Chaos is Me: May 2020

infant island band photo

Welcome to another edition of Chaos is Me. May brought us some of the best screamo this year has seen yet. If you don’t know, take a look under the cut.

And as they say: dance tonight, revolution tomorrow.

Infant Island – Beneath

infant island beneath

Following April’s Sepulchur EP, Virginia’s Infant Island return with a new full length and a new attitude to boot. Beneath sees the band expand the mix of shoegaze and screamo that earned them a following to new and interesting corners. Drawing some pretty obvious influence from contemporaries Portrayal of Guilt, Infant Island fold black metal riffing and noise interludes that range from soft ambiance to industrial screeching into the classic East Coast screamo of pg.99 et al, alongside their signature take on woozy shoegaze. There is certainly a lot to take in on an album this dense, and this was a certainly a grower of an album for me, but after a few listens everything fell into its place and the varied elements of Beneath’s sound fit together into a lush picture of beauty and darkness side by side.

Stormlight – Natoma

stormlight natoma

Stormlight is a new project conceived by members of Bay Area heroes Elle and Lord Snow. That information alone was all I needed to hear to know I was gonna love this album, but even in spite of that, I really love this album. Natoma is the perfect mix of triumphant melody and cathartic energy that reminds me why I love this music so much in the first place. There are so many moments on this album that are genuine surprises, with songs taking unexpected melodic turns that leave my jaw on the floor and instrumentation that is awe-inspiring in its breakneck pace. It’s been a minute since I’ve given an album an audible “god DAMN” during a listen, but I definitely got some concerned looks listening to Natoma tonight. This is easily one of my favorite albums from this year, screamo or otherwise.

Amitié / Empatía / Marée Noire – 3 Way Split

amitie empatia maree noire split

Finally, we will end this month with a three-for-one deal in the form of a split between Amitié, Empatía, and Marée Noire, a short and sweet affair that hits a ton of different genre hallmarks among this diverse roster. Providence, RI’s Amitié starts the split off with a one-two punch that evokes the genre’s classic hardcore roots while incorporating strong melody and even flirting with a bit of ambiance along the way. Columbia’s Empatía (covered on this column previously) contribute a sole fifty-three second long track that sees the band ditch their emoviolence roots for something much more floating and ethereal to great effect. Montreal’s Marée Noire are the real stars of the show for me here, crafting dark, moving music that is frantic and urgent in its delivery. Take a chance on these bands, because there are a lot worse ways to spend ten minutes of your life.

Until next time,


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