“Breath In A Darkened Room”
June 11, 2013 - Topshelf
In the world of The Saddest Landscape, there doesn’t seem to be much difference between an album and an EP. The Boston-based progressive hardcore/screamo outfit’s last two albums have each been seven tracks long; this latest release has five. Regardless, it’s the latest addition to a discography that’s been slowly but surely increasing since the band reformed in 2010 after a five-year hiatus. Vocalist Andy Maddox is on typically paradoxical form, fierce rage and fragile regret tumbling from his throat in equal measure over the tumultuous, tumbling guitars of “Those Yet Lived” and the frenzied fretwork of “Redefining Loneliness.” “Coffins Like Ours” is as dark and punishing as its title suggest, its soothing melody at odds with the desperate staccato screams that punctuate its climax. Yet it’s final song “Breath In A Darkened Room” that demonstrates truly just how formidable this band can be. Largely instrumental, it builds into a crescendo of utter ruin that permeates the very fabric of the song itself—the actual recording gets louder and louder until it degrades in quality, fizzing and crackling in an explosion of devastating rage and regret. EP, LP or in between, it doesn’t really matter. The damage is the same.