Wednesday 18 May 2022

V/A - Eight Feet Under Vol.1

Labels: Don't Live Like Me Records/IFB Records/Shove Records/Through Love Records/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 01 Jun 2017


1. Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Myket - Du

2. Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Myket - Kaktergalen Och Rosen

3. Via Fondo - Hurts Just A Little Bit

4. Via Fondo - Out Of Silence...A Sough

5. Nous Etions - Le Jour Ou La Chevalerie Est Morte

6. Nous Etions - La Dernière Voltige

7. Nous Etions - Heretique

8. The World That Summer - The Standard Gravity Of Impending Doom

9. The World That Summer - Interlude

10. The World That Summer - No Hugs For Lucas

11. Sleeper Wave - Endless Elegies

12. Sleeper Wave - Glacial

13. Sleeper Wave - Counter-Friction

14. Sleeper Wave - Welcome To My Life, This Is Me

15. Youth Novel - VII

16. Youth Novel - VIII

17. Youth Novel - IX

18. Youth Novel - X

19. Lamantide - In Absentia I

20. Lamantide - In Absentia II

21. Pastel - Woodpecker

22. Pastel - Tucano

I'm a little bit out of sync but I knew this review was gonna be a big one so I'm not too worried. As compilations go Eight Feet Under Vol.1 is pretty special, not just as a moment in time but also due to the sheer amount of work that went into it. Twenty two new/unreleased songs from eight bands, from four countries across two LPs; Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket and Via Fondo (Sweden), Nous Etions and The World That Summer (Canada), Sleeper Wave and Youth Novel (USA), Lamantide and Pastel (Italy). Five labels collaborated to release it on five hundred copies of double black vinyl back in 2017. To me this is a snapshot in time of where ZBR was and where it was heading as a label (yes this is a ZBR roster review).

I think the writing of this review is going to be spread across a few nights. I’m not used to writing about this many songs in one sitting, but lets see how it goes. By now, all of these bands should be familiar to you if you’ve been keeping track of my Zegema Beach Record roster review series or indeed of ZBR’s releases in general. 

Starting with an old faithful in the form of Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket and their duo of ‘Du’ and ‘Naktergalen Och Rosen’. ‘Du’ is as dramatic as screamo gets. The instrumentation is at first slightly deeper in the mix with the vocals on top. After the midway-point, the roles reverse and the instumentation takes the lead with the vocals relinquishing their position, as Vi Som’s majesty is opened up. ‘Naktergalen Och Rosen’ is a loverly off-kilter/semi-experimental piece of raw and emotive screamo, coupled with lovely melody. It’s a style that Sweden does really well and Vi Som are probably the main proponents of it.

Next up are two songs from fellow Swedes Via Fondo. Their sound is a lot heavier and ‘Out Of Silence…A Sough’ contains a great deal more urgency. The percussion and guitars initially create a huge soundscape before settling down and allowing the semi-spoken/shouted vocals to take their place. Definitely more emo-centred yet still retaining a sense of anxiousness and aggression. Their second song ‘Hurts Just A Little Bit’ is equally as intense, heralding a more blackened sound in places, while being more succinct. I’m blown away so far.

Because this is a double LP release, some bands contribute more songs than others due to their playing time. Canadians Nous Etions have three and true to form, they’re a bit more to the point. ‘Le Jour Ou La Chevalerie Est Morte’ isn’t the emoviolence blast you might have expected. Instead it’s much more introspective and cinematic. ‘Le Derniere Voltige’ follows on in a slightly more violent form, due to its shorter playing time. Still, Nous Etions do well to keep it musical as opposed to just chaotic. Their final song ‘Heretique’ is probably their most beautiful piece on Eight Feet Under. Don’t think anything else needs to be said about it.

The second Canadian band on this comp is The World That Summer. Given the band’s affiliation with ZBR, they’re an obvious choice. They contribute three songs to it starting with ‘The Standard Gravity Of Impeding Doom’, which begins in almost reserved fashion before exploding into something much more visceral. Heavy screamo with elements of emoviolence and multi-vocals for good measure. ‘Interlude’ is kind of exactly that. Spoken word samples sitting on top of a lowly single guitar melody. It’s quite unnerving actually. Their final song ‘No Hugs For Lucas’ is a gorgeously played melodic/post-hardcore number. As with all of the songs on this comp, it’s a snapshot in time but goddamn it’s a good one.

II I haven’t already mentioned it; this is gonna be a long one! It’s now time for some American screamo in the form of Sleeper Wave and Youth Novel, who between them fit the most songs onto their portion of the split. Sleeper Wave’s up first with ‘Endless Elegies’ and it’s wonderfully arty take on the genre. I only call it arty because of those twinkly, off-kilter riffs. The rest ain’t bad either. The feedback that ends ‘Endless Elegies’ leads you into ‘Glacial’, which is slightly more straightforward song (maybe?). ‘Counter-Friction’  is fantastic in it’s delivery. Abrasive yet melodic and wholesome stuff for sure. It leads into their closing song ‘Welcome To My Life, This Is Me’, which is also their shortest. I’m still completely in love with Sleeper Wave’s guitar work and this is a fine way for them to end their contribution.

Things get a bit crazy when Youth Novel take over, but did you expect anything less? Their four songs are the most emoviolent here. ‘VII’ starts off gently but after a pause it changes into a fast and chaotic best, with an added layer of intensity spread across both the vocals and the music itself. ‘VIII’ is their fastest song but aside from that pace, it’s also got plenty of post-hardcore tendencies including some really heartfelt singing. A real standout for me. There’s a level of complexity to Youth Novel’s music and not in a technical sense, but in an emotional one (if that makes sense) on ‘IX’. Maybe it’s just the feeling I get but it’s feels different somehow. Their closer ‘X’ is a much lengthier player. It leans more towards the instrumental end of the spectrum and with the added rock n roll flair injected by the lead guitar work, it’s a bit of a surprise. 

It’s back to Europe again for the comp’s final quarter. Italy’s Lamantide and Pastel get the honour of closing it out. Lamantide’s two song are adjacent in title with ‘In Absentia I’ being very broody and slow to start, building to a thicker post-metal/hardcore sound that’s pretty dark. The riffs are the main focal point and the sound is more blackened, leaning much more towards metal to these ears. ‘In Absentia II’ has the same grim ambience as it’s predecessor did at the beginning and it follows on in the same vein throughout. Lamantide’s sound is very infectious yet authoritative. 

Fellow Italians Pastel are known for their instrumental and experimental music, and they show it off to great lengths on ‘Woodpecker’. It’s not all instrumental though as they do add some gang-like vocals into it, but the band’s skill is clear for all to hear. Comp closer ‘Tucano’ is the perfect finisher. Relaxing compared to what came before Pastel, but that’s not taking anything away from the others at all. It just whisks you off to a dreamier place for a little while, at least.

To summarise this release should be simple, but it’s not. Hats off to all of the labels involved in it though, it must have been a hell of a task to put it all together. All eight bands brought their own spark and sound to it and that’s what makes it special.

For Fans of: Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket, Via Fondo, Nous Etions, The World That Summer, Sleeper Wave, Youth Novel, Lamantide and Pastel

You can stream and purchase it digitally here:-

Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket -

Vio Fondo -

Nouse Etions -

The World That Summer -

Sleeper Wave -

Youth Novel -

Lamantide -

Pastel -

Physical copies of the comp can still be purchased from the below links:-

Shove Records -

Through Love Records -

Zegema Beach Records - CAN/INTL -

Don't Live Like Me Records -

IFB Records -

Shove Records -

Through Love Records -

Zegema Beach Records -

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