Music Feature: LOYALIST

March 19, 2018

Music Feature: LOYALIST

The latest Music Feature is band I’ve known for quite some time now, and it is actually thanks to them that The Parallax’s first show was what it was. So let’s give a warm welcome (and a thank you) to Toronto Metalcore band LOYALIST.

I met both guitar masterminds behind LOYALIST through one of my life-long friends Flavio Branco who was the first bassist for the band. We all hung out after the Emmure/We Came As Romans show in Toronto, and not long after that I was shown their debut tune ‘Normandy’ which guitarists Adrian Hawryschuk and Connor Robinson had already filmed. These guys were prepared with a bunch of solid metalcore/post-hardcore material; they just needed to fill their lineup. They enlisted Glen McClue on drums and went on to play a huge gig with Intervals, Ever Forthright, Mandroid Echostar, and The Parallax (yay first show!) opening as part of the ‘Hello? Yes, this is Prog Tour’. Not long after that they landed not one, but two vocalists – Mike Cutway and Jack Balaga, the latter of which I went to elementary school with but hadn’t seen in years (didn’t even know he screamed).


Soon after, they would release their debut “Train Tracks” EP which included the previously released tunes with the new vocalists. They had a string of amazing shows with the likes of The Contortionist, Northlane, Structures, and Texas in July.  LOYALIST lost Branco and McClue which brought the change from a six-piece to a five-piece where Alex Simmill was welcomed as the drummer and Balaga taking on double duty as vocalist and bassist. They would soon release their next single ‘Taken From’ as part of their second EP, “The Bigger Picture”. It’s a great tune – super heavy, the dual screaming is aggressive, Simmill demonstrates his chops on the drums, and Hawryschuk comes in debuting his sweet clean vocals which would stick on all their future releases adding a well rounded dynamic to their sound.

It was “The Bigger Picture” that saw these dudes tour Canada. While I was working at the music store, they came in to rent some gear in preparation for this tour. I was so proud of these hard working fellas and to hear it was a success was the icing on the cake. Hungry for more and one lineup change later (that saw the departure of Balaga and arrival of bassists Liam Frith), last August they released “For What It’s Worth” which is their longest release yet. Their first single 'Lost' is an energetic yet melodic tune that really demonstrates the development of this band – it’s probably my favourite tune by these guys. A close second for me off this album is 'Wormwood'. It’s heavy throughout and the second half adds a nice juxtaposition of emotional melodies and aggression. I think it’s clear this is their most solid lineup to date and they seem to really be honing in on the perfection of their sound.

2018 is shaping up to be a solid year for LOYALIST as they play their first show of the year with I See Stars at the London Music Hall on April 6th. Later in April they will be embarking on The Dark Chapters tour with Feels like Home, and Horcrux and Falset (our last Music Feature!) filling in select dates. Again, I can’t thank these guys enough and I look forward to watching their success unfold. Check out all their links below:

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