One of the most talked-about albums in heavy music this year is I Let It in and It Took Everything, the sophomore LP by Liverpool's Loathe. And it's not hard to see why it's leaving such an impact. It's rooted in the same kind of pulverizing metalcore that bands like Code Orange and Knocked Loose are bringing back in a big way, but it's also got big, soaring, clean-sung, Deftones-style choruses (and Chino is a fan) and it flirts just enough with djent and nu metal, offering up the body-slamming thrill of those genres without falling victim to cheese. All the various elements that make up Loathe's sound have been having comebacks and/or getting critical re-evaluations lately, so of course people are gonna pay attention when a band comes along and combines all of these things so seamlessly. It's easy to get cynical about something people are jumping to call a "modern classic" and a "metalcore masterpiece," and for me it's a little too soon to say if it deserves that level of praise or not, but it's clearly a special record and it's one I keep finding myself going back to.

It's also easy to get cynical when a heavy band embraces clean vocals as openly as Loathe do, but at the same time, pretty much all of us became heavy music fans by listening to metal bands who sing. Whether it was eternally cool bands like Metallica and Iron Maiden or bands that took people like 20 years to admit are good like Slipknot, those kinds of bands are almost always the gateway to more extreme bands and I won't be surprised at all if Loathe end up being that band for a new generation. Especially because -- like Slipknot -- they already do both. I Let It in and It Took Everything single "Two-Way Mirror" is a super catchy metal/shoegaze song and a very accessible entry point, and once you're in, you get treated to harsher stuff like the white-hot hardcore of "Broken Vision Rhythm" and the noisier, industrial-tinged "Gored" and whatever you'd call "Heavy Is the Head That Falls with the Weight of a Thousand Thoughts," which starts out almost in black metal territory and then becomes nasty, mathy metalcore. It's a cool record all around, and if you haven't heard it, you can and should change that by streaming it below.