Loathe (band)

Loathe are an English heavy metal band from Liverpool, England. Formed in 2014, the group consists of lead vocalist Kadeem France, guitarist and second vocalist Erik Bickerstaffe, guitarist Connor Sweeney, drummer Sean Radcliffe and bassist Feisal El-Khazragi.

Loathe
Loathe.jpg
Loathe playing live in Birmingham, 11th February 2020.
Background information
OriginLiverpool, Merseyside, U.K.
Genres
Years active2014–present
Labels
Websitewww.loatheasone.co.uk
Members
  • Kadeem France
  • Erik Bickerstaffe
  • Connor Sweeney
  • Sean Radcliffe
  • Feisal El-Khazragi
Past members
  • Shayne Smith

They are signed to SharpTone Records and have released two EPs and two studio albums. "Prepare Consume Proceed" in 2015, which was re-issued in 2016 through SharpTone Records as the label's first release. They released their debut studio album "The Cold Sun" in 2017, then a split EP made with label-mate Holding Absence called "This Is As One" in 2018. Loathe released their second studio album "I Let It in and It Took Everything" on 7 February 2020.

The band's works are often categorised within the metalcore genre with experimental elements. Loathe have been previously nominated for Heavy Metal Awards best UK breakthrough band and Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards best new band in 2018. In a 2020 poll by Revolver magazine, they were voted the third most likely contemporary band to break through into the mainstream.[1]

HistoryEdit

Formation and Prepare Consume Proceed EP (2011-2016)Edit

The band's founding members, including former Rainhill High School pupil Erik Bickerstaffe, knew each other from different musical projects that they were involved with, such as Our Imbalance,[2] since before the formation of the band, but started working together as a new band around 2011-2012 when their other projects came to an end, this band would come to be known as Loathe by 2014. In 2015, they performed at Deadbolt Festival on 8 August, and in Autumn that same year they released their first EP titled "Prepare Consume Proceed" independently.[3][4][5] The band initially kept their names anonymous, using stage names (DRK, DRT, SNK, MWL and NIL) along with not revealing their origin. Kadeem France was the only one whose stage name was revealed (DRK) as he is the lead vocalist, and was identified by a prophetic mask of unknown significance, which was used as the album artwork for their EP.[6][7][8] on 22 November, the band supported metal band Empires Fade during their show in Manchester.[9]

Moving onto June 2016, the band would tour as support act for Oceans Ate Alaska during their UK tour.[10] On 8 July the same year, their EP was re-issued through SharpTone Records as the labels first release since its conception a month prior, and was accompanied with a music video for a new song exclusive to the re-issue, "In Death," which featured France wearing his mask.[4][5][11] Bickerstaffe explained that the band was discovered by the label shortly after their independent release of their first music video for Shoel/In Death, and after their initial dialogue and exchanging of ideas, the band and label managers "clicked" and they partnered up.[12] The EP received positive reviews, Kerrang! magazine praised the album's heavy Djent style and "synthy atmosphere" but criticised the band's horror-like image, stage names and France's mask as "some bargain-bin horror flick," giving the album 3 K's out of 5.[13] As the band's career progressed, the members decided that the use of code-names and the mask was unnecessary, citing that they just wanted to be themselves when performing their music and pointed to the likes of Ghost and Slipknot and their influences for starting that gimmick in the first place.[14] Also in early July the band performed at Tech-Fest, later on the same month they toured as the support act for metal band Carcer City around the UK, and on 25 September, the band performed at Ozzfest meets Knotfest California on the Nuclear Blast stage.[15][16][17]

The Cold Sun and This Is As One Split EP (2017-2018)Edit

 
Former member Shayne Smith live at The Key Club, Leeds in 2017

Initially, the band was planned to start off 2017 as a support act for Emmure during their UK tour in January, however due to unforeseen delays in Emmure's album production, the tour was cancelled.[18][19] In April the band toured as a support act for Blood Youth and in May the band also performed at the London warm-up show for Hellfest. A few months later, they released their debut studio album, titled "The Cold Sun" on 2 June 2017.[20][21][22] The album was produced by Matt McLennan and was recorded in The Dark Studios in Atlanta, Georgia.[5][11] From 23 August to 5 September the band headlined a tour in the UK with metal band Harbinger, following up with three more dates from 6 to 8 with metal band Lotus Eater, and later throughout October and November, the band was the support act for Bury Tomorrow during their "Stage Invasion" tour in the UK.[23][24][25][26] One of their last shows of the year was performed at Binfest 2017 in late November.[27]

