About Loathe

This inventive, experimental, and eclectic Liverpool-formed metalcore act fuse the brutal sound of death metal with its progressive counterpart, occasionally veering into ambient, synth-led passages with a shoegaze-inspired texture. Loathe's dynamism was showcased on their concept-heavy 2017 debut album, The Cold Sun, but further crystallized in 2020 on the acclaimed I Let it in and It Took Everything. By this point, the group had been regularly nominated in new act categories, ahead of ceremonies such as 2018's Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards. Although the core bandmembers -- vocalist Kadeem France and vocalist/guitarist Erik Bickerstaffe -- had been making music together for two to three years in local acts such as Our Imbalance, it wasn't until 2014 that they named themselves Loathe. Initially, Bickerstaffe was the band's sole clean vocalist, but by 2017 France was also contributing in this way. However, from the outset, both members delivered an unclean death growl, backed up by Connor Sweeney on rhythm guitar, Sean Radcliffe on drums, and Shayne Smith on bass. By 2015, they had secured a slot at Manchester's Deadbolt Festival, which was swiftly followed by the release of their self-financed debut EP, Prepare Consume Proceed. As an attempt to create an air of mystery, for initial shows, France wore a horror mask and the band only identified as three-digit pseudonyms, giving no explanation of their origin. However, following the reissue of the EP on the Nuclear Blast-related imprint SharpTone Records, they abandoned this stylized presentation in favor of a more honest approach. Much of 2016 was spent touring the U.K., supporting acts such as Birmingham's Oceans Ate Alaska and fellow Liverpool band Carcer City, while the early part of 2017 saw them tour in support of the Harrogate melodic hardcore act Blood Youth. Their Matt McLennan-produced debut full-length, The Cold Sun, was recorded in Atlanta, Georgia, and released in June of that year. Follow-up tours ensued with Harbinger and Bury Tomorrow, and early in the new year they released a split EP with the Cardiff post-hardcore act Holding Absence. After an appearance at Download Festival, Smith left the band to become a tattoo artist, and he was replaced by the Holding Absence bassist Feisal El-Khazragi, a player also able to provide backing unclean vocals. The remainder of 2018 was spent on tour, but Bickerstaffe also found time to engage in production work for God Complex, while France contributed vocals to the Of Legions' hardcore single "Vision of Misery." Just prior to Loathe's first-ever gig in China, the band issued the tracks "Gored" and "New Face in the Dark" in September 2019. This was the first material to be issued from February 2020's I Let it in and It Took Everything, a dynamic album of twists and turns from death metal to emo and soundtrack-inspired electronics to shoegaze. ~ James Wilkinson

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