Updated: Feb 3
Toronto, ON - Guitarist/co-vocalist Erik Bickerstaffe originally founded a band by the name of Our Imbalance. After recruiting vocalist Kadeem France (ex drummer for Escapists UK), the band eventually morphed into the English heavy metal outfit LOATHE. Formed in 2014, LOATHE has released 2 EPs and 3 full length records.
The band is one of the most exciting up and coming acts in the metal world today, bending the rules, and taking the whole genre into uncharted waters. As it turns out, the direction of the band is owed in part to Canada's own superstar rapper Drake. While looking for something different, other than his beloved metalcore, Bickerstaffe spun something completely different. As he listened to Drake's work, which he was unfamiliar with, a whole new world was opened for him. Since then, the band refuses to be labeled with one specific genre of heavy metal. I've heard many band's cry foul at all the different genres of Rock n Roll. Many just want to be known as a straight up Rock band. But LOATHE doesn't want to be labeled as anything. They want their world open to trying anything.
Their 3rd album is the 2021 release titled The Things They Believe, but it's their second release I Let It In And It Took Everything that finds the band performing a 30 date tour across the United States and Canada. During this tour, the band is performing their 2020 release in its entirety.
With support from Static Dress, Omerta, and UnityTX, the tour kicked off in Pittsburgh, PA on November 10, 2022. On December 14, the tour makes its first stop north of the border in Canada's largest city of Toronto, Ontario. With a quick jaunt over to Montreal, QC for a gig the next evening, the 2 dates are the only Canadian dates on the schedule. The band will then head back to the US for the final 2 gigs in Cambridge, MA and Brooklyn, NY.
Case in point to LOATHE's disdain to be labelled, the Toronto show on December 14 saw the sharp dressed vocalist appear on stage wearing a 3-piece suit. I can honestly say I have never seen this at a metal show. Bassist Feisal El-Khazragi follows suit (pun completely intended) as the band's look completely juxtaposes their music. It's completely fresh, as is their sound.
Another anomaly? The crowd at the Toronto show was very young. There were very few (if any) 50 year old metal heads like myself. And the crowd was completely engaged. Tons of body surfing kept security very busy. It's a clear sign here... heavy metal is alive and thriving!!
There are a couple dates left for this one. If you are in Massachusetts or New York, get on out! I mean, tis the season.