Maltese metallers looking to make an impact in the UK

Despite being together for 8 years, Maltese metallers Loathe have yet to make any serious impact on the UK metal market with their brand of crossover thrash/death/hardcore. Not that any of those subgenres would make for a mega-selling album, but they have managed 3 EPs and a handful of tours. "Despondent By Design" is their debut album, so it's a shame that it does very little to hold your attention.

The instrumentation on 'Hellfire' managed to interest me for half a song, before the vocals dissolved into two Uruk-hai arguing in front of a standard metal band. The irritating thing is that it's not actually too offensive as an album the production is clean and a lot of it is actually comprehensible, it's just metal background music.

It's difficult to pinpoint precisely what it is that makes "Despondent By Design" unappealing to the point of boredom. The signature dual vocals are extremely painful, and the music always seems on the point of taking off and doing something... well, more. But it never quite gets there. It has promise and skill, but it never quite makes that step to the next level. There are no solos, but it's very rhythm-oriented. At least it's consistent. Or at least forceful.

'Hellfire' is a good representation of everything Loathe can offer at the moment, but 'This Respect' and 'This Overwhelming Grasp Of Solitude' are more intriguing tracks. As they gain more of a reputation in the UK, expect to see these guys popping up at the major metal festivals, which is probably where this material would work best (on pissed up, ready-to-mosh metallers.) On the plus side, if you like this kind of deathcore, the guys are currently looking for a new drummer...