Hype and expectation are two things which could weigh heavy on a band; when there is so much buzz, the fall if you fail is much greater than it would be otherwise. This is something which faced Liverpool five-piece Loathe. After the success of their 2017 debut record The Cold Sun, there has been a lot of excitement around what the band would do next, and whether it would be able to exceed their previous efforts. Fast forward to 2020 and the band, now a well travelled and a well oiled machine, return with their latest offering I Let It In and It Took Everything.
The quintet showcase an incredible juggling act of melding aggressive, abrasive, heavy-as-hell music with more spacious atmospheric post-hardcore, all jumbled in with the odd use of electronics. However, rather than throwing everything against the wall and seeing what sticks, the album feels incredibly well thought out and flows much in the same way as a captivating film or an immersive book; everything has its place and is there for a reason. From the heavier djent influenced tracks to the quieter interludes, they’ve all been strategically placed on the record.
Even though four of the songs from the record had previously been released as singles, when they are placed in the formation of the record they’re given a fresh feel and you can hear the growth and progression of the band. The clear comparisons to bands like Deftones are going to be made by the wider audience, and on tracks like ‘Two-Way Mirror’ and ‘New Faces In The Dark’ they are a little inescapable, but to say Loathe are imitating the post-hardcore greats would just be lazy. Growth is the key for Loathe, and on this record vocalist Kadeem France really comes into his own with both clean melodic vocals and the rawer screams. Indeed, the whole band display why they are so technically proficient, and this is none more apparent than on the most Loathe-sounding track here, ‘Red Room’, where eerie electronics open the song before heavy down tuned guitars burst in, like a punch to the gut. Some of the drumming from Sean Radcliffe on this record is mind blowing too, as he goes from a straight beat to putting together fills and blasts which, as a listener, are mesmerising.
Even though I Let It In and It Took Everything is fourteen tracks long, it most certainly does not outstay its welcome. If Loathe were feeling any type of pressure off the back of The Cold Sun, then they need not worry because this is hands down one of the most exciting heavy UK records to come out in a long time and the sky really is the limit for this band.
I Let It In And It Took Everything is released on 7th February via SharpTone Records and can be purchased here.
Words: Tim Birkbeck