Album of the Day: Blank Banshee, “Metamorphosis”
By Miles Bowe · July 17, 2019

The music of Blank Banshee has always had a “more is more” quality about it that’s served it well. Emerging from the 2010s vaporwave scene without ever seeming beholden to it, early albums like Blank Banshee 0 and Blank Banshee 1 blended bass-heavy club music, sugary synthpop, and classic video game samples into an indulgent whole. Plenty of contemporary producers sample Koji Kondo and accent tracks with vintage Windows sound effects, but the immediacy and effortlessness of standouts like “Wavestep” made it clear why Blank Banshee had a cult following from the start. Though that maximalist tendency grew even denser on 2016’s MEGA, the seamless new Metamorphosis inverts much of what you’d expect from Blank Banshee—and is all the more rewarding for it.

Blowing through 15 tracks in under 20 minutes, Metamorphosis brings a newfound cohesion to Blank Banshee. Each piece bleeds into the next, with some acting as atmospheric connective tissue—like the delicate, string-laden “Apolysis”—while others, like the frenetically percussive “Web,” earn climaxes set up over multiple songs. The momentous structure benefits from this more spacious sound so well that Metamorphosis feels even stronger in its alternate form as a single sprawling track. In that version, it takes on a similar quality to Arca’s &&&&& or Entrañas, releases that blurred the line between a mix and an album, but felt just as essential as the full-lengths around them. You can approach Metamorphosis as Blank Banshee’s shortest album or longest song, but whatever you want to call it, it’s his most mature and satisfying work to date.

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