Liverpool band Loathe have gained a huge amount of traction within the UK metal scene since the release of their debut The Cold Sun in 2017. The mixture of hardcore, progressive metal and shoegaze-esque melodies caught the attention of a large part of the underground, and has already spawned a wave of bands adopting their style of riffing. On second album I Let It In And It Took Everything, Loathe have wrong-footed the competition by not only developing that style of riffing into something more essential, but by making a huge leap in their melodic abilities.
This is most obvious on ‘Two-Way Mirror’ the band’s fourth single from the record, and by far their most straight-ahead shoegaze song. It’s a bold move to put such a clean song on such an important record when you’ve built your name up as a heavy band, but the recent Twitter cosign from Deftones’ Chino Moreno should be as strong a sign as any that this is a risk that’s paid off.
The song ‘Screaming’ also pushes the melodic side of Loathe, and is more of a halfway point between their heavy side and their ethereal side. It’s another gamble that has worked perfectly, and is one of the standout songs on the record. The melodic work on this album frequently references bands like Deftones and The Contortionist, but still feels distinctly Loathe’s own.
Fans of their heavier material won’t be left disappointed either. ‘Gored‘ contains some of the best riffs this band have ever penned, and the juxtaposition of that song following ‘Screaming’ makes for a one-two punch that sums up Loathe perfectly. The production allows for thick, homogenous slabs of riffs to take centre stage when they need to, and provides a perfect platform for Kadeem France’s inhuman vocal delivery.
The interludes on this record aren’t quite as strong as they were on the previous album, which is the only real negative to report. Cuts like ‘3990’ felt essential to The Cold Sun, whereas the interludes on the new album can occasionally feel like they’re dragging the album out somewhat, and don’t help with the pacing.
Overall, I Let It In And Took Everything shows a huge development on Loathe’s melodic abilities, a refining of their heaviness, and an ability to remodel their sound for the bigger venues that they are now playing.
Released 7th February 2020 via Sharptone Records.