Review Summary: Sailing across a sea of atmosphere.
Ever since the rise of Envy and City of Caterpillar into the scene's collective consciousness, screamo has been drifting further and further into post-rock's dream-like territory. While most of the progression in this side of the screamo universe has taken place in France and Japan, the United States has slowly been venturing further and further into the deep end of the reverb tank with Pianos Become the Teeth and The Saddest Landscape, but even then we still have a lot of catching up to do. Iselia are part of this new crop of atmospheric screamo bands that are helping to push the sound of the genre in a more ethereal direction with the release of their debut EP Adaptations
is a sonically engaging collection, revolving around a comforting medium of swelling guitars and shifting drums that prefers to build into cascading walls of cymbals, screamed vocals and slightly distorted yet elegantly clear guitars. When given the prevalence of post-rock bands that have sprouted up after hearing Explosion in the Sky's The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place
in the last few years that use the same soft to loud dynamics on display here, it would be an out and lie to say that the way the songs on Adaptations
slowly bloom rather than burst open isn't familiar but in the end the style seems just as beautiful now as it always has. The way that the EP plays out over its just over sixteen minute run time helps exaggerate the quiet/loud juxtaposition with “At Day's Close” slowing meandering around it's rooted mid-tempo structure, shifting ever so slightly as it builds. Right when one would expect the song to explode into a triumphant crescendo it ends, but the want is only temporary as soon it explodes into “These Roots, These Branches”, the EP's most powerful track, proving that patience truly is a virtue. Now the only thing left to do is to take the lesson to heart and patiently wait for Iselia's upcoming full length, since if it's anything like what is on display on Adaptations
we're in for one hell of a treat.