Review Summary: And sleep will do all the rest.
Bedroom musicians have been around for a long time, even in the heavier genres of music. Yet while this is true, you will hardly see any of these DIY soldiers explore genres like Metalcore, Punk and so forth. So comes Remeo, quite possibly to establish a standard and not at all just for bedroom musicians. "Laying Siege to My Own Home" is the debut EP of Remeo, a one man band propelled by Marcelo Melo.
"Sententia Facticius" is the first of four tracks, and opens the EP beautifully. The song builds up strongly right away with a vibrant blend of Hardcore riffs and an abrasive bass to support them. By the time you’re getting used to the chaos, the song slows down and a mournful string skipping section comes in, and so does Marcelo’s somber voice. The first few verses will probably stay with you for a long time, as they most surely did with me. Further on the song develops with the vocals claiming a major role, while everything seems to fall into place at all times. By the end of this song you will know what LStMOH is all about. The guitar work is outstanding in quality and originality throughout the whole EP, faintly reminiscing the work of bands like Converge and The Chariot. The energetic, elaborate riffs connect seamlessly from beginning to end, while remaining catchy and colorful all the way. One of the highlights on the guitars would be the part reaching and extending through the very first minute of "Born Too Late For Primetime", in which Remeo grooves on like a champion, nails beautiful arpeggios, power chords and even a breakdown before being done with the song. When it comes to the vocals, putting something like this together couldn’t be deemed as an easy task, and Remeo didn’t half ass it one bit! He does it all from singing to screaming and growling, and his magnificent performance on every style only adds depth to the personal feeling of the EP. The track that best highlights the versatility of Marcelo as a vocalist is "Makeshift Exile", which is also where his punk screams seem most powerful and heartfelt . It’s like a couple guest vocalists take over the microphone in turns, that’s how amazing it is! On a side note, the main riff on that track is an absolute killer too.
In a measure that I believe to fit both well, the bass and drums are very competent and are very well mixed and included in the final product, which brings me to another point – the production. I’ve come across my share of homebrew music and rarely, if even ever at all, I have seen such a well measured combination of instruments on a homemade record. On LStMOH everything is worked to near perfection: the guitars and vocals take the main stage at most times, each being allocated to their very own spot within the mix; the drums are sober and well applied, with the cymbal game always on point and never shying away from the limelight (often adding to the explosive feeling of the transitions); the bass rumbles thickly but clean (a presence much appreciated throughout the EP, especially on the closing track). Having said this, it’s evident that besides being a talented instrumentalist, vocalist and lyricist, Marcelo also presents himself as an extremely resourceful and knowledgeable producer.
As the only instrumental track present here, "An Eulogy from The Afterlife" clocks at almost 50% of the EP runtime, closing it in unique fashion. I find myself wondering how someone doing his music alone can create something like this, as this song sounds like one of the best Hardcore jam sessions caught on tape, ever (while in reality, it’s not a recorded jam session at all… obviously). In this track the guitars, bass and drums unite to create a hypnotic pounding, full of variations on the guitars and all sorts of the best ideas for lead work thrown in. It’s mesmerizing and head bob inducing to the very last minute, until it halts to give room to another variation of the main riff, this time in light distortion. Dissonant and beautiful, sad and bittersweet, it comes to an end. It’s amazing how robust 15 minutes of music can feel, when they are done right.
At first, it arrived to me as a bit of a novelty, per-se. Going through the 15 minutes of ravaging, I would find myself contemplating all the stuff that has been done in this EP that I’m yet to see anyone else in my country (Portugal) do to this day. In a day and age where Metalcore has been diluted to pretty much everything and anything possible (major focus on that kind lately, where entire songs are made of breakdowns with chord bends), having someone bring back the raw natured, punk infused , riff intense Metalcore is, at least in the way presented here, nothing short of refreshing. Maybe it’s because I had the fortunate chance to meet Marcelo in person, but I can almost picture him looking out the window of his dim lighted room, writing his wonderful lyrics, sinking himself in his own world, putting together all these amazing riffs and finding ways to make it all come together so well, with all the effects and arrangements. LStMOH feels deeply personal, intricate and is packed with a massive amount of content for its runtime. With next to no shortcomings or hindrances in his first presentation, Marcelo radiates with potential and sets the bar high, while leaving a lot of room for wondering how he will approach Remeo on a future release.