With the release of their debut album The Cold Sun in 2017, Liverpool alternative metal/metalcore band Loathe quickly became one of the more hotly-tipped bands to rise out of the underground in recent years. It really shouldn’t be that much of a surprise that the band appeals to so many demographics, though. Just for starters, look at the singles Loathe has released from their upcoming sophomore album, I Let It In And It Took Everything. “New Faces In The Dark” is absolutely unhinged technical metalcore, but with a melodic, Deftones-esque chorus that really sells itself. But wait, there’s more!
Part of what makes Loathe unique is the fact that audio and visuals go hand-in-hand with each other. Take the Zak Pinchin-produced video for “Gored”, for instance. Another example of the kind of unhinged heaviness the band is particularly good at, the video for the song is just as unsettling.
Of course, “unsettling” isn’t a great word choice when it comes to new single “Two-Way Mirror”. A truly bold and exciting departure that’s unlike anything the band has attempted to date, the song could best be described as ethereal. Ethereal, in the sense that the band’s shoegaze and dream pop influences might well be a (nearly) dead ringer for something off The Verve’s A Storm In Heaven or even more obscure dream pop outfits like Drop Nineteens. Loathe’s diversity pays off in spades when they take chances like this, outshining many of their more popular peers who have become complacent by comparison.
There’s sadly a handful of newer hardcore/metalcore bands who seem to think that discovering Deftones’ first 4 records for the first time and inserting these influences into their generic 00-00-0-0-0 + breakdown formula constitutes good music. Newsflash: no it fucking doesn’t. Luckily, Loathe don’t have to rely on lame gimmicks, excessive breakdowns, or lyrical mediocrity that just brings pain (again and again) – instead, there’s genuine passion and feeling. In fact, the kind of genuine feeling you get hearing some of these songs (especially “Two-Way Mirror”) is that of a band who are really beginning to hit their creative stride. Needless to say, if you thought The Cold Sun was good, the upcoming record is even more intriguing.
Liverpool is undergoing a renaissance in many ways. Liverpool FC is alone at the top of the Premier League for the first time in 30 years in hopes of a title clinch, and with anticipation for their sophomore album reaching a fever pitch, you might well be able to say Loathe are right there with them. They’re more than just a new face in the dark – Loathe are reshaping heavy music as we know it.