Loathe - The Cold Sun album review

Tech-metal newbies discover some new angles to mine

Cover art for Loathe - The Cold Sun album

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You might think there’s so little left to mine from the late 00s tech boom that any new band coming out with another set of elastic polyrhythmic riffs are going to be treading water. So fair play to Loathe for at least attempting to add to the genre’s palette. There are experiments with 80s darkwave synth on 3990, whilst The Omission dabbles with UNKLE-style big beat rhythms. These curveballs make Loathe sound even heavier when they get their metallic side spot on; Purple could stand shoulder to shoulder with Architects at their most epic and feels much more crushing after coming off of the back of the aforementioned sonic flights of fancy. The one criticism is that, arguably, Loathe are more interesting when they step back from metal into more ambient territories, although album closer Babylon melds the guttural and the beautiful like a tech-metal Pink Floyd. Get the mixture right on album number two and we could have something really special here.

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.