Landmvrks – Lost In A Wave (Arising Empire)

When bands breathlessly describe their latest album as ‘their heaviest yet’, you normally have to take their words with a pinch of salt and a good old fashioned eye roll emoji.

When that band is Landmvrks, creators of the bruising Fantasy, things should be taken a little more seriously.

In fairness, seasoned Landmvrks watchers would have had every reason to be slightly sceptical as the singles they chose to release in support of Lost In A Wave hardly made windows out of doors.

However, any doubts as to the validity of their ambitions for this albums are dispelled after about five seconds of Lost In A Wave, the eponymous first song of the record.

While some albums can ebb and flow between the heavy and the soft, Landmvrks doesn’t. True, there are plenty of slower moments to be hard – notably on Visage and Paralyzed – but they eventually bleed into Florent Salfati giving the type of vocal performance that can make a reputation, backed up by an uncompromising attitude to their music that sounds like they took an entire year’s worth of lockdown frustrations and COVID fears, ran them through a blender, downed it in one and then hit the studio powered up and ready to go.

In parts a homage to some of the finest deathcore breakdowns known to the genre, in part a bat signal to angsty teens ready to tiptoe their way past pop-punk into a brave new world, Landmvrks combine all their callings cards into one genre-bending album that never takes its foot of the glass; often in the same song.

If that sounds like Lost In A Wave is a breathless experience, that’s because it is. Where there’s nuance, it’s quickly countered by the band’s merciless intensity. Where there’s light, it’s quickly snuffed out, but that rope-a-dope mentality is part of what makes this album so good.