Singular’s Gripping ‘F.E.I.A.R.’ Charts An Excitingly Deranged Path For Chaotic Screamo

The new album from Malaysia’s harsh screamo project Singular captures a snapshot of intense, deranged, primal raging chaos. In other words, F.E.I.A.R. is a lot to take in — and it’s wonderful! It pushes the boundaries in just the right ways to make its mark, falling far off into both what feels like the musical equivalent of a pit of shattered glass and even ear-catching and ultimately quite effective utilization of “clean” passages. In the midst of the mayhem, Singular offer the completely acoustic track “Heat,” which further fills in the portrait of just how far-reachingly ghastly the monster is that the music depicts, since it swallows up those acoustics. Ultimately, F.E.I.A.R. feels like an exploration of some of the many sides of derangement, letting each track speak to a different nuance on the multifaceted front of devolving into chaos while proving independently musically striking. The album’s riff-mania quickly gets pretty alluring.

The music is the brainchild of Mierul, the same guy behind the screamo project Piet Onthel, which is at least at times similarly frenzied but feels also at times less thick than the harsh metallic fury of Singular and F.E.I.A.R. That new album feels like a somewhat easily transportable snapshot of a particularly modern rage — the songs feel like the sounds of a social structure crashing in around you and crushing your back with rubble, but thanks to the nuance that Mierul includes, that “apocalyptic” sense is neither overly fantasy-based nor simply reflective of the natural environment and the climate change coming for our oh-so-perfect modern societal house of cards. F.E.I.A.R instead feels like an emotional collapse — the walls aren’t just closing in, they’ve closed in, crushing your insides in some ghastly display of power stripping away the “pretty” outside.

The music at times gallops with a primal resonance that makes it really hit hard. It’s not easy but definitely rewarding listening, offering a uniquely harsh take on the emotional turmoil of laying at the bottom of a collapsed system on any level. It’s not “easy” because it’s accurate, reflecting and charting a void the ground under our feet could feel permanently slanted towards. Singular’s F.E.I.A.R. proves an exciting adrenaline rush of screamo mapmaking.

5/5 Stars

Listen below via Bandcamp. The full album releases April 7.

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