Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
There was a time when many thought the concept album was dead, that the medium of the music long conversation was over and that nobody could pull it off anymore; such thought is always folly. It is akin to suggesting the narrative poem is redundant, that nobody could pull of the epic anymore, such is the world we now inhabit, anything over a miniscule of thought is deemed to be excessive, anything that takes the time and trouble to convey a story supposed to be not worthy of the modern applause and yet in the hands of Liverpool’s Loathe, The Cold Sun is the type of chronicle that is splendid and worthy of Time being digested and poured over.
Whilst Liverpool isn’t known for its protracted and lingering dance with the heavier side of music, it does on occasion let slip the odd band to whom the world can look to and believe that for a while if only there was more of this that came from the city that gave Pop and 20th Century cool to the world, for then the dance with gruff and progressive would be even sweeter.
The concept of oblivion, the idea that the world is hanging by a thread is nothing new, the void and annihilation are bed fellows that share the world with our dark times on a regular basis. Yet Loathe take the model further, they pound out energy, impressive and battle scarred, and the conception of negativity and turn it into a feeling of overwhelming understanding; that The Cold Sun to which we turn our heads towards might explode once more in a fire laden ball of flame, even it is the final burst of a dying star, it will still provide a tale that captures the immensity of human imagination.
For Kadeem France, Erik Bickerstaffe, Shayne Smith, Connor Sweeney and Sean Radcliffe, The Cold Sun is not just about the chance to prove that a tale can still be told in this ever shrinking vacuum of long term memory and it has to be said, that the tale is outstanding, magnetic and meaningful, the perception is made real and is delivered with a blast that would make Etna seem like a bubble bath.
Persuasive in its delivery, this debut album from the Liverpool band, The Cold Sun is post apocalyptic, it is the conflict born out even when there are only two people left alive to hate each other and in tracks such as Dance of My Skin, Stigmata and Babylon, Loathe prove once again there is always something to love in the Progressive, no matter what form it ultimately takes and revels in. The Cold Sun is just the start of a hopeful renaissance of the genre that arguably has lost its way over time, the ability to tell a story without it lasting mere seconds and inhabiting short term memory reception.
Loathe’s The Cold Sun is released on the 14th April via Sharptone Records.
Ian D. Hall