Chaos is Me: April 2021

Welcome back to Chaos is Me, your favorite monthly column for all things screamo. We will be taking a look at my favorite albums from April, from Canada to Colombia and even more far-off lands. Let’s dive in.

Vientre – Estado de Imago

Cali, Colombia’s Vientre were covered on this column almost a year previously and I’m very happy to have the chance to sing their praises once again. Featuring ten new songs alongside “Zaga: Luna Roja” from the band’s 2020 split with Lyed, Estado de Imago straddles the line between modern emo and classic early-aughts post-hardcore nostalgia. Defined by its dynamics, here crisp clean guitars contrast with distorted chords, drums swing from dancey rock beats to blistering punk, and the vocals, whether sung or screamed, are delivered with confidence and heft. There is a whole lot going on with this album for how simple the music can seem at times, but the execution here is absolutely flawless. The heart and soul of screamo is music delivered with conviction, and Estado de Imago nails that spirit.

Au bout de mes lèvres – Malgré la nuit

Next up is another in a long line of EP’s from Canadian three-piece Au bout de mes lèvres. Malgré la nuit is a twelve-minute roller coaster ride, containing everything from black metal blast beats to classic chaotic screamo to drawn-out post-rock influences. The contrasting dynamics at play are what make this release stand out, however; all the differing elements are structured in a way that make both these songs feel much more expansive than their six-minute run time would have you believe.

Alas / Claire Voyancé – Split

Finally, we have another split release from yet another country I haven’t covered on this column before. Alas and Claire Voyancé both hail from the frozen north of Finland, a country that might be more well known for its extreme metal repertoire, but these two bands’ combined forces show that screamo is not only alive and well there, but being taken to interesting places. Alas, three songs kick the split off, taking a very emo-esque approach to their craft with songs propelled by tight, twinkly guitar lines and driving punk grooves. The real magic is how the band warps this formula in subtle ways, like the spacey ending to opener “Kohlhaas” or the acoustic guitar-driven crescendo of “09-12-08,” which take something already guaranteed to please and give it something to make it stand out from the crowd. Claire Voyancé take this even further on their side of the split by injecting ambient noise and heavy keyboard usage into their sound, giving a cinematic feel to their raw melodicism. These two bands are making magic happen, and I hope the rest of the Finnish scene takes notice. Hell, plenty of bands over here should pay attention too.

Here is a Classic Album I Think You Should Be Listening To: this may not be a ‘classic’ album per se, but it has everything I look for in 90% of the music I listen to, and you should be listening to way more Southeast Asian screamo than you currently are. Think envy’s emotional depth and swelling dynamics but more raw around the edges, and you have Senja Dalam Prosa.

Until next time,

Vincent

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