LANDMVRKS Lost In The Waves (The Complete Edition)

Landmvrks have steadily gained traction beyond the French metalcore scene, with eight years on the grind and three full-lengths under their belt. 2016s Hollow and 2018’s Fantasy certainly showcased Landmvrks‘ work ethic, but 2021’s Lost In the Waves distinguished them within the worldwide community. Beyond its forays into pop and rap, the album’s ties together infectious riffs, violent mosh parts and memorable hooks with adaptive songwriting chops. Not nearly enough people seemed private when it dropped, leading to a rare scenario where re-releasing a Complete Edition of the album one year later feels necessary.

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The complete edition of Lost In the Waves opens with three brand new songs, which begs the question of whether they throw off the album’s flow. After all, the title track remains an incredibly strong opener. It showcases Florent Salfati‘s range of Architects style sing-screams, emotive mids and surprisingly dirty gutturals, along with guitarists Nicolas Exposito and Paul C. Wilson‘s slammy quarter note chugs, punkish adrenaline and dramatic modulations. Rudy Purkart (bass) Kévin D’Agostino (drums) effectively hold these jarring shifts together with ease, encapsulating many keys to Landmvrks‘ success. That said, the placement of the three extra feels like playing an EP before the album starts.

This isn’t to say they’re bad. The new songs lean farther into the eccentricities of Landmvrks. “Death” comes through with an almost industrial beat before dropping the best riff Lamb of God never wrote, punctuated by nu-metaly rap-screams. It has similar choruses and mosh parts to “Waves,” and the contributions from Stray from the Path‘s Drew York certainly pay off—helping contextualize this band in the larger metalcore scene.

Speaking of features, “Suffocate” almost feels like bait for angry metal eliists with its sticky hooks from Bert Poncet of pop-punk-with-breakdown luminaries Chunk! No, Captain Chunk, topped off by tasteful four-over-three rhythm changes. The remarkable production value allows Landmvrks‘ sonic spectrum to flow swimmingly, as synthetic textures and dynamic piano support the soaring melodies and groovy riffage of “Self-Made Black Hole” (in contrast to “Suffocate,” accompanied by like-minded countrymen and lable-mates Resolve).

The awkwardness of getting the end-of-album vibe of “Black Hole” before opener vibes with “Lost in the Waves” is forgivable when accounting for this album’s relative obscurity. It’s like Landmvrks saying “no really, we want people to hear these songs.” Tracks like “Rainfall” have such a unique combination of multiple eras of metalcore. The former balances mid-2000s Myspace steeze with its verse riff and first breakdown, but the rhythm section’s performance would appeal to newer bands like Vein.FM or Knocked Loose. similarly, Salfati matches the machine gun fretwork of “Say No Word” with blisteringly speedy rap flows. It’s not about to win over anti-rapcore types, but it pulls it off as smoothly as the simple, mosh-worthy breakdown at its close.

Even the most poppy side of Landmvrks sound face-lifted. Far from generic butt-rock, “Visage” starts with dreamy trap-pop beats and Salfati‘s melodic triplet flow (rapped in French too!) before dropping into beefy bounce riffs and a sweeping, almost post-rocky crescendo. The band will clearly polarize folks who thought the Warped Tour troop jumped the shark a decade ago, but Landmvrks‘ airtight execution remains undeniable. The “woooaaahhh” melody tropes and verse-chorus-verse structure of “Tired of it All” might bring peak post-hardcore tropes to mind, but the nuanced musicality displays an attention to detail uncommon in any style, not to mention the jumpscare turn to healing toward the end.

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It’s not out of the ordinary for a metalcore band to contrast harsh and soft vibes, but it’s the way those contrasts manifest that makes Landmvrks stand out. Both “Silent” and “Always” evoke the MTV emo heyday with syncopated guitar strums and ascending vocal croons, but the songs’ aggressive side feel like it could get kids swinging at This Is Hardcore 2022. streamlined grooves instead of dent-style wankery allows them to service the song instead of leaning on disjointed riff salad.

The album’s cohesion is hard to believe, considering how much Landmvrks throws in it. Whether it’s blast beats and bulldozing half-time sections found in “Overrated” or the passionate electro-balladry of closing cut “Paralyzed,” these guys find a way to bridge musical gaps. They make sure each motif is hummable, each dynamic shift hits hard and, most importantly remaining unfraid to try things outside of expectations. When Landmvrks wants to get kids swinging on each other, they can. When they want to send purist’s running back to their Terror seven-inches, they certainly can—all the while offering respectable additions to the styles they borrow from.

The Complete Edition‘s cherry on top becomes an insanely tight concert recording. Landmvrks‘ live chemistry is madness, from their most punishing breakdowns, to weirder stuff like rapping over breakdowns and sad-boi emo-trap. To the band’s credit that they, succeed with each style they try—which makes catching a show an enticing prospect. These guys really have everything it takes to take over. Genre purist whinging not withstanding, it’s hard to deny the impact of Landmvrks when they kick into high gear. It’ll stick in your head whether you like it or not.

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