The Saddest Landscape
Lift Your Burdens High For This is Where We Cross


3.5
great

Review

by EndlessClockwork USER (14 Reviews)
September 8th, 2008 | 61 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Good ol' emo for the new decade.

Remember nearly a decade ago when the word “emo” actually meant something. Where the immediate first thought that came to your head was not the overproduced MTV pop-punk like Taking Back Sunday, Fall Out Boy, and Senses Fail that is of now. Where your initial thought would be the devastating audio pulverizations of Indian Summer, Jerome’s Dream, Swing Kids, and Joshua Fit for Battle…and such would bring a sense of satisfaction. Emo is short for emotional, the central description for the music and its aspects, usually angry and melancholy. The emotion needs to be carried through the soundwaves to generate a euphonic, albeit downcast instillation of audio assault. This has somehow absurdly transposed into superfluous and superficial meaning (such as eyeliner fashion and melodramatic lyricism) in current modern music. Well there are a few bands currently in existence that are still trying to keep that original sense alive. One of them is The Saddest Landscape with their seven-song EP released in 2005.

I have to address the vocals first because they are going to be a hit or miss for the most part. The lead vocalist maintains a very forced, whiny yell… somewhat in the vein of a slightly deeper Saeita. Sometimes it almost sounds like he’s holding back from breaking down into imminent tears and depression. There tends to be breathy breaks in between some phrases. He also has some speaking sections. In the case of “A Statue of a Girl,” the speaking works well and maintains a steadfast drive. But in other cases, (especially the end of “The Sixth Golden Ticket”) the speaking again seems whiny, more so than any of the yelling. Overall, the vocals can seem somewhat overdramatic, but are nevertheless appropriate for this type of music. I did get a little annoyed at some points but it was never really bothersome.

Since they go hand in hand, the lyricism also begs to be mentioned. The majority of the lyrics deal with the usual emo tripartite of lost, unrequited, and bitter love…but it is done with a little more maturity and elegiac poetry, than you’d think. They are usually decently introspective, but can also be somewhat insipid and sappy…but not too much so. Neither the vocals nor lyrics are really high points of the album…but I’m not saying they’re terrible. In any case, the instrumentation more than makes up for this.

Of course, The Saddest Landscape do not play anything incredibly technical or complicated, with riffs and solos and time signatures that will leave you in awe. The impressiveness lies more in its unity, correlation, and cohesiveness; an amalgam that constructs the incredible power to evoke the depressing, hopeless, and even angry emotions that this music is intended to incite. The passion and energy is easily audible making for more than competent musicianship.

One of the major standouts is “He Died Among Dreams,” in the sense that the buildup created is powerful and emotionally provoking…an objective more or less necessary in such music. The somber notes of the lead guitar accompanied by the rhythm in the background, packaged with the steadfast beat of the drums is by far the best introduction on the album. Everything stays relatively calm and quiet until some powerful chord progressions blast the song into emotional outrage.

Another great track is the finale and longest track on the album, “The Sixth Golden Ticket.” Another good introduction, where the dynamics gradually increase, more so than the aforementioned song. The bass plays a nice simple riff as a guitar smoothly strums chords, everything staying at piano. Then the guitar becomes more dominant and the dynamics rise to about the mezzo-forte level. Then the power chords make its final reprise for the loudest of dynamics cueing in the vocals. A little more than halfway, everything comes way down, and the vocalist screams in a more deeper yell, that reverberates in the empty quiet of this section. A quick one-beat sixteenth note attack by the guitar and snare sends things immediately back into the heaviness. It caught me off guard but in a good way.

This album is no doubt for the fans of older emo classics. But I recall my time machine analogy for my review for Enforsaken’s “The Forever Endeavor”: some music would be exponentially better if it existed in the past, in the appropriate time. This is an album that can fall in that category but with an exception. There is a major lack of such music nowadays, and it is refreshing to hear some attempts at its restoration. To fully appreciate and recognize this type of music, you should probably still stick with the older bands. But if you want something else to listen to, The Saddest Landscape is definitely a competent and overall enjoyable effort.



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user ratings (181)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
StreetlightRock
Emeritus
September 8th 2008


3780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I really really like this album, I was really unsure when I first got it, but they just sound different from alot of the usual emo out there. I think I like the Sound Of Spectacle better though. Very good review as well.

foreverendeared
September 8th 2008


14678 Comments


really brilliant intro and the rest was great too. i definitely need to check this out

EndlessClockwork
September 11th 2008


53 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks guys. I'd like to hear Sound of Spectacle but I can't seem to find it anywhere...

gaslightanthem
January 18th 2009


5209 Comments


so good

YouAreMySilence
September 1st 2009


3727 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

My favorite emo record.

kitsch
November 22nd 2009


5107 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this is cool

Prophet178
November 22nd 2009


6397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The cover is the coolest thing about this.

YouAreMySilence
November 22nd 2009


3727 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

.. and I thought you were cool.

Prophet178
November 22nd 2009


6397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Haha. I might just have to listen to it again, I only gave it a couple chances.

YouAreMySilence
November 22nd 2009


3727 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Maybe ahah.
Idk it hit me right away and its pretty straightforward.
The Sixth Golden Ticket is one of my favorite songs.

Looka
November 30th 2009


48 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pretty much awesome.

eternium
August 28th 2010


16340 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is sooooooooo good.

bab808
September 25th 2010


456 Comments


i think their should be another genre for emo like mineral, sunny day real estate, and texas is the reason

Heysatan
October 28th 2010


276 Comments


Don't confuse things, just call it emo.

Scoot
November 6th 2010


17910 Comments


so The Sixth Golden Ticket has ridiculously good vocals

Digging: Renounced - The Melancholy We Ache

eternium
March 2nd 2011


16340 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Have to up this to a 4.5. This man's screams are beyond emotional.

DurzoBlint
March 4th 2011


1195 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

AND I .... DONT'T.... WANT TO.... MISS YOU.... ANYMORE!

This mans voice is amazing. The sixth golden ticket is one of my favorite songs of all time too.

Spec
April 18th 2011


27298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sixth Golden Ticket is a masterpiece.

Spec
April 18th 2011


27298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The speaking probably sounds "whiny" because he is crying and putting his heart and soul into each line.

DurzoBlint
April 19th 2011


1195 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah hes one of my favorite vocalists, definitely my favorite in this genre. Really enjoying "old pride" by pianos become the teeth though too, would love to see a show with these 2 together.



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