Lately, we’ve been witness to a full-on screamo revival. Bands like Portrayal Of Guilt, Closer, Frail Hands, Frail Body, and Respire have brought back the desperate, feverish clangor of the genre’s late-’90s writing-around-on-a-basement floor era. It has been a beautiful thing to witness. The Fredricksburg, Virginia band Infant Island have been key to this new rebirth; their self-titled 2018 album was a total monster. This spring, Infant Island are returning with two new records — one full-length and one EP. The EP has arrived first.
In about a month, Infant Island will release their sophomore full-length Beneath. I have heard it. It slaps. But before that album emerges, the band has just slapped us upside the collective head with the previously unannounced four-song EP Sepulcher. Slightly confusingly, Infant Island actually recorded Beneath in late 2018, then spent the next year tweaking the record and adding interludes. So Sepulcher, their new EP, actually represents their most recent music; they recorded it in December.
Whatever the timeline, Sepulcher is a motherfucker of a record. It may be an EP, but it’s longer than plenty of albums, especially those from the hardcore world. I catch serious Deafheaven and Converge vibes off of the grand, ambitious 10-minute closing track “Awoken,” though the convulsively “Unspoken” may be the real winner here. Infant Island have a real sense of scope to their sound, and they’re the rare heavy band to add mandolins and violins to their basement mosh-music. Stream Sepulcher below.
Infant Island have also picked today to share “Stare Spells,” the first proper single from Beneath. It starts out as a soft, eerie guitar tingle, and it keeps that effect even as it quickly turns into a cyclone. Check out that song below.
The Sepulcher EP is out now on Acrobat Unstable Records/Left Hand Label/Zegama Beach Records, and you can get it now at Bandcamp. Beneath is out 5/17 on Dog Knights Productions, and you can pre-order it here.