Band: AMIA VERNERA LANDSCAPE Genres: Punk / Post-Rock / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Metal / Metalcore / Metallic Hardcore / Math Metal / Doom / Ambient
Related artists: Organ and The Secret. Country: Vittorio Veneto ITALY Years Active: 2009-2016 For fans of: Life In Your Way, Isis, Downfall Of Gaia, Amber, Mahumodo, Rinoa, Titan, Buried Inside, Hopesfall, Pelican and Devil Sold His Soul.
Label(s): Self Released
AMIA VERNERA LANDSCAPE is a bit of a sad story. It was told to me by Sammy of Warren Of Ohms on this podcast and I've been headbanging whilst weeping since. Here it is. Band recorded 3-song demo EP and released it. Band recorded more songs and compiled the EP and the new songs to create an LP and released it. Band records a new LP. Band never releases said new LP.
So my little review will center around the LP 'The Long Procession' as the songs from the EP weren't even re-recorded as far as I can tell and the two tracks from the unreleased LP that are readily available. What's that shit sound like? It's like a clash of armies followed by solemn introspection and beautiful hymns. A war and the aftermath, happening simultaneously, equally gorgeous and terrifying. Oh, you want some band comparisons and not some literary device? Okay, it sounds like a mixture of Isis, Life In Your Way, Devil Sold His Soul, and AmenRa.
The album opens with "Empire", the fastest, most intense jam with minimal clean vocals and a longer track time of 7:25. There's a bit of an AmenRa feel with the spacey, ghoulish, instrumental mid-section, and the general ridiculousness of the heavier/mathier bits remind me of Between The Buried And Me. P.S. nice piano outro.
I wanna skip ahead to "Nichòlas" now, as it's my ultimate all-around AMIA VENERA LANDSCAPE jam (despite also being housed on the EP) and is the perfect encapsulation of everything the band was capable of when firing on all cylinders. The crushing opening is followed by an introspective midsection, all of which is of decent caliber, but then - holy shit, and then the clean vocals kick in "Mordecai" style and fucking steal the show. This ascent, the vocal melodies and harmonizing all send me into feverish chills and floor-jaw. Seriously from six-minute mark to the close...it's heavenly.
Other new tracks that are super epic with intertwined screaming and singing are "A New Aurora" and closer "The Traitor's March" which are both excellent numbers, as well as "My Hands Will Burn First" , which is much shorter at 3:03 and condenses the band's best features, combining them with stop/start singing as well as call and response, and one helluva mammoth close.
The revisited song "Glances" from the EP shows up but is broken in two with the heater coming second, thus having two ambient jams in a row which in my opinion kinda disrupts the flow of the album. Regardless the second part rules with some absolutely majestic melodies amidst some seriously imposing post-hardcore/post-metal, with "Glances (Part I)" providing the aformentioned ambient intro with reversed instrumentals at the close.
"Marasm" is an instrumental behemoth, sitting at around the 15-minute mark. Beautiful and haunting, just like the two vocalists even though they are absent here. The perfect mirror. "Ascension" is another lengthy (but less so) mostly instrumental ambient/noise song with eerie intro and piano arriving halfway through, with full instrumentals for only the briefest of moments around the 7-minute mark. "Infinite Sunset of the Sleepless Man" is another straight-up atmospheric/noise track, making me wish for a few more bangers.
I'd be quite unfair if I didn't add in the two songs that would have appeared on their sophomore LP had it been finished/released. The first is a live version of a song that I just dubbed "New Song", a swelling, sweaty nightmare of a jam that swirls around like a dream with an ever-looming sense of danger and transitions seamlessly to screaming, spacey, post-metal ear-candy. The studio song that Sammy showed me on the podcast (and my introduction to the band) is titled "Weight Bearer". Leaning hard into the dark gothic sounds of AmenRa, this prodigious number has a gorgeous mid-section with clean singing and perhaps the band's fastest/hardest section at the tail-end.
In April of 2016 AMIA VENERA LANDSCAPE posted saying the new album was going to be delayed so they could fine-tune the mixing/mastering process...and now's September 2022 and there has been no update :( Good lord of science almighty please give us that last album.
