Winter Sun EP

Written by: TL on 31/08/2012 15:31:40

Back in 2007, when the screamo and post-hardcore genres were still blooming and expanding their sphere of influence to reach new legions of myspace scenesters, a handful of bands from Sweden made it seem like their domestic scene would be very much in on the boom, with Adept, Her Bright Skies and Intohimo all releasing promising material. The bubble soon burst however, as the scene was hit by the inflation that still plagues it today, and you could hear it in the Swedish band, all of whom struggled as much as their American influences in trying to come up with fresh ideas.

Take Intohimo, whose 2007 debut "Failures, Failures, Failures And Hope" was certainly raw, yet had an unmistakable intensity to it that still makes it worth an occasional nostalgic revisit. Their 2009 follow-up "Us; The Hollows", for all its decency was more or less completely forgetable if you ask me, so when they came back in May of this year with only an EP, I instantly worried that the step down in format was the beginning of the end for a once promising band.

Yet while it may still be the case with "Winter Sun", the short but sweet four tracks Intohimo deliver on here have enough promising features to make me hope for the contrary (and a full album does indeed seem to be in the works at the moment). The way out of stagnancy seems to have been provided by a newfound interest for post-rock, as elements from that genre permeate the Underoath-ish backbone of Intohimo's regular screamo sound on here.

This means more tremolo guitar, more lingering melodies and more piano , all of which add to a soundscape that feels more mature and thoughtful than any of the band's previous material. It also makes for at least a couple of memorable moments, the strongest of which arrives in third song "I Am Doubt Defined" which builds and airy, cinematic mood into a gripping chorus which is probably the catchiest Intohimo refrain to date. Furthermore, I can't help but to love a detail at the very end of the last song "Endeavour", where a sudden chord change on the piano signals a breakdown that ultimately closes out the EP.

Long story short, Intohimo seem to have found some new maturity and inspiration which I think should justify a prolonging of their career, at least from an artistic standpoint. Hardly representing the average music fan of today, I can't say if this direction will take a band from a small scene to any new heights in terms of sales on itunes, but as a dork having spent years trying to refine a sense for what is good, all I'm saying is that I think this has merit - much more than the last album - and that I wouldn't mind hearing some more.


Download: I Am Doubt Defined, Endeavour
For The Fans Of: Underoath, Her Bright Skies, Adept, Akissforjersey

Release Date May 2012

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