Published Aug 27, 2018Regardless of what the title dictates, there is nothing sentimental or heart-warming about KEN Mode's latest album; Loved is an amalgamation of sludge, noise, and all of the heavy vibes that one can expect from KEN Mode.
The band come straight out of the gate with "Doesn't Feel Pain Like He Should," in which riffs twist and turn in ways that are disorienting and sophisticated for sludge metal. The cannon-sounding snare of " The Illusion of Dignity" and sheer brutality of "Feather and Lips" continue the album's sonic assault of noise and heaviness.
Album highlights include the riff salad that is "Very Small Men" — which fuses a love of bands like Botch and Burnt by the Sun together in a happy marriage — and album closer "No Gentle Art," a post-modern take on heavy music featuring strangled clarinet parts, a smattering of chains and lyrical composition that would make Henry Rollins smile.
This record is not a reimagining of the band or a fresh start. Loved is an exercise in moulding what KEN Mode has always been good at into a perfect soundtrack for these times of great political uncertainty. (New Damage)