Thursday 27 January 2022

Sadness - ________

Labels: Larry Records/Hunk Of Plastic

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 05 Nov 2021


1. See You In The Orange Light

2. Orange Love

3. On A Green

4. I Can't Say Goodbye

I have a lot to add to my existing review schedule but before I get anywhere near that, I've got the second of two Sadness reviews to write (and the third to feature a recent release from Larry Records). The increasingly prolific US post-black metal/shoegaze band released this untitled EP back in November of last year digitally. Since it's release, Larry Records has dropped (and subsequently sold out of) a limited tape run earlier in January and rumour has it that UK label Hunk Of Plastic will have their own run of tapes  out later this year. Let's get into it...

I love the artwork for this release. It’s simple yet it tugs at my heartstrings when I look at that seemingly sad rabbit, that adorns the cover. EP opener ‘See You In The Orange Light’ points heavily to the artwork. What begins as a peaceful and bright song thanks to it’s melody, takes on a different form when the heavier instrumentation comes into view. With that said though, the use of clean chorus-like singing keeps things bright, while Sadness’s harsh vocals sit deep within the mix. As with Motionless, Watching You that I reviewed a little while ago, Sadness continues to push boundaries further.

There are moments on this EP that remind me of J/K-Pop, such as the bouncing electronic synth melodies that are employed at the beginning of ‘Orange Love’. It’s quite the juxtaposition when held up against the harsh vocals and the guitar/percussion, which are very much in the background. It’s a joy to listen to either way and not at all expected. 

It’s hard to put into words how uplifting this release is. ‘On A Green’, with it’s choral vocals really takes you far away from the premise of post-black metal and into a sub-genre that’s defined only by Sadness. I’m perfectly fine with variation and outside influences when they’re woven into extreme metal like this. I mean, calling it extreme metal at this point it well…pointless. All I know is that it’s genuinely enjoyable.

The song lengths here are not just your usual three-or-so-minutes and thank god for that, with each one so far clocking in at near seven minutes, until closer ‘I Can’t Say Goodbye’ at least. Here, you’re greeted with well over double that. Soothing tones lull you in before Sadness builds up to one more round of subtly dissonant shoegaze and black metal. It gathers up so many layers and textures, which make up something that’s truly engrossing and way bigger than expectations could prepare you for. 

This collection of songs should be played on repeat over and over again, such is the craftsmanship that went into creating it. Sadness once again proves that the deeper you dig, the better the surprises get (in musical terms anyway). Listen to it for yourselves if you don’t believe me.

You can stream and purchase this EP for $1 (or more) from Sadness below:-

Sadness -

As mentioned above, tape copies from Larry Records are sold out, but keep an eye on Hunk of Plastic's Instagram page for news on a new pressing coming soon.

Larry Records -

Hunk Of Plastic - @hunkofplastic

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