The Elijah: I Loved I Hated I Destroyed I Created

Sumptuous, bleak debut from young prophets of doom.

Why you can trust Louder Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The green county of Shropshire may be more synonymous with pretty market towns and chintzy tea rooms than agonised post-rock, but local boys The Elijah have unearthed a world of anguish under the lush exterior of the English countryside. And by God, they’ll wring that angst for all its worth on this, their debut album.

The opening track, In Misery (of course!) marries portentous clouds of sombre melody and funereal drums to animalistic, skin-flaying howls from Dan Tomley and existential crooning from his co-frontman, Mike McGough. ‘I’m afraid of dying alone,’ he sobs, ‘but I know that’s how this ends’.

Synths swell from one crescendo to the next, placing the band musically somewhere between Aereogramme and This Will Destroy You, and the pessimism piles on through I Hated, I Destroyed and In Death. It becomes suffocating, the songs bleeding indistinctly into one another until they become one amorphous glob of gloom.

There’s plenty of promise here, but The Elijah need to learn to expand on their ideas. Until they do it’s difficult to find much of a reason to offer company to their particular brand of misery.

Emma has been writing about music for 25 years, and is a regular contributor to Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Louder. During that time her words have also appeared in publications including Kerrang!, Melody Maker, Select, The Blues Magazine and many more. She is also a professional pedant and grammar nerd and has worked as a copy editor on everything from film titles through to high-end property magazines. In her spare time, when not at gigs, you’ll find her at her local stables hanging out with a bunch of extremely characterful horses.