Starting off 2018, the band released a split EP with the metal band known as Holding Absence, another band signed with SharpTone Records, on 8 February.[28] In March they toured as co-headlining act with Holding Absence with Modern Error as a support act, along with supporting metal band God complex during a show in Leeds, the band were nominated for their first award, that being Metal Hammer Golden Gods Award for best new band of 2018, and in April they were also be nominated for Heavy Metal Awards best UK breakthrough band, the latter of which the band performed at the award's announcements ceremony in Manchester.[29][30][31][32][33] The band performed at the Slam Dunk and Teddy Rocks festivals in May,[34][35] and in June the band's bassist Shayne Smith announced that after performing at Download Festival, he will be departing from the band to pursue a career as a tattoo artist,[36][37] with his role being filled by ex-Holding Absence guitarist Feisal El-Khazragi.[38] In early July the band performed at the 2018 Tech-Fest, and later that same month the band performed at the 2000 trees festival. In September, they were the supporting band for Sikth during their "Riddles of Humanity" UK tour, along with also supporting Of Mice & Men on their mini-tour in the UK in November.[39][40][41][42] In December, the band supported metal band Palm Reader in London.[43]

In regards to releasing future music, Bickerstaffe stated that realistically a new album will be released in 2019 and that they have been writing new songs, stating that at some point they might recluse somewhere to focus solemnly on making music, though has admitted that he isn't sure if the next album would be an EP or a full studio release yet.[14][44][45] In October 2018, Bickerstaffe commented that the band had planned 12 new songs for the album, In the meantime he has also been busy producing music for other metals acts, one such release being the EP "Created Sick" by Merseyside band God Complex whom they toured with earlier the same year, meanwhile vocalist Kadeem France collaborated with metal band Of Legions on their single "Vision of Misery."[46][47][48]

Touring and I Let It In And It Took Everything (2019–present)Edit

In late April and early May, Loathe supported Hollywood Undead on the stretch of their UK tour, attended the Two Thousand Trees Festival in July, and attended both the Radar Festival and the Heavy Metal Music Awards in August.[49][50][51][52][53] Loathe released an EP entitled "Gored/New Face In The Dark" featuring the two new singles on 20 September 2019, along with a music video for Gored with one for New Faces In The Dark being released on 10 October. [54][55][56][57] In December, the band will be touring as a support act for Stray from the Path during their European tour, along with The Devil Wears Prada and Gideon.[58][59]

The band released their second album I Let It in and It Took Everything on 7 February 2020, to critical acclaim.

Musical styleEdit

One of the musical labels that Loathe has been assigned to the most is the metalcore fusion genre. In an interview with Distorted Sound Magazine, the band were referred to as being part of the latest movement within the genre, along the likes of Code Orange and Ocean Grove.[60] They have also been grouped with similar bands such as Lotus Eater, Modern Error, Holding Absence and God Complex, noted as a new wave of bands within the genre.[61]

The band often uses the dynamic of clean and unclean vocals. While Bickerstaffe used to be the sole clean vocalist, France has increasingly done more clean vocals on recent songs.[60][62][63][64] Metal Injection, upon reviewing the band's debut studio album The Cold Sun, also went on to call it borderline deathcore along with the band's experimental and progressive take on metalcore, but the likes of DistortedSoundMag.com, TheMonoloth.com and Kerrang! have all also used deathcore/death metal as a way to describe their music.[65][66][67][68]The band have been praised by publications such as Metal Hammer and Metal Injection, for their use of electronics in their music, often delivered purely for atmosphere rather than the forefront of the band's music, and is often accredited as the band's experimental features, often going into industrial territory.[63][64][65][66][69]

Expanding on the band's metalcore sound further, others have also pointed out the band's incorporation of elements from other genres, one frequent point made is the band's use of djent elements in their music, typically regarding their guitar styles.[13][64][65][66] In an article for Revolver magazine, they were described as making music ranging between "industrialized metallic hardcore that's as crushing as it comes, to shoegaze-inflected post-rock that soars and shimmers".[1] Other elements the band has been found to incorporate in their style is nu metal and progressive metal.[62][63][65][66] The band has been recommended for listeners of such bands like Attila, Slipknot, Fit for an Autopsy, The Devil Wears Prada, Between the Buried and Me and Code Orange.[67][69]

Lyrical styleEdit

The band describes themselves as a conceptual band, as throughout all of their album releases they have been telling stories of fiction.[12] Their first release, Prepare Consume Proceed, was said to involve a story about a tormented protagonist, who loses a loved one and is later killed by the end of the EP's run.[70] With the release of studio album "The Cold Sun," it tells a narrative of a violent post-apocalyptic setting, mixing themes of desolation with an overarching sense of positivity and heroism. The record supposedly tells a story of two protagonists who exist during this dystopian setting set up by in the album.[5][69] Bickerstaffe has stated that they don't take influence from other major concept records and acts such as Thirty Seconds to Mars and Pink Floyd, making the remark: "Our inspiration to create concept records mostly comes from wanting to create our own worlds within the music, almost like looking at the album as a book with separate chapters."[12]

