Love Lost is a throwback metal/hardcore band gaining lots of steam coming out of Chicago. No matter where they claim they are from, it's obvious they come from Shred City. They launched their debut single & music video right here at WWU not too long ago, I have been patiently waiting to hear this sound unfold. When their first single dropped it broke new ground in many old ways. Mixing face melting solos and fast riffing from thrash metal, threw in some hardcore elements and the one i'm most excited for, some hints of hip hop. Which is to be expected from Vocalist Bryan Grantz (ex-Drowning). Coming out of a hip hop driven (mainly) beatdown band, and moving into a 80's Metal band was a HUGE MOVE, and interesting one to say the least. I'm not going to lie, Drowning was taking a Nu Metal turn before they broke up. Thankfully this new band is more Metallica than Limp Bizkit or POD. Speaking of Metallica, You will find tributes of influences through out this entire EP, Them being a huge one. With an album cover that pays homage to DIO, you will hear so many influences including Suicidal Tenancies, Anthrax, Megadeath mixed with a more modern approach.
So being a lucky guy, I got my hands on the album a bit early. The track list is and will likely remain in this order:
1. Queen of Evil
2. Cold World
3. Frozen (ft. Cameron Mcbride of Methwitch)
4. Unlovable ( ft. Alex of Malevolence)
5. Sleep Well
First up, Queen of Evil.. The nostalgia hits you in the face with the first notes. It sounds like something Metallica wrote during their shit album era (90's), but LL never released "And Justice For All", so its definitely no let down. It's actually refreshing and hits my musical taste buds very well. The Leads get bigger and bigger until the song officially breaks open with a REAL Thrash sound. The first lyrics completely sets the song off and the shreds elevate the song immediately. Super up-beat, fast song. I love how musically it's 100% a trash song, but the vocals make it so diverse and unique sounding. A+ Opening track, Really lets their vibe sink in right off the bat.
Next up, We have Cold World. Getting some slayer vibes off this intro, Similar entrance with guitar shreds and solos that hit you right in the throat. Though at times, a bit more melodic compared to that last track, but I must say this song is way heavier. Has a bit of an extra crunch to it. We are introduced to the second vocalist Ed Messina which also the shredding guitar wizard. He brings clean, vocals. Usually when I say clean vocals I am talking about a pop star bassist or keyboardist. Not Ed, Ed is metal as fuck. The chorus is undoubtedly directly influenced by Master of Puppets Metallica era. Some could say its a little too identical or similar. In not only the under riff but the vocal patterns themselves and it doesn't help "Master" is a key lyric BUT in the case of loving it so much, We'll write it off as a tribute to the greats. The song is just amazing, and super catchy.
Track 3, Frozen. When this track starts you may double check to make sure your not listening to a black metal band. Once the song moves along, its more hardcore than anything else. More specifically Thrash-punk. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE BRYAN'S VOCALS, he just flows the entire song with no breaks other than Cameron's feature. The feature is awesome, it shows this band is willing to go in multiple directions with their music. They are applying so many different styles of vocals to music that just hasn't seen the light of day in a while. It's fairly impressive when you step back and look at what they are actually doing.
No better way to prove my previous point than this song right here, Their debut single track Unlovable. This song is the peak of the EP, and you can tell this is the complete formula for this band. They showcase everything they are trying to do, and what they are capable of within this track. The shreds, The solos, The riffs, the vocals, the vocals, the vocals. There's technically 3 vocalist on this track, to prove exactly what this band is build for. Bryan with hiphop-like flows over neck breaking riffs, Ed's clean and clear singing ability to bring the chorus to a full, And the addition of Malevolence's Alex in the feature is just a brutal cherry topper. I won't go into detail since you can listen to the song right now, and form your own opinion. I simply love it to death!
Last track, Sleep Well. I don't like it at all, but that doesn't mean its not good or untalented. I just couldn't get into it. It sounds like a completely different band. If i'm not being to harsh, it sounds like a bland radio rock song. Me liking this song was not expected but I will keep an open mind for the sake of potential lovers of this song. It seems well written, the vocals sound really good for what it is, and i'm sure it will get stuck in the heads of many. My biggest issues with the song, Its the title track and it sounds nothing like anything on the release, (again) sounded like a completely different band, and when I heard the acoustic intro... I wanted an 80's metal ballad not a cheesy rock song. However, I do love this ideal of having a limitless approach to the music. Take it where ever you want dudes, Them first 4 songs already stole my money and I couldn't be happier about it.
Bottom Line: This is Multi generational music. Anyone that loves metal from the 80's and 90's may see this a breath of fresh air. I surly enjoyed this EP don't let my harsh criticism fool you. I can't wait to listen to it again.
Standout Track: its a 3-way tie, Queen of Evil, Cold War, and Unlovable could all be my song of the year.
Rating: 9/10 (Yes, even with a distaste for the title track, this is my shit!)
Follow them for more updates on the "Sleep Well" EP Release.