Immediately you know you’re onto something different here. Loathe, formed in the musically rich and historic city of Liverpool forever made famous by the Beatles, have made a statement of intent with The Cold Sun, a concept album dripping in reckless abandonment. Said Beatles would probably shit a brick when confronted with the animosity and ferocity of this unruly gang.
The album opens with an instrumental teaser, piqueing your curiosity and poking you to see if you are paying attention. Then bam! ‘It’s Yours’ slaps you right in the face with a barrage of noise – a crazy beautiful concoction of mixed melodies and distorted, disjointed riffs that challenge the senses. With enigmatic thumping grooves and a potent vocal display, Loathe announce their arrival like a blow to the head. Relentless in its intensity, ‘Dance On My Skin’ rips through your cavities like a serial killer hacking at a lifeless victim, no respite for the audience here.
The Cold Sun is a concept record, a compelling 35 minute long meandering into the depths of a dark, post-apocalyptic tale. The record follows the adjacent timeline of two protagonists (A & B), who exist during a dystopian future, stricken by tragedy and the ever-looming apocalypse. ‘Our writing process varies from song to song, but usually it takes one of us to have the initial vision for what we want to create. We then each add our own personal input which completes the piece,’ states Smith, when asked about the quintet’s approach to their craft.
‘We approached the record with a specific sound in mind. Combining loose and real instrumentation with technical electronic elements, we created a soundscape that accompanies and represents the overall feel of The Cold Sun,’ added Bickerstaff. ‘To help give a hint as to our trajectory of thought, “Dance On My Skin” follows character A’s experience with sleep paralysis as they are tormented during a night terror.’
You can see what you are dealing with here, a horror story unfolding through the audible senses, and it is intense. No date night smooching mood setter here, unless you want your partner cowering in the corner holding a knife. Each track is more highly addictive than the last, and as equally unforgiving as the last, as the quintet creates their post apocalyptic world via 12 punishing tracks. There are some beautiful melodic moments on this album; it’s not all chaos. Even between the moments of chaos, the guys have threaded in moments of pure beauty. A track like ‘Loathe,’ whilst frantic and monstrous, has touches of sheer class with its melodic undertones and subtle nuances.
‘3990’ provides a momentary distraction, another instrumental taking you on a welcome journey and taking your mind off the melee that preceded, but short lived as The Cold Sun continues in its barbaric nature. Crazy beautiful people that’s all I can say here, crazy fuckin’ beautiful. Loathe have produced a simply stunning album, a master class in audible story telling, challenging you every step of the way and engaging you right from the off. Not for the faint hearted, definitely not for date night, unless panic attacks and night terrors are on the menu.
The Cold Sun was released on 14th April 2017 via Sharp Tone Records.
1. ‘The Cold Sun’
Loathe have several UK show dates currently lined up:
supporting Blood Youth
April 8th – Glasgow, Garage
April 9th – Leeds, Key Club
April 10th – London, Boston Music Rooms
headline album release show
April 14th – Liverpool, O2 Academy 2
Hellfest Official UK Party
May 11th – London, New Cross Inn