2009 - Amia Venera Landscape cdEP
2010 - The Long Procession cdLP
2014-2015 - unreleased songs surface from 'Vision I: The Great Mystery'
(2009) AMIA VERNERA LANDSCAPE - "Nichòlas" (from 'Amia Venera Landscape') official music video
A year or two ago my friend AJ hit me up about painting some tapes for his band. I did. I enjoyed the tape, but I don't think I heard the songs until I was basically placing the order. About a month ago AJ hit me up again about doing the same thing, but this time I took some time to jam the songs before sending it off. I was so damn impressed that I immediately asked if Tomb Tree could help release it. They said yes. They made a music video. And now here we are.
COLACON began in 2020 as a project between two best friends that live in Columbus and Macon (hence the name, a mixture of the two cities) that was originally supposed to be lyrically based around an Orc town, but the two decided to drop the theme and just bang out tons of ridiculous mathcore/metallic hardcore/myspace tunes. Most jams hover around the one-minute mark and are bursting at the seams with nutty riffs, brain-slapping time changes, and commanding/sickening vocals. When I listen to most of the songs on 'The Pestilent Sickness' I get a condensed From A Second Story Window kind of vibe, but I think most people will hear something different. One thing is for sure, this shit rips.
(2022)COLACON "We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Lawnmower To Keep These Snakes Out The Grass" (from 'The Pestilent Sickness')
Band: LEEVIKE Genres: Punk / Post-Rock / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Metal / Emo / Screamo / Skramz / Black Metal / Experimental
Related artists: ?. Country: Tallinn ESTONIA Years Active: 2015-2017 For fans of: Trachimbrod, Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket, Lakme, Amanda Woodward, Respire, Via Fondo and My Hair Is A Rat's Nest.
Label(s): Le Blast Tapes
LEEVIKE was a solo project from Estonia that I discovered in 2021 due to the amazing Le Blast vault. This single dude was able to capture a ton of amazing screamo subgenres and also incorporates additional instrumentation on some tracks. Mesmerizing post-hardcore/atmospheric screamo, and ridiculously good/obscure stuff.
It becomes blatantly obvious on the opening track of the solo project's debut release '15' in 2015, as "esimene" houses some great midsection twists and turns not unlike Suffocate For Fucks Sake and Hundreds Of AU mixed up in a big ole bowl, but that epic ending wrapped around a wailing guitar solo and momentum changes are the highlight of the EP.
The same year '3' or 'kolmas' was released, I'm unsure the proper title, but it only houses one song titled "kolmas" and it begins much harsher but does bury some melodic leads (Piet Onthel, anyone?) and even boasts what sound like dual vocals. The midsection becomes a post-rock/post-hardcore journey that injects some fantastic flute into the mix, making it a truly standout jam, as the flute eventually meets up with everything else for the conclusion and it's fucking amazing. Respire-esque? You betcha.
In 2017 LEEVIKE released two tracks on something called 'tracks from nmfm collabs' which has gotta be, track-for-track, the best release. Opening with "neljas", this thing is less harsh than the "kolmas" and continues the instrumental variation, leting a trumpet take root to an extremely exhilarating degree, but there are a few dashes of the heavies. "viies" is a tap-happy screamo jam that Native, Party Hats, The Reptilian, and Sinatra would be proud of. Perhaps the most versatile and strongest jam they released, the feelings conjured and warm embrace during the first minute-and-change are joyous. At 1:12 the songs dives headfirst into Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket territory with that gorgeous tremolo followed by a sick-ass stop/start screamo section that La Quiete might have conjured up. The second half is a lush, Via Fondo-esque dreamy section that builds to an utterly fantastic close.
