ALBUM REVIEW: Kill The Lights – Death Melodies

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost been a decade since Michael “Moose” Thomas left metal big-hitters Bullet For My Valentine citing It just got boring”. 

The drummer then went on to show his true potential with former members of Still Remains and Threat Signal, with the debut album of his new project Kill The Lights. Almost four years on from their last release From Ashes, and now the supergroup are back with their latest release, Death Melodies (Fearless Records). 

Will this be a stale slump or show signs of the band making new waves in the genre?

“Hear You Scream” begins the album off with a thrashy start – guitars clearly leading the way – and is very reminiscent of early-to-mid 2000’s Metalcore when bands like Trivium & Killswitch Engage were ruling the scene. 

Intricate, yet heavy riffs flood your ears as James Clark chimes in with his own bellowing scream. The song acts as a time machine back to 2006. While this is a great thing for those big into the “good ol’ days”, “Hear You Scream” can’t seem to offer anything new that these bands back in those days didn’t already do phenomenally. Where From Ashes brought together some different sounds from Judas Priest and beyond, the opening track for Death Melodies feels like a step backwards.

It’s not all doom and gloom, however. Songs like “Wasting Away” display some of the highest potential the band has. Erupting from the start with a cacophonous, blistering riff, Thomas’s drumming truly leads the way in an anthem that will have every metalhead with long hair and beards down to their torso headbanging from start to finish. It almost feels like Groove metal, the way the frenzied beat carries the song forward. Without a doubt it’s one of the songs that fans will want if not need to hear on the live circuits when the band comes to town. 

Towards the end of the album, the band attempts a leftfield move with the ballad “Sleep With The Devil”, featuring clean guitars and vocals, sounding unlike anything that the band have done before, not only on the album, but in their careers. 

Bringing forward elements from the likes of post-Grunge artists like Creed and even The Goo Goo Dolls, Clark passionately croons away. The layered effect of the vocals starts off interesting, but soon it overpowers the rest of the instrumental side of the track, making it feel more like it should belong in a musical than anything else. 

Being bookended by the album’s heavier songs does more damage in terms of the flow of the album, bringing the momentum to a standstill before trying up the speed on the chorus-driven anthem, “Suicidal.” 

For a band like Kill The Lights, meant to break the mold of the artists’ old familiar jobs, Death Melodies struggles to achieve this. Whilst there are some definite highlights in tracks like “Broken Bones” and “Wasting Away”, the album seems stuck in the past by nearly twenty years. There is clear potential, especially in the crafting of the songs and the production, but it’s up to the band to hone in on their strengths.

Buy the album here:


6 / 10