October 17th was a day I’ve been expecting for about two months and still while making my way to Berlin’s Cassiopeia I wasn’t really sure it was actually happening. Were really The Saddest Landscape in Europe and if yes how would this night end, how would I end this night? Chilling a bit on the first floor of the venue, looking at all those faces I don’t know. It’s really fun to be on a hardcore/punk show where you don’t actually know anybody besides your friends. Finally I’m slowly piercing the crowd downstairs, which is already watching the first Frameworks song.
I’m going to be honest on this one and just admit I didn’t really check them beforehand. But they did quite well. Lingering around modern emo hardcore and post-hardcore with a large arsenal of effected guitar sound and almost post-rock feel. The main vocals were somehow clean, which’s always nice for change and from time to time they were backed up by extremely emotional and sad screaming by one of Frameworks’ guitarist. That I guess, added the additional emo/screamo layer in their music, which I suppose actually made me enjoy the band so much. However, Frameworks seemed a bit tired, their other guitarist broke strings few times, which was compensated by the usual drinking, tour smell jokes from the stage. That kinda crippled the overall impact of the set as I’d definitely like it more if the guys played with no pauses, because their music is intense and that’s the way it should have been experienced. As a constant build-up, not just a band playing this or that song after the other. Still definitely worth seeing, you can’t really go wrong with a Topshelf Records band, I guess.
It’s about 15 minutes after Frameworks’ last song when The Saddest Landscape are already on the stage and start playing. From the very first tones of In Love With the Sound the band is all over the place. I sit right there, in front of the stage, with my ears crushed by the loud waves of emotional sonic chaos they’re unleashing upon us. Being from Eastern Europe I’m not so used to seeing a crowd just standing and watching a band without walking on their heads or stage-diving in each and every second, and I start to wonder if it’s not just the local way of experiencing a hardcore show, but a paralysis induced by The Saddest Landscape’s extreme sound. Songs go one after the other, songs whose lyrics you know all too well, but can’t really sing because the words choke your throat and you are just there left completely devastated with your body reacting in its own way, completely out of control.
The Saddest Landscape are not a band, but a sea of grief, regret and… hope. They are here to wash away each and every reminiscence of our daily lives, to grab you and shove you deep in your own soul, in your own fucked up little world, which I believe had been torn apart or fucked up the same way as the worlds of all those people in the room around you. And when near the end of their set Andy jumped in the crowd for Eternity is Lost on the Dying we were all grabbing the microphone screaming, and we indeed became the desperate kids from his lyrics…
The Saddest Landscape… they did steal our hearts, but didn’t leave us hollow, only sad and somewhere very, very far.