Last up is the longest release, a five-track EP titled '17' also released in 2017 (duh). With the collab tracks veering off into semi-experimental territory, this death release seems to be more cohesive and direct, but I'd be lying if I said the 'tracks from nmfm collabs' weren't LEEVIKE's crowning achievement. This release's sound lies more in dark, nightmarish screamo whilst still retaining an obvious LEEVIKE sound. There's a lot of variation within the songs too, as opener "kuues" is a smack to the head, while "seitsmes" is slow, brooding, and eventually kinda metal. "üheksas" weighs in at more time than the first two tracks put together but keeps the pedal to the metal for majority of its duration and is probably the heaviest of the five despite a very dreamy ending. Closer "viimane" is an excellent swan song, showcasing everything the band can do, but it's track three titled "kaheksas" that is the cream of the crop here, firing off sick notes, time changes, and throat-shredders left right and center.
You likely have never heard of this amazing project. But now you have. Enjoy!
Who's busy as fuck? Hunter Johnson, of course. Playing in three bands plus having his own solo project, it is blatantly obvious upon speaking with him why he is in such high demand. With CHARGER PORT (math rock/noise, noise pop) releasing two LPs (and an EP on tape via my Softseed Music label), TERROR CELL (mathcore, metalcore) releasing their new 12"LP on October 7th, TVLPA (chaotic hardcore, false black metal, noise rock) gearing up to record, and ASYLUM 213 (genre-bending alternative) fresh off of a 2021 full length...Hunter is kinda everywhere. He's definitely in Richmond, Virginia. Are you in RVA? If so maybe hit up Hunter so ya'll can play CHARGER PORT jams live. PLEASE!
Just a few of the things discussed: David Llynch movies in music, Led Zeppelin tribute band influence, Tony Martin is great, Voicemails (the band), loving shenanigans, who is heavier - The Wind In The Trees or Pains?, Broken Charger Port (good luck finding it), bartering for wax mages, views on Mars Volta, how Charger Port became Tvlpa, Nintendo soundtracks, disliking vs. loving Anthony Green, joining Terror Cell, everyone loves John Crogan, the Touch And Go label, what screamo do you like?, us failing to say screamo band names properly, trying to find members to join Charger Port for live gigs etc. Bands played in this podcast: Masayoshi Tanaka, Oxes, The Sound Of Animals Fighting, Spear Of Schlonginus, U.S. Maple, and Works. Listen to podcast #97 which is available to stream and/or download for free via this link.
Three years of waiting. Disappointments. Covid. Racists. Idiots. Greed. etc. The waiting was tough. Really tough. But hot damn putting on the third Zegema Beach Records Fest was quite possibly the greatest weekend of my life. Every band fucking slayed. The people were super enthusiastic but also safe and respectful. Merch was bought. Laughs were had. New friendships were cemented forever. It was, for lack of a better word, perfect. Sure we had a couple of bands who had to drop, but we managed to get a few replacements and just left the rest behind. No hiccups. No assholes. Only one minor technical issue. It was bliss. I can't wait to see ya'll again next year, but in May!!! Chicago. May. 2023. ZBR Fest #4.
A quick but hefty thanks to Dave Cullen (who took a large organizational role and pretty much booked this fest, I love you dude), Seb Alvarez, Vanessa Valadez, Andy Klingensmith, Wyatt, the Brians, Trilly, Jacob, and the Beat Kitchen staff. All-stars, the lot of ya.
Here's Dave Cullen's (ZBR USA / Crowning) cut of the fest using actual knowledge of filming and editing. You should probably watch this first if you haven't seen it, as my videos lack in comparison to the video element. That being said, the sound quality on some of mine is pretty great, I caught different songs, and I even managed to snag a few unreleased jams.
I had not previously heard this local band, as they were added by Vanessa and Dave so I was eager to catch them live. As the opening band, and as a band in general, they were very awesome. The two-piece play a disjointed, angular and mathy take on hardcore using vocals, a guitar with poly-shifter pedal and drums. The members were awesome and the drummer was super entertaining, perhaps due to the headband.
Yet another band I knew nothing about but was stoked to see aaaaaand was from Chicago. The three-piece used to be just drums and guitar but recently added a vocalist who also plays some sort of floor synth / foot bass contraption. What are two words I'd use to describe this band? Hmmmm...mesmerizing and mind-fuckery. Very complex/original drums and guitar with shouted/wailing (and sometimes sung) vocals that cut through everything. Oh and that goddamn floor bass was impossible not to look at.
