Loyalty Ends Here – Darkest Red (review)

Releasedate: 18-05-2024

Loyalty Ends Here is a name that has been hard to miss in the Dutch metal scene this year. Last year they were the winners of the Wacken Metal Battle with just one track to their name, and since then, they have been all over the place. Gigs, festivals, new music, even a video. These guys have been working hard. The crown to all their hard work is released on the 18th of May with their debut EP ‘Darkest Red’. 

Loyalty Ends Here

Loyalty Ends Here is a 5-headed metalcore band from the Netherlands. They make melodic metalcore from the early years of the genre. Bands like Trivium, As I Lay Dying and Lamb of God have been inspirations for their music, so you know it’s going to be melodic, hard, technical, and loud. Where a lot of other metalcore bands focus on breakdowns, Loyalty Ends Here is more focused on interesting riffs. 

Their band name ‘Loyalty Ends Here’ is reflected in their lyrics as well, with lyrics about loyalty and betrayal. As with most bands, their lyrics are about the complexity of relationships, with Deadweight as a clear example. 

Three new tracks

Darkest Red consists of three brand-new tracks and two previously released singles. The EP opens with a new track, Sea of Harlots. The main riff somehow really reminds me of Trivium’s ‘Watch the World Burn’ and even though Richie’s vocals are completely different to Matt Heafy’s, it’s easy to see where they draw their inspiration from. The track starts with the same fade-in Testament opened with, and a similar mainriff. It also ties in nicely with the other track we’ve heard before, Deadweight. For people that have heard Testament it’s nice to have some recognition, for the new listeners: welcome to Loyalty Ends Here. 

This is a moshpit party track, so the party starts right away with these guys. The quality of the mix is really high, and sounds like these guys definitely should be playing at those bigger festivals. The emotional lyrics that I liked so much in Deadweight come through at the end of the track as well. And while it’s a bit harder to learn the lyrics, I can imagine people screaming the chorus once they know what to shout. 

Deadweight

The EP continues with Deadweight. It was the second track the band released, and it was accompanied by a fan-filled video. A good way to engage your fans at an early stage, and the result was an energetic, inspiring video. Richy has a bit more melodie in his vocals on this track, the track however is less riff-filled than Sea of Harlots. That’s on purpose since the whole track is working towards the great guitar riff in the middle of the track. That build-up is portrayed in the video nicely as well by the way. 

Medicate me for Silence

Medicate Me for Silence is probably the hardest track on the EP, and the only one that doesn’t start with a fade-in. It starts out strong with Richie screaming his lungs out with ‘I’m losing my god-damn fucking mind’.  The moment he shouts ‘hurricane’ is the moment the song really starts. This track is the fastest and the hardest on the EP. The guitar parts on this track are less riff-heavy, and more Lamb as God-style groovy, which is definitely a nice change. In terms of crowd-pleasers, this is probably the wall-of-death track. The chorus still shows similarities with Deadweight and Sea of Harlots, but it’s only vaguely reminiscent. 

Darkest Red

On to the title track Darkest Red. Of course, it starts with another fade-in and another similar riff. Loyalty Ends Here manages to keep things consistent, and they definitely found their own style. It would have been a good track to end the EP with since it feels like a summary of the EP with similar guitar riffs and a similar vibe to the rest of the songs. New in this track the slower break in the middle of the track and the stutter effect over the vocals in that part. With the “Cyanide” part we are bound to have some crowd interaction, and again, the chorus is easy to sing along to.  Music is therapy for a lot of people, and especially metalheads. This whole EP, but mainly this track, will serve that purpose well.

Testament

We first got to know Loyalty Ends Here through their track Testament, so it’s only fitting to end their debut EP with this track. Testament was released before they entered the Metal Battle competition last year and has been a banger from the start. With the recognizable guitar riffs and the strong vocals (“This is my Tes…. Ta….Ment’) it’s easy to listen to and shout along. The fade-in at the start feels a bit redundant at this point, however. The band has cleary evolved since releasing this track; the newer tracks feel a lot faster and heavier than Testament. However, Menno deserves a shout-out for the heavy drum parts in this track.  After the break at the end, the “like roses’ is again a nice crowd-interaction moment. And of course, the final line ‘I’ve think I’ve had enough’ is a great ending to The Darkest Red.

Final Thoughts

Darkest Red is exactly what we would expect from Loyalty Ends Here. They’ve continued to evolve since Testament and their newest tracks are complex but very commercial. I mean that in a good way; this entire EP is filled with bangers, and Loyalty Ends Here proves that they are ready for the bigger stages with both the quality of the tracks and the production. That makes it hard for me to choose a favorite track on this EP. Deadweight is still a favorite because of the epic riff, however, the new tracks Sea of Harlots and Medicate Me for Silence are good contenders as well. With just a little of 20 minutes in total, there is no need to pick favorites though, you can just listen to the whole thing in your lunch break.

Tracklist:

Sea of Harlots
Deadweight
Medicate me for Silence
Darkest Red
Testament

You can find Loyalty Ends Here on their website and in our database.

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