Well, I had a completely different set of expectations heading into Loathe‘s I Let It in and It Took Everything (SharpTone Records). See, one of my co-DJs on my radio show Stress Factor (cheap plug) had played ‘Gored’ and ‘Broken Vision Rhythm’ a few weeks back so I thought I was headed face-first into a sea of gnarly down-tuned Hardcore riffs with some Industrial elements tossed in for good measure. Not quite.
Can you blame me? Loads of young bands taking up the Metallic Hardcore baton these days are fusing bruising guitars and electronics, just ask Code Orange or Jesus Piece. And Loathe dabbles in that as well, but for the most part on I Let It in and It Took Everything, they’re interested in exploring more moody and melodic soundscapes. This is certainly less Integrity and more Good Tiger or The Safety Fire.
In a way, ‘Theme’ and ‘Aggressive Evolution’ is the most proper way to start this album as we get a sampling of the somber electronics to come only to veer right into that ignorant riff comfort zone. And just when you thought it was safe to mosh on ‘Aggressive Evolution’ you are hugged by massive sung choruses that are right out of Deftones‘ Saturday Night Wrist. If you liked that stylistic departure, then get ready for ‘Two-Way Mirror’ and its total dive into the hazy dream-like Deftones ambiance.
Call them ballsy or polarizing as Loathe continues to confidently dip back into those more mellow waters. ‘Screaming’ gets going with such a tempo that’ll leave you wondering if you just tuned into an Interpol song. But as far as experimentation goes, I suggest ‘Heavy Is the Head That Falls with the Weight of a Thousand Thoughts’ that trades the shades of Post-Metal for Black Metal blitzkrieg early on only to settle on a chunky guitar groove that’s well complemented by backing synth lines.
Not everyone will be thrilled about the varying styles of I Let It in and It Took Everything, but if you’ve got an open mind it’s got some really interesting things to show you.
8 / 10