Fredericksburg, Virginia screamo band INFANT ISLAND have teamed up with labels Acrobat Unstable Records (US), Left Hand Label (UK/EU), and Zegema Beach Records (CAN/USA), to give us a proper taste of their new incredible work and serve a proper teaser for their new LP Beneath, to be released on May 15 via Dog Knights Productions. The assaulting tone of their new EP Sepulcher is both exciting and terrifying, and it provides the expected goodness while also bringing in some surprises and huge promises for the full LP. Dive into it below and share your thoughts in the comments below or our socials (FB, TW, IG).
A truly incredible leap from their seven-song release, ‘Sepulcher’ has the band firing on all cylinders, somehow managing to conjure up the chaos of .gif from god with the mood of Ostraca. EP of the year? Undoubtedly a contender. / ZegemaBeach
While Infant Island originally became notable in 2018 with their critically acclaimed self-titled record for a genre-melding blend of shoegaze and screamo – on their 2020 follow ups, Sepulcher and Beneath, they embrace those same elements of shoegaze and screamo, only to de- and reconstruct them into something totally different. Taking cues from the atmospheric tendencies of bands like Envy and Deafheaven, while simultaneously embracing the chaos of their contemporaries in Portrayal of Guilt and .gif from god, Infant Island forges a new path for themselves filled with punishing performances, thanks in part to the addition of drummer Austin O’Rourke and guitarist Winston Givler. These lineup changes and the ever-bleaker state of the world have pushed the band to new extremes: combining elements of atmospheric black metal, grindcore, post-metal, and (of course) screamo to create something entirely new; something uniquely Infant Island. / DogKnights
Both Sepulcher and the new Beneath single “Stare Spells” are very worth hearing. Sepulcher has just four tracks, but they’re all monsters and each one shows off a different side of Infant Island. Opener “Burrow” is a succinct, two-and-a-half minute dose of loud, chaotic screamo that finds Infant Island operating within a lineage of bands like Orchid and the aforementioned pg.99, and it’s the only song on this EP like it. “Unspoken” is droney, sludgy hardcore that sounds like a modern-day cross between Godflesh and Eyehategod, and “Phantom Whines” is a meditative white-noise track that acts as the calm before the storm of closer “Awoken,” Sepulcher‘s longest and best track. Throughout its ten, hard-earned minutes, “Awoken” toes the line between the harsher vibe of the first two songs and devastatingly gorgeous post-rock that gives bands like Caspian and Deafheaven a run for their money. I like all of Sepulcher a lot, but pulling off a song like “Awoken” is what separates the good bands from the great bands, and at this point in their career I feel very confident calling Infant Island a great band.
As for “Stare Spells,” that’s a great song too, and that’s also a noticeably different-sounding song than anything on Sepulcher. It’s got the musical depth of a song like “Awoken,” but in a way that’s driving and fast-paced, and it finds time for hard-hitting screamo, crystal clear post-rock, towering sludge riffs, tender acoustic guitar, and more. “Writing this song in particular was one of the most challenging things for me, creatively so far in this band,” vocalist Daniel Kost tells us. “Personally, the song deals with a multitude of things that I’ve struggled with handling and processing for a very long time, over the course of my childhood and life, which I recently realized were affecting me in other ways that I had never imagined. I hope for Infant Island songs to be interpretational – leaving the listener to develop their own emotional release from whatever they struggle with, and If they connect with any of our songs, to me that’s truly special.” / BrooklynVegan