Winter is here, and with it comes melancholy, early afternoon sunsets, and that delicious chill in the air. In other words, it’s the season where I tend to lean towards screamo more than other genres of music. Thankfully, November came with a bevy of new screamo releases to get us closer to capping off this year. Read about my favorites below the cut.
Naedr – Past is Prologue
Much like last month’s foray into the Croatian screamo scene, this month we are kicking things off with a release from another part of the world I haven’t yet had the pleasure to mention in this column. Singapore’s Naedr are coming in hot with Past is Prologue, the five-piece’s debut album of fast-and-furious melodic hardcore. While the band categorizes themselves as ’emoviolence’, and there is certainly plenty of grinding melodic fury to be had, to my ears they share more of a kinship with the Japanese style of screamo, recalling the ever-shifting post-hardcore of Heaven in Her Arms, and even genre titans Envy on the heartbreakingly beautiful “Asunder.” Past is Prologue is a captivating opening statement, a perfect mix of spacious atmosphere, melody, and chaotic aggression that has me already has me ready for more from this band.
Crowning – Survival / Sickness
Following a band from the other side of the globe from me, we’re going to go back to my hometown for our next album. Very little about Survival / Sickness is reminiscent of the Crowning I remember, but as Will Ferrel once said about Bob Dylan once saying, “The times, they are a-changing,” and Crowning’s music has changed to meet the reality we’ve found ourselves in. Where previous albums like Funeral Designs leaned on frenzied emoviolence, Survival / Sickness is much darker and much more burly of an album, with some decidedly old-school metalcore vibes running through it. It’s heavy, bleak, and yet there is an undercurrent of triumph that runs through it in moments of cathartic melody to remind you that in the midst of what feels like the year that will never end, there is still strength to be found. This feels very much like an album born from and for the times, and it’s a needed listen.
Indisposed / To Be Gentle – Letters To
What would this column be without a good split release? This month, we have one from Indisposed (another Chicago band, big up in the Windy City) and Eugene, OR’s To Be Gentle. Indisposed kick this record off, their two songs a spacious journey through post-rock inflected hardcore and vocals that often incorporate spoken-word poetry. It’s a very interesting take on the genre, very artsy in nature, but coming from an art school community in Chicago myself I can’t help but feel a certain kinship present here, and it’s certainly unique enough to have Indisposed stand out among the crowd. To Be Gentle’s side continues the drawn out ‘post’ influence juxtaposing clean, atmospheric guitars with blast beats in “Ephemeral and Endless” and turning the reverb up to 11 on the gentle intro to “Aftermath” before kicking things into very high gear. I’ve been meaning to check this band out for a while and these songs are giving me perfect impetus to dive in, while also making for a perfectly complimentary split release.
Here is a Classic Album I Think You Should Be Listening To: quintessential RVA post-hardcore act City of Caterpillar’s self-titled debut.
Until next time,