[Reviewed by: Iaha Crax]
“Loved” reminds me of the image describing the cynic philosopher Diogenes wandering around with a candle in a plain daylight in search for an honest man. When the second track “The Illusion of Dignity” bursts off you get to realize that this album is not the ordinary hardcore metal good to dance at riots at all. In fact, it has been released by Season of Mist… They are closer to the atmosphere of a maniacal Black Metal regardless the composing requisite. “Learning To Be Too Cold” uses the tremolo incisively and an absolutely smashing bass-chord way too aggressive even compared to grind masters.
Personally I have found such a gratifying receipt of sludge at its vilest form only at Lord Mantis, the American band that unfortunately got disbanded a couple of years ago. KEN Mode is active since the beginning of the millennium, had tours along renewed bands, enriched their palette and got to possess excellent skills for the sludge-core scene. I read that they even quit their jobs to concentrate on their album when they release the previous album called “Success”. It is impressive what success they have in creating this full-heavy sound, chords are picked by an inhuman force, pushed up, forced into submission with a balanced anger that prevents the ripping off.
As an important band on the Canadian local scene, KEN Mode takes advantages and offers in their twisted ideas for this growing noise-rock which has found a fertile ground there. Being “No Gentle Art” (the title of the final song), this genre is addressed to few people mostly in need for fresh and different, challenging tunes, that KEN Mode surely is able to design and interpret. During 35 minutes “Loved” completely captures the listener, inviting to reflection and self-analysis. It can be seen at equal distance between Swans and Einsturzende Neubauten, in terms of dare, imagination and visceral textures. “Loved” should even better be found in a drugstore, among purgatives, once you open your ears enough, the music infiltrates deep in conscience, like a liquid of nails, helping to disgorge parts of that cherished icon named ego.