A draining experience; but that’s what it probably should be.
Label: Pure Noise Records
Released: 8th April 2016
Metalcore has suffered much the same fate as pop punk over the last few years. The sudden resurgence of the genre, while brilliant, has birthed a swift over-saturation. If you’re a band of either genre in 2016 you only really have two choices: you either have to top everything that’s come before, or subvert it.
What Landscapes deliver is, as you’d expect, a well rounded mix of metal and hardcore. The vocals possess that flow and endearing drawl that Your Demise used to spit once upon a time. Yet, there’s none of the optimism that was such a characteristic of dear old Ed. ‘Modern Earth’ is an album resigned to accept the cruelties of this world and it revels in them. Even the first stark tempo change on ‘Remorser’ doesn’t draw out even the slightest hint of sentimentality, but focuses on the more sombre quality of the album’s melancholy motif. It’s a reduction from bathing in animosity to a realisation of the sombre state of affairs left.
The haunting announcement track, ‘Aurora’, distills the album’s cynically realist outlook before launching into ‘Radiance’; a track that’s rooted by an uplifting riff that tricks you into thinking the album’s changed its tune. It hasn’t. Closer, ‘Heaven Ascended’ affirms all the expanse that Landscapes have set out to build up over the course of the record and asserts the view of the hellish abyss that is planet Earth. It’s a draining experience; but that’s what it probably should be. Jack Glasscock