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Homecoming - Those We Knew review

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Band: Homecoming
Album: Those We Knew
Style: Grunge, Post-metal, Progressive metal, Stoner metal
Release date: April 2024

01. Tell Me Something
02. Red Rose
03. Blood Of My Blood
04. Interlude II
05. Shores
06. Gift Of Eyes

Progressive stoner metal with sludge, grunge and post-metal influences: Those We Knew really feels like an album purpose-built for my tastes.

It’s a tantalizing concoction of styles that Parisian quartet Homecoming have brought together on their sophomore effort, which comes 5 years after their succinctly titled debut LP01. Having grown from a trio since that album with the addition of guitarist/vocalist Renaud Fumey-Seguy, Homecoming take advantage of the added flexibility that comes with two guitars to craft tantalizing songs that flicker between genres at will, placing dazzling psychedelic guitar licks directly adjacent to moody, understated post-metal crescendos, all within complex, compelling progressive structures.

There are various bands whose influence can be detected in different portions of this album. Among them, one might note the likes of Baroness, Mastodon, Neurosis, Russian Circles, and perhaps even Alice In Chains. Probably the group that comes most frequently to mind for me is Elder, at least on certain tracks. I’d say probably more so the Dead Roots Stirring-thru-Reflections Of A Floating World, due to the crunchier tone, but listen to the rambunctious guitar licks on the likes of “Blood Of My Blood” and “Shores”, and the resemblance is quite striking.

That’s by no means a bad thing, especially for as big a fan of Elder as myself, and those two songs might be my picks from Those We Knew. “Blood Of My Blood” opens and closes in quite spiritual fashion, with harmonized crooning of the song title, but in between there are crunchy stoner riffs, slick psychedelic guitar noodling, and then out of left field a brooding post-metal segment that erupts into roars and fiery heaviness. “Shores” kicks off with a mellow psychedelic jam before bringing out some striking guitar pyrotechnics, and later on dabbles with bursts of bludgeoning intensity. Between these two psych-heavy songs comes “Interlude II”, which dabbles psychedelic guitar licks in moments, but owes far more to post-rock and post-metal, with tranquil tremolo segments adjacent to gnarly sludgy chugs.

There’s a lot of really enjoyable moments and ideas on Those We Knew. One could perhaps argue that the flow between them all sometimes lacks a degree of fluency; opening song “Tell Me Something” spans desert fuzz, early Mastodon-esque sharp aggression, post-rock tranquillity and bruising prog-sludge intensity, and while all these sounds are fully capable of sitting naturally alongside one another, there’s perhaps a slightly disjointed feel to some of the within-song transitions. “Red Rose” works better on this front; it covers a similar range between the extremes of its heaviness, but moves more gradually from its fast, complex stoner/sludge opening action towards its quiet, contemplative post-metallic midsection, and then uses a captivating guitar solo to work its way back to a reprise of its beginning.

Despite some occasionally questionable transitions between passages, the constituent segments of each song are by and large very enjoyable, and the end package as a whole is a flawed gem of an album. Homecoming do a lot of things right when it comes to appealing to my innate preferences in metal, and with a bit more refinement next time around, they could well end up creating something truly irresistible.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 7

Written on 11.06.2024 by Hey chief let's talk why not


Comments: 3   Visited by: 56 users
12.06.2024 - 03:37
Rating: 8
Your first paragraph was my exact thoughts as well, I agree the transitions are a little clunky but hopefully they build on this sound. In addition to the other bands you referenced this reminded me a lot of Appalooza but postier and also some slight Amorphis vibes on Blood of My Blood
12.06.2024 - 08:41
Rating: 8
Written by Vellichor on 12.06.2024 at 03:37

and also some slight Amorphis vibes on Blood of My Blood

Funnily enough, the ending of it did remind me of songs like I Of Crimson Blood, but I thought making a comparison to Amorphis might be reading too much into it - slightly vindicated to see you also make the comparison!
12.06.2024 - 19:09
Rating: 8
A Nice Guy
Now this sounds like a must-listen, certainly sounds like an interesting mix of genres thanks for bringing this to my attention

Edit: Yep, fantastic album, one of the best and most varied I've heard this year. "Shores" is certainly up there with being one of this year's stand-out songs for me.

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