I became aware of this Chicago band when they sent me their EP to release on Tomb Tree and became instantly smitten. The angular and quirky nature of the instrumentals coupled with yelling/screaming has a "What if Wow, Owls played math-rock vibe".
My good friends from my Ontario days made the international trek to play both this pre-show and Day 2, and they certainly didn't disappoint. Opting for the pre-show to drop all their heavier/older jams, we were graced with "Van Life", "You", and "Apartment", none of which were played on Day 2. Their poppy, punk take on post-hardcore and noise rock is unparalleled as they have been honing their sound for well over a decade at this point.
After releasing one of my favourite records of 2021 it was an absolute no-brainer to ask this local band to play, and I was additionally stoked to finally get to see them for the first time. Playing material from their self-titled album as well as a new jam, their unassuming, quiet, and generally diffident demeanor as humans transforms into a frenzy of confidence and technical prowess. I was blown away. Also, I have their new album. It's incredible. 12" before the year is out.
So this band released their debut EP on Zegema and it was sick and all, but nothing could have prepared me for how utterly awesome this opening band was...to the point where I'd posit that they were the best and most enthusiastic opener I've probably ever seen. And I told them so. Seriously, couldn't have started ZBR Fest any fucking better. Riffy early 2000s-esque screamo in the vein of Hot Cross, Funeral Diner, and Birthday Boyz. P.S. I've heard new material!!!
Another band I was kind of semi-aware of but not well-versed in, Chicago's PAINS fucking destroyed. Easily the heaviest band of the entire fest and the only one that got a pit going. Their explosive, grindy, deathy, hardcore/metal really hit the spot...then punctured my eardrums.
This band had been on my radar for years so seeing them play material from the early LP as well as their new stuff was a sight to behold. For only drums, a guitar, and one vocalist these fellas make some seriously massive/mathy noise in the vein of Dillinger Escape Plan, Psyopus, and Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza. The guitarist also makes pedals which he had for sale. Very nice dude.
Featuring members of some pretty rad bands, Florida's HORSEWHIP whipped my fucking ass. I had no idea they'd sound so massive live, and with the loss of one member and the addition of another (on second guitar) their new unit is a step or two above their previously released LP, but wait till you hear this new split we got cookin'...holy shit! Live they kind of sounded like These Arms Are Snakes meets Furnace. Mesmerizing and devastating, a deadly concoction.
Local ZBR house-band CROWNING took the stage next and ripped through a buncha songs with minimal banter. They looked like they were havin' a great time, their stage presence was fantastic, and they sounded righteous. Sharing members with Greed Worm and Frail Body (and ZBR USA), this five-piece has more material that they recorded along with their Naedr split...so a new release is imminent.
Yes, we did book a group of magicians for ZBR Fest. They're called EDHOCHULI and they're from Pittsburgh. They manage to make these absolutely mind-boggling sounds with their instruments and mouths to the point of absurdity. It's absurd. They're absurd. This review is absurd. Lovely people, though.
Holy shit. Hoooolyyyyyy shiiiiiit. Another band that we released their 12". I knew it was amazing. I was told they were even better live. I was informed correctly. Super emotional set, tons of movement, prodigious jams - shit I think the audience was almost as spent as the band by the end (no, not really). This South Carolina band were one of my faves, as their post-hardcore/screamo style mixed with stellar humans is an unbeatable combo.
I can't believe I hadn't seen this band before, but I'd just never had the opportunity. They fucking brought it and efficiently ruined the audience in less than 20 minutes. They played every song off the new EP (maybe they missed one, I can't remember) and were flawless in their delivery. This past week they even played with Thursday, so if you haven't checked them out by now you have officially procrastinated long enough. Bandcamp linked below you silly.
