Delhi’s May Island Keep it Short and Moody on Debut EP
The alternative/progressive instrumental rock band have a polished sound on ‘Eleonora’, but it takes several listens to stick with the listener
Modern progressive rock and metal has the reputation of being all-out riff fests, while also laying emphasis on melody. Delhi has been at the forefront of the country’s progressive metal scene with top-notch releases from the likes of Colossal Figures as well as material by new artists, including djent act Define Destiny aka Karan Singh Braria and Passages.
Braria has also produced Delhi proggers May Island’s [comprising Vishnu Kumar and drummer Aaron Almeida] debut EP Eleonora. He had earlier said about modern prog metal, “You can do anything you want. I got bored of Pantera and straight-up heavy music. Djent had everything, from jazz to post-rock. As a musician, it’s challenging.”
This is the challenge May Island, who came together in 2014, take on with ease – whether it’s starting out a tad ominously on “August,” moving on to a heavier, nearly metal sound on their second single “Stone Spirit” and then going into a clear-headed post-rock-like zone on the title track “Eleonora.” Kumar, who was previously part of electro-hardcore band IAFWAY [I am Fake, What Are You?], still has a sharp sense of melody – he adds a cinematic quality to it, especially on the closer “Honest Joy,” which gets better on every listen.
May Island are firmly in the instrumental alt/prog space, best suited for fans of Aussie prog rockers Karnivool and post-rock bands such as Explosions in the Sky. Eleonora is just 18 minutes of a moody journey, but perhaps it’s good that the duo is enlisting Gurgaon-based vocalist Craig Godinho to work on non-instrumental new material, since it takes several listens for Eleonora to really sink in and for listeners to begin to appreciate the instrumentation on it.
Listen to Eleonora here