Loss - Horizonless album review

Volunteer State doom crew further develop their despair

Cover art for Loss - Horizonless album

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Formed in 2004 in Nashville, lachrymose death/doom quartet Loss dropped a load of deep-underground CD-Rs and splits before releasing a suffocatingly mournful debut LP, Despond, in 2011 to a rapturous reception among connoisseurs of ornately down-in-the-dumps doom. Six years on, Loss’s tortoise-like career reaches a new height with Horizonless. Shuddering dirges like Naught and The Joy Of All Who Sorrow confirm their talent for striking dismal moods of existential despair and emotional devastation with great billowing riffs, bottomless growls and piercingly sad guitar melodies. But now the intent seems more opaque as nuances have developed and vistas have opened. It feels more of a journey than the static, single-minded monolith of Despond, as the immersive experimental impulses, the atmospheric noise and spoken-word elements are deployed more efficiently. Effectively, Horizonless takes Despond as its starting point, adds six years of musical and personal growth, and emerges from Loss’s basement grief-hole into a more disorientating and challenging wide-open space.

Chris Chantler

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.