Loathe – ‘I Let It In And It Took Everything’

By Dave Stewart

If you’re reading this and you’re unaware of Loathe, you won’t be for much longer. The Liverpool quintet have been making seismic movements ever since their emergence back in 2015, earning themselves legions of supporters with highly acclaimed live performances and boundary-shattering music. As their cult-like fanbase continues to grow, so too has the demand and desire for new music to emerge. Two and a half years after the release of debut full length ‘The Cold Sun’, that new music is finally here in the form of ‘I Let It In And It Took Everything’ and, without a shadow of a doubt, the wait has been completely and utterly worth it.

There’s a lot of diversity on this record, the band stepping in and out of different vibes at all the right moments. From the soaring, cathartic outbursts of ‘Two Way Mirror’, to the colossally heavy bruiser ‘Gored’, there’s an awful lot of weaponry in their arsenal and they aren’t afraid to use it. ‘The Cold Sun’ demonstrated how expansive their sound can be – this record sees them freely traversing that territory, using every single acre to produce something that is undoubtedly theirs.

For those of you that have fallen in love with the relentless venom-spitting anger that Loathe offer, this record will facilitate the deepening of that love. The blisteringly heavy singles like ‘New Faces In The Dark’ and ‘Aggressive Evolution’ hinted at the enraged treats they have in store, but they’re just a small taste of the feast. The aggression they exert is familiar but feels new, boiling your blood as you listen and summoning a shared fury to the surface.

‘Red Room’ is a short but sweet burst of filth, slowly creeping through murky surroundings before revealing its teeth and charging directly towards you. ‘Broken Vision Rhythm’ is brimming with seemingly boundless rage, tearing through adrenaline-fuelled riffs like a freight train. ‘Heavy Is The Head That Falls With The Weight Of A Thousand Thoughts’ is a true heavyweight, crammed full of black metal screeches, otherworldly low tones, and obscene, distressing dissonance. If you didn’t think they could get any heavier, think again.

Where this record shines, though, is in the balance. The lighter moments that flow through the record don’t just provide opportunities to regain your breath, but serve as paths to another side of the band that is just as impacting and impressive as their hostility. There’s the monolithic collision of riffs and passion engulfed within ‘A Sad Cartoon’, the infectious and hard hitting powerhouse that is ‘Screaming’ – there’s even a couple of tracks that could almost pass as ballads, like the stunning and poignant ‘Is It Really You’, boasting one of the most moving vocal performances on the record. This doesn’t feel like their second full length at all. This is the sound of a band that have their feet firmly planted in their sound, their roots rapidly sinking deeper into the earth.

Loathe have managed to create something that is both beautiful and crushing, marrying both worlds together effortlessly. ‘I Let It In And It Took Everything’ demands to be listened to without skipping any tracks, each song feeling as though it’s been meticulously placed in a specific order to enhance the flow and overall punch. Each song is solid enough to stand and fight alone, but when listened to as part of the complete package, an unstoppable force is created.

Imagine for a second that this album is like a storm, the band playing the part of the dark cloud and the record as the menacing catalyst that’s brewing within it. The cloud is pulsing and growing in size by the day, the storm becoming more ferocious and powerful along with it. Soon Loathe will be hovering above everyone and everything, it will be raining everywhere, and we’ll all forget what life was like before the storm was ever here.

‘The Cold Sun’ put Loathe on the map – ‘I Let It In And It Took Everything’ makes them a permanent attraction. Their cult-like following may soon become too large to be called a cult anymore, and this album will play an enormous part in that growth. An astonishingly good sophomore record, and an early candidate for album of the year.

Let it in. Let it take everything.

DAVE STEWART

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