Hollywood Undead + Loathe @ Rock City, 3rd May 2019

Hollywood Undead + Loathe @ Rock City, 3rd May 2019Hollywood Undead + Loathe @ Rock City, 3rd May 2019Hollywood Undead + Loathe @ Rock City, 3rd May 2019Hollywood Undead + Loathe @ Rock City, 3rd May 2019Hollywood Undead + Loathe @ Rock City, 3rd May 2019Hollywood Undead + Loathe @ Rock City, 3rd May 2019Hollywood Undead + Loathe @ Rock City, 3rd May 2019Hollywood Undead + Loathe @ Rock City, 3rd May 2019Hollywood Undead + Loathe @ Rock City, 3rd May 2019Hollywood Undead + Loathe @ Rock City, 3rd May 2019Hollywood Undead + Loathe @ Rock City, 3rd May 2019Hollywood Undead + Loathe @ Rock City, 3rd May 2019Hollywood Undead + Loathe @ Rock City, 3rd May 2019Hollywood Undead + Loathe @ Rock City, 3rd May 2019Hollywood Undead + Loathe @ Rock City, 3rd May 2019Hollywood Undead + Loathe @ Rock City, 3rd May 2019Hollywood Undead + Loathe @ Rock City, 3rd May 2019


Arriving into the venue to see Hollywood Undead tonight I noticed how busy it already was half an hour after doors; it’s great to see people coming out early to check out the highly regarded support band from Liverpool ‘Loathe‘.  Loathe have supported some big names in the metal world since forming in 2015 such as Wage War, Of Mice and Men, Sixth, Emmure and Bury Tomorrow. They’re signed to the prestigious Sharp Tone records.
Jumping straight in with eerie atmospheric soundtracks and harsh red lighting, ‘It’s Yours’ proved to be an instant hit. Kadeem France’s harsh screams are saturated with conviction and technique. Lyrically the band is very conceptual so it’s hard to relate to every line especially when it follows a serial killer ‘taking what is theirs’; but the clean chorus shines in creating an accessible hook for the audience to latch onto; Slipknot-esque.

The powerfully timed breakdowns, piercing chugs and seemingly murky vibe instantly reminded me of Deftones and Slipknot. The more the band play the more obvious the progressive elements become which makes it harder to categorize them. A viciously dark, raw yet eccentric blend of deathcore, metalcore and progressive metal. They also reminded me of a similar band called Conjurer.

Ending with another favourite of mine, ‘White Hot’, the tempo changes between the cleans and screams is fantastic. The lyrics seem unusual for this genre because usually metal strives to be resolute in it’s meaning but this song in particular is very open to interpretation and everyone will read it differently. Towards the end of the song heavy distortion is used on Kadeem’s screams to create another layer of ferocity with some nice static and beeping sound samples it really creates an almost dystopian style atmosphere.

It’s very clear to me that the guys in Loathe have a very clear vision about what their style is and it works well live. Gritty, heavy and in your face.

Hollywood Undead came onto the stage with loud applauses raging from the very mixed demographic crowd. Forming in 2005 the band have released five studio albums to date and tonight they played 17 songs in total. 2 from ‘Swan Song’s’ (2008), 4 from ‘American Tragedy’ (2011), 2 from ‘Notes from the Underground’ (2013), 3 from ‘Day of the Dead’ (2015) and 6 from ‘V’ (2017).

‘Whatever It Takes’ (2017) saw Charlie take centre stage for most of the song and swing his arm to the audience as if waving hello. The newer material is evidently less aggressive than the older stuff especially vocally with older tracks such as ‘Undead’ (2008) featuring screamed vocals. However Charlie Scene’s clean vocals are masterful and convincing; the heavy nature is still present, Johnny’s vocals are deeper add consolidate the rap-influenced- by-metal style. ‘California Dreaming’ (2017) features a tasty riff and an outstanding chorus which the crowd eats up, ‘Undead’ (2008) was a step back in time and shows just how much of a backcatalogue the band has.

Lighting wise the band uses heavily saturated blue flourescent lights which are very showy and flashy which contrasts with more subtle white and green side lighting on the guitarists. Charlie Scene seemed to alternate between guitar and main vocals all night while the others took turns on main vocals. Confetti was used during the set and it draped over the rigs on the ceiling providing even more of a party vibe. Onstage the band were as funny as ever, joking and chatting with the audience and even inviting a guy from the crowd onstage with them to play guitar.

‘Comin’ In Hot’ (2011) t he song which established them as one of the top ‘Party Metal’ bands of all time. People all across the sold out venue and even on the balcony sang word for word, including myself. It’s great to still see a rap metal band survive this long and not just be left behind in the Kerrang era; perhaps old school nu-metal has a chance of revival? The appetite is there.  ‘War Child’ (2015) another gem, the deep bass beats and comical lyrics provide the perfect catalyst for some serious movement from the crowd.

‘Bullet’ (2011) allowed the band to tone down the irreverence and provided a nice sing-a-long opportunity with slower pace. The lyrics focus on suicide and mental health and if I’m honest it’s not my favourite song but it’s performed with passion by all members; Charlie Scene’s verse is particularly hard hitting.

The encore included ‘Everywhere I Go’ (2008) which ensured all audience members went home happy. It can be compared with ‘Comin’ In Hot’ as it’s a tongue-in-cheek take on rap lifestyle and maybe even the genre itself, ‘Buy beer or pay the rent, My signing bonus was quickly spent’, along with numerous references to drinking beer and sex. It’s a song that sticks in your head and once it’s there it never leaves.

 

Review and Photos: Neale Hayes

 

 

 

 

 

 

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