Arising from Los Angeles, California, Melodic Metalcore trio Light The Torch prove just how fitting their name is with their sophomore album, You Will Be The Death Of Me (Nuclear Blast Records). Each metallic anthem sets the stage as if the band had just lit their torches and sharpened their pitchforks in preparation for taking on their greatest demons.
Vocalist Howard Jones’ voice radiates through each track like a valiant warrior at the pinnacle of battle, while guitarist Francesco Artusato provides a legion of beefy riffs and titanic solos. Screams are utilized sparingly and strategically for a sound that is easily accessible to wider audiences, yet create substantial moments when they are unleashed.
‘More Than Dreaming’ opens the album with stampeding drums and rampaging guitars, kicking off with a rush that holds out until the very end. Followed by the stouthearted chants of ‘Let Me Fall Apart’, it doesn’t take long for the record’s sentiment to strike home.
Wielding glistening keys and a massive chorus hook, ‘Death Of Me’ rightfully earns its place as the title track. Effortless blends of guitar chugs and synth twinkles carry on for the rollicking breakdown of ‘Living With A Ghost’, and only escalate from there. Their balanced approach of roaring heaviness and melodic brilliance makes for a thrilling ride of storytelling.
From the hauntingly beautiful belts of ‘Become The Martyr’ to the catchy grooves of ‘Something Deep Inside’, Jones’ towering vocal delivery makes even the simplest melodies sound mesmerizing. The latter has the most upbeat chorus on the whole record, showing their most ambitious side with the lines, “I cannot deny the dream that will not die, giving birth to something deep inside.” The mood quickly shifts for the desolate veins of ‘I Hate Myself’, building suspense for following track ‘Denying The Sin’. Looming synths counterpoint a bolting guitar riff that transforms into a rumbling breakdown and a psychedelic solo.
Eclectic surprises continue to emerge from the shadows for the final songs. The penultimate ‘Come Back To The Quicksand’ launches with choppy chords and a rhythmic feel to recover from the preceding ferocity. The record closes with a melodious cover of the 1987 classic ‘Sign Your Name’ by Terence Trent D’Arby. The band reshapes it into a cohesive meld of their Post-Hardcore roots and the original’s amorous spirit, making for a memorable finish.
You Will Be The Death Of Me is far from your average run-of-the-mill Metalcore album. The sonic chemistry and collective musicianship of Light The Torch makes them special in a way that stands out among others, and could be a major inspiration for rising bands if given the recognition deserved.
Buy the album here:
8 / 10