Skin Drone – Evocation (Bluntface Records)

Thursday, 16th June 2016
Rating: 8/10

When inundated by albums that all seem to reach for the same branches, it’s always nice to hear a band willing to go out on a limb to generate something that is more unique and individualized. Such is the case for Skin Drone, as Evocation runs through a number of genres without really sticking to one in particular. Evocation is nothing if not expansive.

There’s a ton to take in, and it will probably take a few listens to Evocation before you can grasp how some of it comes together. Everything from death metal to black, industrial to post-metal, and even some progressive and technical melodies come into play. “Scarlet Road” quickly introduces many of these dimensions, shifting between soft, atmospheric melodies with dark whispers to all-out psychotic screaming and spiraling death metal riffing. It may seem an odd combination but it does work and keeps you constantly on your toes, wondering what direction the music will turn next. Frenetic blasts meet dreamy soundscapes in “City Lights,” and near-trippy and dark industrial tones meet utter chaos in “Darkness Within.” The only break from the possible mounting chaos comes in the form of “Ghost Reflection,” an instrumental track that is more serene than jagged.

The balance of darkened atmospheres and industrial/death madness is truly where Skin Drone calls home. There may be a few moments when the abrupt changes may throw you for a loop, but Evocation’s quest for giving you a good and effective shot in the gut pays off all its dividends. Always better to hear something attempt to move in a new direction than be stymied by trying to fit into what all the cool kids are doing.

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