Ever since their inception back in 2014, Loathe have been a fast-emerging breath of fresh air in the world of metal, maintaining some degree of mystery whilst never afraid to branch out and experiment.
Following on from their 2017 debut, ‘The Cold Sun’, the five-piece have stripped away a few levels of their conceptual drive and built on their grandeur and towering soundscapes with its follow-up, ‘I Let It In And It Took Everything’, offering so much to consume.
We got a track-by-track lowdown from Loathe to learn more about the record, how it came together, and what the songs on offer are all about.
‘Theme’ sees you slowly materialise within the universe of I Let It In And It Took Everything, lasting in a space before gradually falling into the earth. Set during the final moments of completing the record, in Shibuya, Japan – the door opens.
02.) AGGRESSIVE EVOLUTION
‘Aggressive Evolution’ is a take on addictive and destructive tendencies, following the chosen pursuit of happiness (whatever it may be) and realising the consequence it holds. Birthing a new but yet familiar energy, fittingly, ‘Aggressive Evolution’ was the first song we started and the first song we finished for the record.
03.) BROKEN VISION RHYTHM
‘Broken Vision Rhythm’ being the most up-beat track on the record switches scene and focuses on the collective and busy hive mind mentality that has developed at the forefront of culture. One that is leading an offbeat march of mostly uneducated, fictional’ and often times regressive beliefs and behaviours.
04.) TWO-WAY MIRROR
‘Two-Way Mirror’ describes the interactions followed by situations that occur when one starts to understand and connect the similarities between themselves and those of a distant loved one. Traits that are a mixture of the good and the bad. The first Loathe song of its kind, which in retrospect probably aided the natural progression of the song.
05.) 451 DAYS
‘451 Days’ is a showcase for one of the many glimmering and swirling sonic corridors that we created for the record. Housing the powerful echoes of Nina Simone’s captivating expression on what freedom really is, contrasting connotations of becoming fearless and standing tall in the face of adversity are created within.
06.) NEW FACES IN THE DARK
‘New Faces In The Dark’ is a tug of war between a Jekyll and Hyde type character that exists with a poisonous two-sided personality, not realising or distinguishing one side of themselves from the other, which in turn damages their environment with lasting effects on the people surrounding them. Quite possibly the most collaborative song on the record, the eclectic mixed bag of styles and sections really reflects the equal measures of input we all had for it.
07.) RED ROOM
‘Red Room’ follows a colossal betrayal, which in fruition buries you deep inside the tight confines of the red room. Originally, the middle section of this song was included in another song which didn’t make the record, however, towards the end of the process we made the decision to utilise the section and add to the track list.
One of the last tracks to be completed for the record, which actually began after we had “finished” the recording process towards the middle of 2019. ‘Screaming’ is based on the idea of letting go and seeing the ‘bigger picture’ in any given situation, even if it is that you’re scared to view it that way due to past experiences or trauma.
09.) IS IT REALLY YOU?
The concept for ‘Is It Really You?’ stemmed from an anonymous short story we had stumbled across long before the initial process for the record had begun. The basis revolves around a recurring dream which takes place in an idyllic setting of relevance, surrounded by passers by you exist within the dream, night after night. Until a change occurs, from the crowd a voice softly asks “Is it really you?”. The phrase struck such a chord within us that we held onto it for almost a year before it realised itself.
‘Gored’ and the suffocating pressure of opinion. Moving through everyone, everywhere until its weight breaks you down and you give in. One of the more open-ended tracks lyrically, the manifestation and personification of opinion as some kind of monster hurtling your way intent on getting you to crack was purposefully linked to the sporadic nature of the song.
11.) HEAVY IS THE HEAD THAT FALLS WITH THE WEIGHT OF A THOUSAND THOUGHTS
As self-explanatory as the title may seem, ‘Heavy Is The Head That Falls With The Weight Of A Thousand Thoughts’ expands more on recurring topics that arise within Loathe songs – complete mental deconstruction. We often gravitate towards the more morbid topics for more aggressive songs, and this is no different. Losing control of yourself one limb at a time, one thought at a time, until you are reduced to nothing.
12.) A SAD CARTOON
‘A Sad Cartoon’ has a similar flow to ‘New Faces In The Dark’, albeit part of a completely different personality. One that possesses the ability to be great and go on to do great things, yet falls behind with continuous self-doubt clouding the well deserved opportunities ahead of them. Spoken from the anxious perspective as well as an encouraging one. Alongside ‘Aggressive Evolution’, the creation of this song is really what spawned the confidence to really experiment with uncharted territory for us, so, in many ways, it’s one of the most important songs on the album
13.) A SAD CARTOON (REPRISE)
‘A Sad Cartoon (Reprise)’ features a callback to the pivotal melody from ‘A Sad Cartoon’. Self-referential elements are important to us, connecting each song either lyrically or sonically through references to past and/or future work of ours was definitely something on our minds during creation.
14.) I LET IT IN AND IT TOOK EVERYTHING…
‘I Let It In And It Took Everything…’ is the deconstruction of safety. The record title itself is set to evoke varied thoughts and feelings depending on what perspective it’s viewed from. “It” being enigmatic and non-descriptive could be many things for many different people. On a visceral level, the title holds huge relevance to this point of our lives and this point in the life of Loathe. To us, the song provokes feelings of tragedy, dismay, and defeat. Not one to be tied into the norm of a happy ending, whereas in reality, the completion of the record throughout everything is one for us.
The band’s sophomore album, ‘I Let It In And It Took Everything’, is out now via SharpTone Records.