Wednesday, 14 February 2018

SANS VISAGE

BandSANS VISAGE
GenresPunk / Hardcore / Screamo / Skramz
Related artists?.
CountryTokyo JAPAN
Years Active2013-present
Song: "Sight"
Album: "Blind Girls split"
Year: 2016
For fans ofBlue Friend, Forget Me Not, Amber Daybreak, Youth Novel, Crowning, 49 Morphines, Via Fondo, Shirokuma, Rainmaker, Anemone, Matsuri, Причал, Yarmulke, Vampires, Masada, Leer, Улыбайся Ветру, Yage, Blind Girls, Dip Leg, Hue, Suis La Lune, Hue and Loma Prieta aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released / Zegema Beach Records / Dog Knights Productions / Asian Gothic Label / Structures//Agony / Through Love Records / Dingleberry Records / Samegrey Records / (We Built The World And) Miss The Stars Records / Don't Live Like Me Records / Kakusan Records / Rubaiyat Records
This post's artist is from the February 2018 Mix. This is track #6.
You can download: the February 2018 Mix#2 right here or get the new March 2018 Mix#3 here.

I generally post everything done here around in some, as far as I had thought, dead groups on Google+. Almost a year back I received a message on Google+ (which is rare, to say the least) telling me to check out Japan's SANS VISAGE. I don't know if they were a fan or a member of the band, but that was one very important message. I had already delved heavily into their 2016 split with Blind Girls (which made the Best Of 2016 list, linked here) and loved the song "Sight", but had neglected to search any further for other material. I quickly nabbed a few copies of their 'Demos' cassette from Connie at Structures//Agony Records right before she closed it down and started listening more. Right at the tail-end of 2017 SANS VISAGE dropped 'Moments' and I was fucking floored. Like, holy fuck this is amazing and I just fell directly into my concrete basement, floored. Ouch. With the Best Of lists out in full force at the end of December I feel like this record was lost in self-righteous postings by everybody and nobody, which is a goddamn shame.

Expanding on what  I quickly mentioned above, the band released two demos in 2014 (''Demo #1') and again in 2015 (''Demo #2') digitally which were compiled onto a tape in 2016. The first is an excellent debut with three songs, each titled "song 1", "song 4" and "song 3", with "song 4" being my personal favourite, as it weaves more of a Via Fondo web than I've heard in quite some time, and even includes a midsection reminiscent of the uplifting screamo sounds of Hue. The rest of the EP is pretty straightforward screamo, chaotic and pretty with a bunch of people screaming. It should be noted here that only one of the three songs end up on the 2017 LP, "song 1", making the other two exclusive to this release. The sophomore demo has five songs, including the missing "song 2", which opens with the eerie and distant "-". "barricade" is next and it's a fucking killer tune that incorporates incredible back-and-forth screaming alongside driving, dissonant instrumentals that could be likened to Malaysian screamo or Level Plane Records, perhaps even both. "song 2" brings to mind fellow Japanese screamo bands Forget Me Not and Blue Friend, and is an excellent track. "distance" embraces yelling over heavy screams and deploys much more inviting guitars, giving it an emo/post-rock feel. "past" rounds out this EP at a massive 6:41, as generally SANS VISAGE tunes are between one and four minutes. It is the slow builder, creating a stunning journey instead of shorter wow moments. The intro lasts almost two minutes and then the screaming kicks in over epic instrumentals, only to implode by 2:40 and give way to twinkly emo and desperate singing. Then there are like...three more parts, and they're all very good. From 'Demo #2' only one song here is exclusive, the opener, as the remaining four were re-recorded for the 2017 full length.

2016 was a busier year for SANS VISAGE, as they upped their releases to two. They began with the split 12" with Sweden's Careless and Det är därför vi bygger städer. Their songs "Counterfeit" and "Indolence" have much more strength than the preceding demos, likely due in large part to much better recordings and production. Their first song is vicious and includes a deep bass riff halfway through, while the second focuses on grooves over anger, creating a head-bobbing screamo/post-hardcore party that mesmerizes and destroys simultaneously. Released in late 2016 was their split EP with Australia's Blind Girls, including two more new tracks that continue to drop jaws further than the previous offerings. After initially jamming the A-side, I assumed the Blind Girls songs were not to be topped...but I was wrong! SANS VISAGE's "Sight" is fucking bonkers. The guitar progressions, guitar tone and stop/start rhythms in this thing are insane. Insane, I say! "Kyogen" isn't too shabby either, as it goes from chaos to ambiance to destruction in less than two minutes.

We got a further taste of the SANS VISAGE full length early in 2017 when UpWind Productions released their 'Tufàgne' compilation with an exclusive new/demo track titled "Denial" (that ended up having a music video, linked here). Then, on December 20th, 2017, SANS VISAGE dropped 'Moments' and good god, I nearly fainted. The LP is, for a lack of a better word, stunning. Recorded, mixed and mastered by my man Liam from Blind Girls, the 11 songs (five of which are brand new, the other six re-recorded) are individually amazing but also mesh so well when listened to as an album. Opener "22" is a swayin' opener, complete with groovy instrumentals, fresh screams and subtle singing. Previously discussed "song 1" and "song 2" follow, and then "worthless" hits like a ton of bricks. Frantic guitars, lightning drums and harsh screaming permeate the majority of this track, with a shit-ton of parts in only 2:17. A re-recorded and much quicker version of "denial" is next, followed by the new, blazing, violent, 45-second track "alt". "barricade" is next, the standout track from 'Demo #2', and the killer production gives the song new depth that is intimidating and accentuates that beautiful guitar tone and screaming whilst boosting the ridiculous time warp at 2:02, aligning it further with some earlier Loma Prieta material. "distance" is next, getting a slight push in the aggressive direction when compared to the original demo. Two new songs are next, starting with the hella jammy "life" that, for some odd reasons, brings North Of America to mind...but if they were screamo. The interplay of bass, drums and guitar during the first minute and a half are stellar, and when the track moves into the next gear at 1:35 they bring everything together and layer excellently placed vocals on top of it all. Track 10's "sway", another new tune, is much more subdued in its screamo, or maybe it's just much more attuned to the more relaxed and jazzy moments of Saetia and Off Minor, at least for the first minute and a bit. The final track is the re-recorded "past", which gives the album closure. And what an album. Jeeeeebus.

Thanks SANS VISAGE. You are incredible.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2014 - Demo #1 cdrEP (stream/donate/download here)

2015 - Demo #2 cdrEP (stream/donate/download here)

2016 - Blind Girls split 7"EP (stream/donate/download here)
2016 - 3-way split cd/12" w/Careless and Det är därför vi bygger städer (stream/donate/download here)
2016 - Demos cassetteLP (compiles Demo #1 and #2)

2017 - Moments cdLP (stream here)
2017 - Tufàgne compilation cassetteLP [contributed "Denial" demo version] (stream/donate/download here)

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(2017) SANS VISAGE - "denial" (from 'Moments') official music video

(2017) SANS VISAGE - "worthless" (from 'Moments')

(2017) SANS VISAGE - "life" (from 'Moments')



(2016) SANS VISAGE - "Sight" (from 'Blind Girls' split)

(2016) SANS VISAGE - "Indolence" (from '3-way')

(2015) SANS VISAGE - "barricade" (from 'Demo #2')

(2014) SANS VISAGE - "song 4" (from 'Demo #1')

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SANS VISAGE additional links

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