Friday 17 December 2021

Love Is Red - Darkness Is Waiting

Labels: Self-Released

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 01 Jun 2021


1. Darkness Is Waiting

2. Keep Moving

3. A Different Path

4. Shallow Graves

5. So Long

One thing that led me to the formation of this blog was a thirst for new music and bands, back when I was in my early-mid twenties. I was already into heavy music thanks to magazines like Kerrang, Metal Hammer and Zero Tolerance. One of the first ports of call on my voyage into the unknown was hardcore  (and more importantly straight-edge hardcore). While I wasn't edge myself, the positive message delivered by a number of those bands struck a chord. As I've dug deeper into the underground and discovered heavier and more extreme bands, I've lost touch with the hardcore that drew me in in the first place.

This is what drew me to US hardcore band Love Is Red and their newest EP Darkness Is Waiting. This is the band's first new music in seventeen years and the five tracks included here, have been made available on a special vinyl pressing together with their 2004 full-length The Hardest Fight, hence the dual-titled artwork above. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to listen to another hardcore band with history, even if I'm a little late.

In a world that’s becoming increasingly insular and chaotic, political and musical commentary isn’t far behind and Love Is Red provide both with their opening title-track ‘Darkness Is Waiting’. It’s an angry, metallic call to arms that captures the essence of what became metalcore in the early 00’s. It leads into ‘Keep Moving’, which is where Love Is Red truly gets going on this release. Instrumentally it’s fast-paced with authoritative vocals, heavy riffs with occasional breakdowns and a hefty percussive element too. In fact the guitar sound on Darkness Is Waiting is like nothing I’ve ever heard before. Somehow it’s been mixed so the guitars sound big, without overpowering everything else here. Love Is Red are very much creating the early 00’s hardcore sound for this decade.

‘A Different Path’ is the most melodic song so far, especially thanks to the gang choruses used in the middle of it. It’s also got the heaviest breakdown on the EP as well, so it’s a song of two contrasts. It ends with screeching feedback that leads you into ‘Shallow Graves’, which is the EP’s penultimate number. It shows just how important this form of hardcore was (and still is) to the heavy music landscape and, as I’ve mentioned before, it’s clearer to see how the bridge was gapped between hardcore and metalcore back when bands like Shai Hulud and Zao were appearing alongside the likes of Killswitch Engage and Unearth (if there’s even a distinction there!).

The EP’s final song is also it’s longest and ‘So Long’ epitomises melodic hardcore for me. It’s not immediately obvious but that’s the point. It’s the more subtle melody that makes it what it is. I’d go as far to say it’s my favourite song on here. I know loads of people who will really dig this release and, like me, will then dig deeper into the rest of Love Is Red’s discography. I also hope the trend of earlier bands reuniting and the unearthing of earlier release continues into next year. For now though, please take the time to appreciate Love Is Red, as they really are a breath of fresh air right now.

You can stream Darkness Is Waiting and rest of the band's discography here:-

All of Love is Red's earlier discography is available in the form of name-your-price downloads, except for The Hardest Fight and Darkness Is Waiting, which are both available for very modest sums on digital and physical formats. 

Love Is Red -

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