The Saddest Landscape – After The Lights (2012)

The Saddest Landscape is a band that has been around for quite some time, yet managed to stay relevant after all those years. If there is one thing to say about this band, that would they have passion, and loads of it. Being around for such a long time and still have people anticipating your release isn’t something that every band is able to do. They really created their own spot somewhere between screamo/emo and melodic hardcore, only contested by bands like Pianos Become The Teeth.

It starts off with a twinkly, smooth guitar part before blowing you away by their typical energetic and strong yet very melodic musicianship. The first thing you notice is how desperate the vocals sound, you can really feel the despair and emotion he is trying to get across here. The second song, This Heals Nothing, picks up right where the first one left of, desperate, raw, and passionate melodic hardcore is what you get. Then all of a sudden, the track breaks down and gently floats into a more down tempo “dragging” track where the vocals really stand out. Those unexpected twists in their music is also what makes them stand out, they can go from fast  and angry to slow and emotional in seconds without losing “control” of the song.

The third songs starts off like the previous ones, melodic and upbeat. So right when you think this one will be more of the same they slow things down again and create this really haunting atmosphere where there is only one guitar playing combined with the distant screams. Just when you get into this haunting down-tempo mood, they come right back and end the song on a heavy note. 

When Everything Seemed To Matter is a track that really reminds me of their previous release, You Will Not Survive – especially the part where it’s only vocals at the end followed by the fading violins remind me of the part where he screams “…Back, to when each day didn’t feel like something we just survived…” in “Declaring War On Nostalgia”.

Throughout the album we continue to hear those changes from fast, angry, and energetic to slower and more emotional with the desperate vocals on top that has come to be their typical sound. As I mentioned before, they always have those awesome little twists in their music like some catchy drum rolls (The Comfort Of Small Defeats and Desperate Vespers) or a heavier and more chaotic song (Days Punched In) that reminds me a bit of La Dispute or Touché Amoré musically.

This is an overall solid effort by a band that definitely earned it’s place as one of the big men in the genre. The way they manage to bring across those emotions of despair (Desperate Vespers is a perfect example of that) and passion isn’t easily repeated, plus their lyrics are always so well written and “catchy” (as in they keep being stuck in your head). Compared to “You Will Not Survive” this is just a logical step forward, even though they stay true to their original sound and feel.

By Enzo ~ Me Gusta Reviews