For the second album, Bickerstaffe has stated that their writing process starts with the concept, which is spread out across 12 songs. Once they have a plan for what they want to create, they focus on sustaining those songs.[46]

Live performancesEdit

Metal Hammer and WhatCulture writer Matt Mills named the band 2018's greatest live metal act, stating that their presence on stage is "always intense and cinematic" whilst applauding the band's use of atmospheric, minimalist interludes inspired by film soundtracks.[71] The band's lead vocalist Kadeem France utilised a prophetic mask of unknown significance, which was used as the album artwork for their EP.[8] Bickerstaffe mentioned to Kerrang! that they "...take a lot of inspiration from Marvel, DC and the rest of the comic world - seeing our live shows like performance art." adding that "The mask is definitely a big part of that what we do, but it's not entirely everything."[72] Since 2016 however, the band has not used the mask, citing the gimmick to be influenced by major acts such as Ghost and Slipknot, wearing it to pay homage to such bands.[14] During the same year, Kerrang! writer Sam Law criticised the band's use of masks and then stage names in 2016, calling it "shittily cliched."[13] The use of TV screens on the stage is also utilised for the band's gritty, theatrical presence.[71][73]

InfluencesEdit

In an interview with MetalPaths.com, Bickerstaffe cited the bands Slipknot, Deftones and Korn as the big-name influences on the band's sound and stated that the band aspires to be in the same level as them, going on to say that he and the other members are not inspired by the sound of modern bands today, preferring the more timeless sounds from those they do take influence from.[11] France and Bickerstaffe also cited Deftones and Meshuggah for their use of clean vocals and heavy guitars, but also cited Radiohead as an influence regarding their means of experimenting with their music.[60] Bickerstaffe has also mentioned that his teenage influences consisted of Miss May I and Attack Attack!, grouping them as synthcore, and whilst at the time he disregarded much music outside of metal at the time, he had matured to enjoy a much greater range of music since.[46]

Major influences outside of the metal band scene are the soundtracks "Silent Hill 2", composed by Akira Yamaoka, the "Akira" soundtrack, composed by Geinoh Yamashirogumi, and the Blade Runner soundtrack composed by Vangelis. These soundtracks influenced the band's debut album "The Cold Sun" regarding its story-telling and atmosphere, along with Akira being an influence on the album's artwork.[11][71]

MembersEdit

Current line-upEdit

  • Kadeem France - unclean vocals (2014-present), clean vocals (2017-present)
  • Erik Bickerstaffe - lead guitar, clean vocals, unclean vocals (2014-present)
  • Connor Sweeney - rhythm guitar (2014-present), backing unclean vocals (2017-present)
  • Sean Radcliffe - drums (2014-present)
  • Feisal El-Khazragi - bass, backing unclean vocals (2018-present)

Past membersEdit

  • Shayne Smith - bass (2014-2018)[36], backing unclean vocals (2017-2018)

TimelineEdit

DiscographyEdit

Loathe discography
Studio albums2
Music videos8
EPs2
Singles7

Studio albumsEdit

Title Album details
The Cold Sun[22]
I Let It In and It Took Everything

EPsEdit

Title Album details
Prepare Consume Proceed[7][74]
  • Released: November 2015 (indie), 8 July 2016 (re-issue)
  • Label: SharpTone (re-issue), Nuclear Blast (re-issue)
  • Format: Music download
This Is as One[75]

SinglesEdit

Title Year Album
"In Death" 2016 Prepare Consume Proceed
"Dance On My Skin"[65][66][76] 2017 The Cold Sun
"It's Yours"[65][66][77]
"Gored"[54][55] 2019 I Let It in and It Took Everything
"New Faces In The Dark"[54][55]
"Aggressive Evolution"
"Two-Way Mirror"

Music videosEdit

Title Year Director Link
"Sheol/In Death"[4] 2016 unknown [78]
"Dance On My Skin"[70][79] 2017 [80]
"It's Yours"[14][70] Zak Pinchin [81]
"East of Eden"[70] unknown [82]
"White Hot"[14] Zak Pinchin [83]
"Gored"[54][55] 2019 [84]
"New Faces In The Dark"[56][57] [85]
"Two-Way Mirror" 2020 [86]

AwardsEdit

Nominated work Year Award Result
Loathe 2018 Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards best new band [31][87] Nominated
Heavy Music Awards Best UK Breakthrough Band [32][88][89] Nominated

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit