Label: Vendetta Records
As the name suggests, Loathers “Eis” (German for “ice”) is a rather chilling affair. After a prolonged period of silence following the last EP “Haganvelt” - riddled with difficulties ranging from pandemic uncertainty to line-up changes -the bands’ first proper full-length album displays their growth in many ways. While it is not a concept album at heart, themes of loss and interpersonal struggle can be heard in the soothing voices and desperate screams strewn across the icy landscape. Rooted in the groups signature narcotic approach to metal music, reducing the records sound to mere genre tags would do their versatile worldbuilding through sound wrong: it’s not the direct influence of blackened or doomed metal that renders the nebulous haze of tracks like “Holler Your Name” so eerily effective – the key to this darkness lies in its successful blending of honest feelings with a lack of restraint when it comes to passionate delivery of good old heaviness. The tender beauty of the melodic bass outro only further cements this successful mastering of emotional dynamics. “Mortuary” continues the journey with hypnotizing rhythms that build themselves up twice to resolve in unforgiving sections of furious double-bass drumming and tremolo picked icicle guitars. To further add to the bands developed sound and approach, somber title track “Eis” and chivalric finisher “Proper Burial” showcase the first time the band is using vocals sung in German. All in all, it is these new flourishes of artistic ambition and a taste for disturbing silence with loudness (and vice versa) that makes “Eis” an important step in Loathers discography that you don’t want to miss if you hunger for an ice-cold taste of fiery emotion.