Loathe - The Cold Sun
Buy it from many online sources or from Sharptone’s MerchNow
Back when Sharptone hit the scene almost a year ago, they had a solid lineup from the get go. Nothing that particularly interested me (Emmure, Attila, and so on), but seeing them nab big names put the label on my radar. Not too long after, Loathe quietly signed a released their debut EP, Prepare Consume Proceed. For some mindless background noise, it was alright. Alittle by the numbers for the current metalcore landscape, but some use of synth and the talent presented kept them in the back of my mind. So with the release of The Cold Sun, I wanted to see if these guys could put them above the endless heap of schlock.
The album opens with a retro synth track that sounds like a cross between Disasterpeace and Perturbator, setting an eerie mood with a sliding melody that immediately peaked my interest. Its short lived and brings in the fuzz. It's still rather standard fare with a lot of dropped tuned chugging and chaotic vocals. “It’s Yours” stumbles into its chorus, but bring the emotion through its vocals. A lot of the verses feel kind of formless with thick synth background that seem to consume most of the mix, except the drums. It's hard to say if it's a definite negative, because for the most part it works. It adds to the post apocalyptic setting of the album. Chorus’s are mostly the standout moments of the album, like on “East of Eden,” or the more of the eerie synth on “3990.”
Getting to “Stigmata” (more or less the halfway mark) can feel a tad exhausting every other listen. Its disappointing, because “Stigmata” and a few of the proceeding songs feel like some of the stronger metalcore songs. “P.U.R.P.L.E.” brings the heat with crushing guitars and nasty gutturals. If anything, “Never More” might be the perfect fusion the two sounds. The tight 49 seconds merge fast low end guitar work and staccato synth coming together in such a furious song. The four minute finale “Babylon…” does a lot of the same tricks, but with arguably the most emotion on the album.
I think it seems like I have negative opinion of the album, which I don’t. There's a lot that can be fixed, and some of that maybe a lack of experience, but I still find myself where I was at the end of their debut EP. It's a fine album. I may not be listen to it again until I’m scrolling through my library looking to revisit things, but they’re still a band to look out for. There's still a lot of untapped potential between these guys and I have no doubt that they can get there, its just a matter of how long it’ll take.
- Alex B.