Infant Island’s “Kindling” finds a home between extreme metal and dreamy death

Infant Island. Photo courtesy of the band.


The first two singles from Fredericksburg, Virginia five-piece Infant Island’s third album, Obsidian Wreath, were characteristically obliterating. But on “Kindling,” the project’s final single before its January 12 release, the clouds part and the hellhounds rest, at least for a while.

The temporary calm in the storm comes courtesy of Harper Boyhtari and Logan Gaval, both members of the shoegazing Flint, Michigan group Greet Death. Much like Full of Hell and Nothing, who united for the towering collaborative album When No Birds Sang early last month, Infant Island and Greet Death come from opposite ends of the hardcore spectrum, and they use that dissonance to their advantage.

“Kindling” begins in a state of gauzy bliss, with Harper Boyhtari’s translucent voice drifting over Gaval’s echoing fuzz guitar. About halfway through, however, the song descends on a dime into Infant Island’s extreme metal nether realm. Daniel Kost’s annihilating screams barely rise above the explosive force of his band’s instrumental, barreling forward to the beat of Austin O’Rourke’s propulsive drumming. But just as “Kindling” seems ready to pitch over the precipice into pure chaos, the thrashing dissipates and the band reenters the eye of the maelstrom. Once again, we glide into Greet Death’s celestial zone, leaving all earthly preoccupations miles below until the next song begins.