Being born in ‘88 I’ve been lucky enough to follow a number of bands since the start of their careers and saw them become headlining bands in intercontinental tours. After listening to what LOATHE have done in their debut full-length album, “The Cold Sun”, I can’t help but feel (and hope) that sooner or later they’re going to be, to say the least, in the same category. I had a chance to talk to their guitarist, Erik, I saw a band that aims to please their ears first and foremost. Turns out, what LOATHE want to hear themselves do as a band, is ear candy for everyone that loves modern metal as much as it’s unique and distinctive.
LOATHE’s music intrigues the mind. It motivates closing your eyes and visualize what you’re listening to. It’s an audiovisual experience without actually watching anything. There’s moments in the album that are mellow and chill that amplify that aesthetic, but even the heavier moments have a certain vibe and atmosphere about them that can’t be put into words.
To get more technical, the music in “The Cold Sun” is mostly progressive metalcore, but in a way I’ve never heard before. If I had to say one band they remind me of, that’s REFLECTIONS and specifically their latest album. There are hardcore moments, there are nu-metal droplets, you can hear a few post hardcore parts every here and there and there’s even a DEAFHEAVEN-like part that caught me off guard in the best way possible. Most of the songs have ambient or electronic (that synthwave track though) outros that highly elevate this album’s atmosphere. I’d honestly say that these moments are the secret ingredient to the album being so unique and aesthetically amazing.
“Ear candy for everyone that loves modern metal as much as it’s unique and distinctive.”
The guitar work is stellar as is the tone used for them. With simply beautiful chord progressions that construct the songs and MESHUGGAH influenced single-string rhythmic patterns, there’s nothing I’d change in terms of how the guitars were handled.
The drumming is relatively simplistic but that’s not a bad thing. It’s groovy, full of essence and I really have to take a moment to appreciate the snare tone and how fantastic it sounds. The harsh vocalist does a great job at not being monotonous by having a good range and delivering the lines with great passion while Erik’s cleans are very catchy and very well done overall. According to the band, the album is a concept album that revolves around the Apocalypse. The band didn’t wanna give anything more away until the album is out but the concept itself is very intriguing.
The production was handled by Matt McLellan (CAPSIZE, BEING AS AN OCEAN, THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA) at Glow In The Dark studios, Atlanta, and like I mentioned above the mix is phenomenal. The electronic parts are masterfully crafted, the samples and tones used are fantastic and all in all a job very well done.
LOATHE have created a masterpiece that not only is my favorite album so far this year, but one of the best modern metal albums I’ve heard in recent memory. In a scene that the plethora of bands inevitably makes achieving uniqueness harder and harder, LOATHE hit a strikeless home run out of the ballpark, and straight into the cold sun.