LOUDER REVIEWS: LOATHE - I LET IT IN AND IT TOOK EVERYTHING
Updated: Jan 30
On their experimental and brutal second album, the quintet delves deeper into sonic exploration. Pushing the boundaries of their own genre whilst forcibly setting themselves as leaders of the sound of British music, Loathe return to take more than just the crown.
It is well known that metal, hardcore & rock have the ugly thrashing and excitement of the pit to attribute to the success of such records that fall within those categories. Loathe, however, take the ferocity and viciousness of the modern world and move you. Without losing the signature scratch of their guitar tone, the band develop upon pre-existing ideas from past-gone projects and introduce an incredible sense of humanity. Entailing disgusting and nasty songwriting wrapped in a warm soundscape of synth melody and voice.
The musicianship and adaptations of the vast array of influences contribute heavily towards this record, entitled I Let It In And It Took Everything. A cinematic bridge opens the project quite literally in the form of 'Theme' exploring a vast and shimmering soundscape. This is inevitably interrupted by one of the existing singles 'Aggressive Evolution', a kickstart to the ferocious dynamics available in the record. These components also utilise new-found electronic elements with reference to debut album The Cold Sun. No longer do bands rely on the singularity of riffs, but the cohesion of their lyrical vocabulary and structure. The Liverpool quintet blends in a new method of cleans whilst sensibly utilising the heavier roots they base their foundations from.
'The idea of what we are doing and the recording of the album is ‘it’ We let in the idea of being in this band, and it took everything from us. Without trying to make it sound like a sob story, we needed to build ourselves up again in order to make this record.’
Rapid pace and fluctuating rhythms are consistent throughout the entire record becoming fond of relentless exceptionally low tuned riffs. None better than 'Broken Vision Rhythm' which features elongated deathly sustain similar to that of its vocal features own musical endeavour, Harry Rule of God Complex, demonstrating a harsher vocal style that reappears throughout the record. A substantial amount of ILIIAITE's experimentation delves into extremities. A Black Metal surge in 'Heavy Is The Head That Falls With The Weight Of A Thousand Thoughts' delivers Deaf Heaven rasps of horror. Despite the misconception that most metal and hardcore (whatever you call contemporary genre-blending tracks these days) is chaotic and disordered. Loathe create a narrative throughout the most uncompromising and unforgiving of tracks such as 'Red Room' which initially evokes a sense of stillness and meditation only to fall into the anarchy of their live sets. Appropriately recognised in their HMA and Metal Hammer Award nominations.
Much of our contemporary consumption in full lengths and singles rely on trends and consistency, there are various points throughout the project that leave you wondering is this really the same group that recorded In Death and Rest; In Violence? A myriad of maturity and experience helps the quintet expand their potential to equally impressive softer tracks in 'Is It Really You' and 'Screaming' which forefront the records undeniable longevity. Such tracks show that reflective and sincere emotion does not always have to be monochromatic with pop vocals and smooth groove but rather the raw intensity of delivery from all vocalists, in particular, Kadeem & Erik's ability to emphasise and extend pronunciation of the records cleans. Bright and colourful percussion helps drive much of these modernised ballads with equal, if not more, power that pumps through sections of 'Sad Cartoon'.
‘I always want Loathe to be eclectic, a monster with many different faces but to make sure that it all sits in the same universe as well.’
A pleasurable variety of styles dominate this track as it does throughout the project with those happy go lucky Turnstile interludes breaking into energetic yet hellish melodies. Ironic and suitably fitting of its track name it is a good reflection of the entirety of the project. ILIIAITE is capable of adapting its sonic output in creative and original methods to make the lyrical and emotional narrative shine through its harrow and aggressive tones so that the sweet blissful jangle of guitar and warm synths can be concise and revolutionary to the groups sound. Title track 'I Let It In and It Took Everything' opens up the bands palette, as the group avoid the pigeon hole that is Itunes genre categories, exhibiting short sharp bursts of radicalised suspense and sonic brutality. It is abrasive in part, however yet again drawing upon cinematic styles even stating influence by the latest instalment of Joker and horror game soundtrack Silent Hill 2.
'We never want to abandon the crazy, sporadic metal side of the band, we just want all these other ideas to take root so that it furthers the lore of the band. I want us to be seen as this huge machine that can do whatever it needs or wants essentially.'
An eclectic progressive album that shows the strengths of the band, a source of inspiration for future releases and a brilliant display of maturity. I Let It In And It Took Everything demonstrates a higher level of quality and class to the underground heavy music scene that refuses to be ignored.
I Let It In And It Took Everything