I'm getting kind of sick of experimentation in music these days. Well maybe not the experimentation -- music has always been destined to evolve and grow, but more or less what I'm sick of are music fans reactions to experimentation. It almost seems these days that if you're not playing some sort of obscure fusion genre that you could quite easily get lost in the shuffle of dozens of bands who are constantly trying to keep up with the trends in order to achieve some sort of relevance within today's ever judgmental music world. But honestly, what's wrong with a little familiarity?
In the case of this split, you have four screamo acts that more or less stick to the blueprints of the genre pretty closely and really do nothing out of the ordinary. Am I going to hold that against them? Absolutely not. Each of these bands play genuine, passionate screamo and honestly, what more could you ask for? "POST BLACKENED DRONE BREAKDOWNS PERHAPS?" Give me a ***ing break.
For me, the band that really steals the show here is Canada's Book of Caverns -- last year they definitely showed potential with their self-titled EP and here follow-up quite well composing two songs that are equal if not just a bit better then the material previously released. If there is one thing they really excel in, it's creating those driving melodies, ones that are simultaneously blissful yet mourning, the ones you which would last forever. Transitioning from clean to distorted and sometimes doing both at once, there isn't one second between "Marial Bai" and "Champion City" where your attention won't be on this band.
Released before the more ambitious combination of post-rock and screamo these guys put out with After Dark (which is actually a great album as well), Todos Caeran here play a more streamlined version of what they do on that release but that doesn't detract from their performance here at all; although their clean sections are undeniably better written and overall more interesting than when they kick it into overdrive, their crescendo building song structures still offer some pretty great moments and overall it would be hard to find something that is disappointing about the performance the band puts on here.
Although Lizards Have Personalities have come up with some better tracks on both of the EPs they came out with last year (In All Honesty and Snows of Kilimanjaro) " Je suis fait d'ombre et de marbre" and "Ptolemea" are still pretty strong tracks in their own right. Injecting a bit more melancholy compared to the splits three other projects, Lizards Have Personalities are easily the "darkest" of the bands presented here, and seemingly the most passionate too. Crackling with hysteric emotion, while LHP may not be my favorite band on this split their vocalist is easily the most enthralling and sincere to be found here.
In my opinion the weakest of four bands here, Silencio, Ahora, Silencio! are the most aggressive of the bunch, somewhat forsaking the more composed soft/loud dynamic each of the other bands has to offer, instead going for a more direct and in your face approach. Not "bad" by any means, they are just a bit under developed for the time being.
Overall, this is an extremely solid split divided between four band I would highly recommend keeping your eyes on. While yes, they are all somewhat similar in delivery and style, each and every band presented here plays straightforward screamo and does it well, a simple task, but a task well-done.