Defined as the action or process of trying out new ideas, methods or activities, experimentation is a key necessity to keep humanity moving forward and to continue the progression that it entails. Try to imagine a world where this was not done and everything stayed complacent; after a very short period, large swathes of the population would lose their lust and desires for life and what comes with it. This is why fresh, young blood is needed in all platforms of life as the younger generation shows a higher willingness to adapt and experiment. While musicians have never been people to shy away from change, up until the past few years, there was a period where stagnation started to creep in within certain genres and subgenres. Fortunately, acts young and old have stepped up to the plate to introduce their idea of what music is and one such act is the experimental and distinctly sounding SharpTone Records signees Loathe. The UK quintet has always had a sound that delved into the heavier sides of metal, but their debut album, The Cold Sun not only serves as a conceptual record in theme, but also in sound as listeners are taken on a 35-minute journey into some of the darkest aspects of humanity.
When someone first sits down to listen to a record, there is typically an expectation of what it will sound like based off of the labeled genre. While Loathe is slapped with a label and their foundation is derived from the deathcore realm, it’s unfair to simply label The Cold Sun within one genre as the experimentation and differing styles wrapped into the sound found here is quite unique. To fully understand the sound presented here, people will have to listen in full as it’s about more than just a playthrough or two, it’s about the entire journey listeners are on taken on. That being said, there’s a large reliance on utilizing programming to creating haunting and atmospheric moments like the record’s opener, “The Cold Sun”, which is nothing more than a quiet and slowly building string section before the word ‘loathe’ is presented and the sound of “It’s Yours” fully kicks in. It’s these transitional moments that maintain the level of cohesion that can only be found on a record that was initially created to be a fully realized, conceptual journey for the band and the listener. Traditional records rarely, if ever, come close to this type of song continuity as they’re created with different ideologies.
ALBUM AVAILABLE HERE: iTunes: http://geni.us/LoatheTheColdSunIT Amazon: http://geni.us/LoatheTheColdSunAM Amazon MP3: http://geni.us/LoatheTheColdSunAMP3 Google Play: http://geni.us/LoatheTheColdSunGP LYRICS Claim what’s yours Follow in his footsteps Loathe as one Carved into their foreheads Worship this primal sin Exhausted, I’m craving more Incessant, it’s pulled me in Screaming “It’s yours, it’s yours” It’s yours Do you remember me?
Continuing on the basis of The Cold Sun’s overall sound, it’s rather dark and brooding and reflects the lyrical content quite well. The vast majority of the record lives in this spacey, downbeat realm with brooding, down tuned guitars and a lot of backing effects that all envelope listeners into its post-apocalyptic world. This sound is most noticeable during the four-song stretch that runs from “It’s Yours” to “Loathe” as it gets very haunting and ghastly musically with heavy, effect driven soundscapes that rise and fall with the heavier screams and sparsely, but well utilized cleans. It’s these vocal stylings that should not go overlooked as the growls contain a level of anger and despair while the cleans have a fleeting sense of hope in the dark and cold world that Loathe are living in. With all the uniqueness and praise we’re throwing towards the band, there is a huge downside and it lies within the longevity and length of the record. Sometimes there’s a point of going too far down a rabbit hole in creating so much depth to a record, and at a certain point it feels as if Loathe crept down there, before coming back up for air as the The Cold Sun is quite short. Further disappointment lies in it containing a large swathe of interludes, that while they help keep continuity between tracks and keep the tale going, feel like a disappointment as most amount to nothing truly captivating.
With their debut, Loathe offer up a lot for listeners to take in. There’s a level of visualization that carries across the entire package, from the darkest depths of the music and the mindset it gets listeners in, the visual representation that is created for specific songs thus far and the end of the world, anime-stylized album art that harkens to something similar to Akira. Coupled with the conceptual theme of a dark, post-apocalyptic tale built on two adjacent timelines of a dystopian future, it’s a form of artistry that is rarely found in the deathcore genre and one that causes listeners to become fully engrossed in not only the music, but the world of The Cold Sun.