The most entertaining band in screamo certainly did not disappoint, and reuniting with the drummer I know them most with, it was just extra special. Touring on their 7" lathe /50 and the pre-cursor to their upcoming 12"LP 'Salvation Through Misery' on October 7th, the hug-prone GILLIAN CARTER ripped through their set and included some new jams (including the video embedded below!) which were the heaviest Gilly material to date. Absolutely stoked on that new full length! Oh, wondering why this video seems so different from the rest? I misplaced my video camera for this set and had to rely on my (apparent) shit phone. And then because the file was in a different folder in my computer it was accidentally removed so all I have is a clip of it. :(
Anyone who 1) made the trek and 2) stuck it out until the end of the night, were graced with the one and only full performance of the band's upcoming cd/cassette/12"LP releasing December 2nd on Zegema Beach Records. It was 40 minutes of bliss, catharsis, beauty, and chaos, as the New Jersey quartet showed why their new album will be one of the best of 2022 and beyond. Mixing their own take with influence from Kidcrash and City Of Caterpillar, by the end of the year you'll see MASSA NERA everywhere.
Giving the festival a fresh sound and break from all the screaming was Milwaukee's chamber folk rock quartet SOCIAL CATERPILLAR that boasts some seriously sick screamo roots. Falling somewhere between Manchester Orchestra and Songs: Ohia, their violin-fueled rock turned a tad more electric on this night, as they played two new songs (both electric as opposed to acoustic) and the dual-vocal harmonies were spot on. The song below is from their previous full length which definitely is one of my favourite of 2022.
It'd be kinda redundant to describe the band all over again, but they played great and everything was clear, with them playing new songs exclusively. I've heard the LP and it's the best thing they've ever done. Couldn't be more stoked for that release!
On the heels of two fantastic 12"s, Milwaukee's three-piece slayed with a bass-heavy set featuring all three members sharing screaming duties. This band gives me a lot of feels, and hot damn they are super nice people as well, it was awesome to finally meet them in the flesh.
We had magicians on Day 1 and a wizard in the house on Day 2, cuz Lucio is the Gandalf of screamo. His Capsule-inspired guitar is mindboggling, so getting to see that live was fantastic. He had a group assembled for the tour and both the bassist and drummer executed perfectly. Aeryn from Massa Nera also showed up for some vocals...and that just happened to be the song I took a video for!
Featuring fill-in (I think?) vocalist Brock from Shoto and Pack Sounds, the juggernaut that is LOCKTENDER didn't lose a step during their year's of inactivity, and Brock is the perfect fit for this band's sound aaaaaaaand has a helluva stage presence to boot. I really hope they do more music as 'Friedrich' is by far the best of their releases and I'd love to hear them develop that sound even more.
Wooooooah baby this band brought more energy that I would have imagined possible whilst playing that beautiful noodle soup that they do. They kind of remind me of a North American version of Cassus doing a Kidcrash/Eyelet thing but definitely have their own take on it and I fucking love it. Everything they have released has been gold so let's hope they continue doing what they do.
I may have released songs "I" to "X" by Youth Novel, but I had never seen them live. HEAVENLY BLUE seemed like the next best thing, but after seeing them perform as both bands at ZBR Fest (which was otherworldly) I came to the conclusion that the new incarnation trumps the old one. Wanna see me lose my shit whilst holding a camera? There ya go. P.S. this song in the video is "IV" by Youth Novel.
Straight up, after their set we had a "What The Fuck Was That" group meeting in front of the stage where about 10 of us stood in a circle and just said "What the fuck was that? That was was amazing. So. Fucking. Amazing." The local band gave us an exclusive double-EP set that was the perfect match for this audience, as after they played I saw white 12" LPs everywhere I looked. I even yelled out, "Who just bought a Meth LP? Hold'em up!" and five people around their merch table cheered and held up copies. Seriously, perhaps the most ridiculous set of the fest.
Ma Boyz. Goddamn. I've seen this band basically open shows and fests but we had them close cuz fuckin' HAWAK yo. They released one of the best screamo records ever with 2021's 'Nước' and followed up in 2022 with two new gems on the Cube split 12". Boasting members of Matsuri and Leer (to name a few), this revitalized three-piece played so fucking well that the audience demanded an encore. The band had no more songs lined up, so they just played the opener again and everyone went more apeshit than the previous time. It was amazing. What a way to close out the fest. I love you guys.