Oh boy. What a performance this was; on the rise experimental metal Liverpool band Loathe had one thing in mind when taking to the stage on Saturday night; bring the heaviness. They did not skimp on the offering, instead rather a hearty buffet of brutal metal was dished up in abundance, leaving everyone in attendance galvanised & wanting more by the time they had completed their set – I for one CANNOT WAIT until I get to witness these boys live again.
Incorporating a healthy dose of djent among other styles, the fusion of genres and musical elements that’s executed so creatively and artistically is something that for me sets this band apart. To encompass such a wide range of aspects without sacrificing any of their hefty sound is testament to the musical minds of the individual members and to the band as a group who are on the same page and know exactly how to construct their songs, in fact said genre integration has only served to increase the seismic belabouring of blows the band produces.
One thing Loathe are adamant about and that is evident from their music is not being pigeon-holed or restricting themselves genre wise – Erik Bickerstaffe touched on this when I interviewed him and Feisal El-Khazragi before the gig (you can read the whole interview here: http://bloggersgamut.com/interviews/loathe-interview-erik-feisal/) by stating:
It’s easy to be pigeon-holed but it’s hard to get out of it, I feel lucky to be in a position where we can realise this now before we’ve really made our imprint on the world! We do not care for such restrictions, we’ve done what we want since the beginning and here we are so we’re gonna keep doing exactly that and essentially retain this mindset.
Unleashing bruising renditions of tracks including ‘It’s Yours’ and ‘Loathe’ among many other stellar moments set the crowd into a feverish high-octane mosh; the energy put forth by the band into the intimate capacity room was rather contagious and was matched all night from the captivated faithful – the atmosphere felt strangely akin to a gloomy, devilish ritual or ceremony.
It’s easy to see how they have been nominated for the Heavy Music Awards accolade for ‘Best UK Breakthrough Band’ this year; on record they are certainly a force to be reckoned with and everything they expound translates emphatically, but the live performance really kicks things up a level as they prove they are as skilled musicians as the records have suggested but also have such contagious on-stage energy and a supremely grabbing stage presence – I can easily see them decimating much bigger venues and definitely any festival they are booked on – exactly as they did at Download Festival earlier in the year.
– Even my girlfriend, who primarily listens to Panic! At The Disco, Green Day, You Me At Six and P!NK, was captivated by the chaotic energy and absolutely loved the performance (I’m a step closer to converting her to metal, thank you guys haha)!
Loathe do the basics really well. Whereas the supporting acts who were fun and interesting to listen to and observe sounded a little bit of a mess due to poor sound level correlation and volume set ups, Loathe appeared levels ahead and far more professional as they simply know how to set up their show; you could truly hear every element. When the crushing grooves of the aptly titled ‘White Hot’ – it is a sheer scorcher and vastly cranked up the room temperature – hit, they REALLY hit. Kadeem France‘s screams where as brutal and piercing as expected yet you can still hear the words that are being so vehemently delivered. His talented vocal range was exercised well and the resounding mid-lyric switch from a melodic clean delivery instantaneously into a deathly scream was impeccable, and not to forget the fetching studio quality clean supporting vocals on display from Erik Bickerstaffe – impressive on their own, but combined as many of the songs see happen, magnificent.
As I say this is a simple and quite common sense part of preparing a live show but it does make a huge difference if you can actually hear each individual element of the music and is going to be far more enticing for those in the crowd that might be encountering the band for the first time – I can guarantee anyone who was in attendance that was introduced to Loathe this night would have gone home and dived straight into their music.
I would strongly advocate that if you are a fan of metal in any capacity, get yourself to one of their shows the next chance you get – especially while you can still experience this beast unshackled at intimate venues just like The Flapper. Even for people with a bit of a softer musical taste like my girlfriend, you will seriously find it hard to not enjoy such a gripping and high energy experience.
Loathe are supporting Sikth on their ‘Riddles of Humanity’ UK tour this September (tickets available here) and latest project ‘This is As One’ is out now via Sharptone Records.
*sorry for the poor quality photos, an iPhone was the only tool at my disposal!