As September draws to a close Samhain approaches, causing the veil between worlds to thin dramatically and allow creatures like Homerik to pass into our world. The New York trio are bringing their new album Homerik with them after three years of meticulous crafting and splicing to unleash their twisted sound upon the masses.
Ken Candelas, Andrew Petriske and Obed Gonzalez have combined to create something uniquely dark and in some tracks even on the side of disturbing. Most bands and artists on the road to success have been influenced by a plethora of sounds and Homerik are not that much different as they have their feet in progressive, orchestral metal bands. However Homerik are also inspired by the malevolent sounds of the world throughout history that they have combined with their music to create something unnervingly raw. Even more unconventionally the band’s want to challenge modern art ranges also comes from twisted video games like Gears of War. These influences have allowed Homerik to highlight the darker side of humanity and take you through the plague-infested pastures you would otherwise glance the other way from.
Whether you want to or not their addictive debut album Homerik will drag you from track to track until your protesting cries turn into screams for more. Beginning with ‘Curse of the Black Nile’, an epic monstrosity incorporating lines from one of the most disturbing Ancient Egyptian texts (The Cannibal Hymn). The track has a regal elegance that slowly descends into something more sinister the longer it plays. Crescendo-ing into a rapid heavy metal drum beat and combining with a mixture of soft and aggressive spitting of lyrics. The guttural vocals are a combing sound of the bands Rammstein and Slipknot with a guitar riff giving the band a slightly Avenged Sevenfold sound. However despite these similarities they are only slight as Homerik have created something new by combining sounds and genres other before them have not. The album then moves even further into the macabre with ‘Unforgotten Kin’, a furiously dark tale about brothers mourning their deceased sibling trapped in limbo. The whole of Homerik embodies a fully orchestral sound that delves even darker than the similar orchestral band Within Temptation and push so strongly against musical barriers they could be breaking through into new territory. The album combines three interweaving vocalists in their ranks as well as guest sopranos to create a chorus seemingly of hundreds eerily floating through each track.
The lead track from the album, ‘A Song of the Night Part 1’ is a fitting example of the way Homerik are infecting music and taking no prisoners. The track begins as a soaring, almost magical ascent into an ethereal sound before plummeting back to the core of Homerik after about three minutes. Giving a sense of false security that the track takes full advantage of. ‘A Song of the Night Part 1’ can be summarised as a spiralling nightmare you can’t help but have over and over as the track becomes stuck in your head. The single seven minute track is long enough and infused with enough musical ability that it could be separated into two but the way the band have combined the different sounds is gothically beautiful. The track is also a perfect example of the band’s video game influence as it sounds like something that would be played on a lute in a tavern with many patrons gathering around to listen. The combination of soft and hard vocals paints the image of the narrator not understanding who they are or what is going on around them, causing them to descend into this world of no control as portrayed by the almost manic playing of both drums and guitar. A swaying hypnotic track that will keep you on your toes with it’s constant tempo and instrument changes. The including of ‘Part 1’ in the title could imply how the band plan to add to this track as they progress to complete the fable like story they have begun.
Review by Skye W.Winwood