Released: 2017, Sharptone Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
In 2017, the world just seems to be that bit more weary and metal music is prime for capturing that. We need that catharsis to escape the endless negativity. So what better way than a slice of obsidian, negative music?
What's immediately apparent when listening to “The Cold Sun”, the debut album from Liverpool's LOATHE, is the suffocating sense of nihilistic hatred that flows thickly around each track on the album – it's like tar. Every slamming riff and breakdown like the rhythmic aural assault that is “Dance On My Skin” is the sonic representation of a curb stomp. Low-slung riffs and jangling bass thump away, whilst the caustic vocals on “P.U.R.P.L.E.” are like a glass bottle down the face. It's wanton destruction in musica.
It's not all violence and slaughter, though. Throughout there are touches of melody and choruses that raise a tiny candle amidst the clouding darkness. It provides welcome relief to the barrage of blunt-force trauma riffs that LOATHE pedal, yet never does it feel tacked-on. There's an organic and natural inclusion to it all which delicately avoids the pitfalls of a sole-focus record.
On initial listen, “The Cold Sun” bears a small resemblance to their American brethren in EMMURE, with dissonance utilised to build atmosphere and ramp up that stifling bitter hate about the place. Yet the aforementioned melodicism and the use of oppressive atmospheric interludes like “3990” that permeate the record only serve to separate the UK mob from their transatlantic peers. That and the absence of the “bro-metal” sensibilities EMMURE ply.
At it's heart, “The Cold Sun” is a chug-a-lug fest that would perk the ears of many a deathcore fan, but LOATHE stand apart from the crowd. Big bastard riffs are all well and good, but that alone can feel rather dry, but drawing from a wider field of influence serves LOATHE well. It's not the most original offering in the world, but a bruising debut will set the band up for a hell of a career.
Review by: Lee Carter