Liverpool metal band Loathe certainly have garnered plenty of admirers over the past year, both in a fast-rising fanbase as well as the likes of one Chino Moreno. High praise, to be certain – their latest full-length, 2020’s I Let It In And It Took Everything, was hailed as a masterpiece by just about every major publication, including us. What makes the band so special, though?
Their array of styles swing wildly from song to song, and even on individual tracks. Ethereal melodies float on top of and are often paired with metalcore aggression, in particular. Take the band’s single “White Hot” (off their split with Holding Absence), for instance. Released in between their debut album The Cold Sun and their sophomore album, it really showcased how the band’s songwriting was developing at the time. With their chaotic metalcore aggression already lighting up the listener within just a few seconds, there’s a stellar vocal hook in the chorus that Worship And Tribute-era Glassjaw would be proud of. It’s a dichotomy that’s served many a metalcore band well over the last 20 years of the genre’s commercial success (see: Killswitch Engage), but Loathe are simply just really good at it. Meanwhile, you also have post-black metal influences pop up on the track “Heavy Is The Head…”, which end up morphing into something completely different by the time the song is over.
Elements of shoegaze, metalcore, post-metal, ambient soundscapes, alt-metal, post-black metal, and plenty more genre descriptors often find their way into the DNA of Loathe. If you listen hard enough, you can even detect specific albums that had some kind of impact on Loathe, whether it’s Deftones’ White Pony (an obvious comparison), older Architects records, or even The Verve’s 1993 shoegaze masterpiece A Storm In Heaven. The neat trick Loathe is able to pull off is merging all these diverse stylistic influences, without also sounding like a clone of any of the above bands. Their inability to be pigeonholed is just one of the reasons Loathe are a special band – and why everyone should be excited to hear what they release next.