongly attached to incorporating in Cara Neir over the years and shades of that on this new Homeskin. There’s certainly a Venn diagram of sorts for the two styles though.
I remember a college peer refusing to accept that Funeral Diner's "We All Have Blood On Our Hands" was anything other than black metal. Funny how that works. What emoviolence and screamo would you recommend to a curious black metal fan?
That’s wild! Perception can mean something very different to each listener. Some great recommendations new and old: Orchid, Ampere, Jeromes Dream, Reversal of Man, Textbook Traitors, Majority Rule, Battle of Wolf 359, Republic of Dreams, Nuvolascura, Letterbombs, Carrion Spring. Nice range of blasty frenetic relentless energy and some subdued introspective anguish and anywhere in between across the board. Also throw a dart on anything by Zegema Beach Records or Larry Records: two favorite active labels for anyone needing to dive in.
Larry Records has actually been branching into black metal a bit lately, having just released a Sadness tape. Funny coincidence.
Right? That crossover speaks for itself already! Very cool.
Have you ever considered approaching Damian Ojeda (Sadness, Life et al), who does something similar but on the more atmospheric and prettier side of emo and black metal, for a split? I feel like you two would make a nice pairing. Or is Homeskin a solo-release-only entity?
I haven’t yet but that’s an excellent idea. I would love to do a split with him. Certainly open for splits under Homeskin. I’ve alluded to the project not being open to guest contributors so freely like my other projects but splits would be fun to do.
Will Homeskin continue down this emotive hardcore-influenced path, or do you see yourself moving back into the Arizmenda-type psychotic/atmospheric black metal direction?
Great question, and just as fluid the project is becoming, I decided now that it can go in either direction depending on what I’m feeling at the time of composition. So there will definitely be both ends of the spectrum in future releases.
Is there anything you'd like to add?
Most importantly, thank you for the time and interest! This is officially the first interview relating to Homeskin and it was a blast. Much love to you and anyone who finds something in the project.
Follow Homeskin on Bandcamp.