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Finland’s Alas Perform Richly Propulsive Screamo On Powerful Debut EP

On their new self-titled EP, which is seemingly the debut release from the band, the Finnish screamo group Alas have captured a powerfully emotionally compelling version of melodic hardcore-driven screamo.

The six songs on the release definitely all pack a punch, and they feature the kind of ragged, off-kilter feel that one might expect from classic-feeling screamo, but Alas have built on this already powerful foundation with melodies throughout their songs that feel both inescapably propulsive and deeply emotionally compelling. In place of any more brazenly chaotic elements (although there’s definitely plenty of physical intensity here, like in the powerful crescendos of the very first song), Alas seem to zero in on the power inherent in these melodies.

There’s always that kind of grounding sense of stability throughout the songs, but that feeling doesn’t mean that Alas hesitate to take listeners on an energetic, sometimes cacophony-driven ride through melodic mayhem that feels perfectly tuned to deliver a real, legitimate sense of catharsis. The songs prove powerful, but not overwhelming — they’re intense to the point of peeling back emotional layers that other pieces of music might ignore, thereby revealing the compelling beauty that lies at the core of intense upheaval, even if it’s not immediately recognizable as such.

Alas take an intricacy-riddled path to get there, which helps drive in the sense of deeply compelling sincerity. There’s a sort of humanizing unpredictability in the songs. Track three, called, in Finnish, “Ikkunat,” has a kind of heavy math rock vibe, at least in parts. The confrontational-feeling, jangling guitar rhythms feel like musical encapsulations of leaps through the record’s soundscape leading up to the compellingly beautiful, more straightforward bursts of melody that close out the song. Since the overall vibe of the record definitely isn’t overproduced or sanitized, the emotional grounding shines through clearly.

On track four, the band start out on a particularly heavy note before progressing down into a softer segment, an alternation that subsequently repeats. The move from one dynamic to the other – which, in its second incarnation, includes some rather compelling groove towards the end – delivers a real sense of a journey, even if that’s just in an emotional sense.

Track five features some straightforwardly pushing rhythms, while track six zeroes in on the melodic straightforwardness and seems comparatively softer. Overall, Alas’s new EP builds a space for real emotional power right amidst their physical power.

5/5 Stars

Check out the new self-titled EP from Alas below!