Rising from the struggles they faced as DEVIL YOU KNOW and brandishing a new name LIGHT THE TORCH holds high the flame that leads to their album ‘REVIVAL’, and what an apt name it is!
Amidst personal struggles and band name legal issues, Light The Torch slam down 12 tracks of their best incendiary metalcore to date. Every track on the album delivering charged vocals, contrasted by a melodious counter balance of harmonised perfection that transcends throughout the whole album, delivering a wholesome and prodigious collection of sounds that will satisfy any metalcore fan. Recorded in Los Angeles with the help of WOVENWAR and AS I LAY DYING bassist and producer Josh Gilbert, Light The Torch pulled together this album without so much of a mention of it to either their management or record label Nuclear Blast.
On first listen the album is aggressive in its delivery, but each new listen adds new textures and layers that one listen through just doesn’t fully cover. There’s so much going on within the album as a whole, and within each track respectively. There’s real depth here, meaning and contrast intertwined with huge choruses. Each song takes on a new form from the previous one, but also manages to maintain a flow throughout the album, encompassing stories of the bands own personal struggles that adds to the feel of the album. However, the band aren’t letting on to what is fact and what is fiction, though it’s clear that the loss of Howard Jones’ brother had a massive impact.
For those of you who loved Howard Jones’ vocals in Kill Switch Engage, this album is without doubt a must buy for you, though the vocals steer more towards melody and less towards the screaming
that you would associate with metalcore, this nonetheless makes for an exceptionally good album that deserves your full attention.
The opening track ‘Die Alone’ delivers what you would expect. Heaviness and all that goes with it; huge vocals and thundering drums but the extra bit that snares you in is the chorus. ‘The God I Deserve’ has a slow, saturnine dirty rhythm underpinning the metalcore, Jones’ vocals soaring and the bass grinding away throughout, the riffs hitting hard and heavy.
‘Calm Before The Storm’ takes on a more manic pace than the previous tracks, the aggressive rhythm and heightened energy delivering a real heavy hitter. The small dips in the rhythm add fuel to
the fire of the track, a brief respite before the track attacks you again. ‘Raise The Dead’ hits you with a barrage of drums, giving way to a slightly more djent feel that works in contrast to the
other tracks so far, yet still maintaining that overall flow that I mentioned earlier. There are moments where the skills of Francesco Artusato really shine through, his solo is going to have you
begging for more.
Charged with emotional vocals from Jones, ‘The Safety Of Disbelief’ allows him to fully express every step in his unbelievable vocal range, from soft delivery to huge screaming moments that take you through every emotion possible within the confines of metalcore, yet pushing the limits to the edge. A colossal track full of energy. ‘Virus’ features sinister feeling keys that are imbued throughout the track, giving it a dark feeling steeped with heavy grooves and formidable vocals.
‘The Great Divide’ continues with the keys, offering a laid bare approach to the track portraying the diversity that Light The Torch can deliver. It’s a welcome respite in an album that is
predominately heavy, cleaning the palate ready for the next chapter.The solo from Artusato is immense, driving the track through to its conclusion. ‘The Bitter End’ returns to the heavy riffs and
thundering drums, Jones blasting out intense vocals. The gargantuan heavy bass riffs from Ryan Wombacher that saturate this album, are prominent in ‘Lost In The Fire’, underpinning the foundation of
the album with heavy destructive bass, complemented by fellow rhythm section drummer Mike ‘Scuzz’ Sciulara. Bludgeoning his way through ‘The Sound Of Violence’ ‘Scuzz’ hits hard. Unfeigned, well
defined and unrelenting he delivers heavy blows, destroying the drums. I wonder how many set of drumsticks he went through during the studio recording of this album?
I mentioned earlier that the band have superimposed some tracks with personal themes based on real life struggles, and it would seem to me that none touch upon personal tragedy more so than the next track, a song that I believe is hinged up on the tragic passing of Jones’ brother. The loss and the personal struggle that ensued, not to mention the legal battle surrounding the use of the previous band name, caused a fusion within the band like never before. The resilience, the survival of those hard times is what ‘Revival’ is all about. It’s about getting through those hard times and coming out of the dark. You Light The Torch.
‘Pull My Heart Out’ is lyrically emotive, Jones’ vocals conveying raw passion throughout, “I only need my reflection to see you / And you pain is written on my face / The walls are painted in anguish... ...the day you laid this world to rest... ...I only hope that I can remember / The dreams of you, alive and awake...” Lyrically beautiful, expressing openly the pain one feels after a loss. During the chorus his voice reaches a point where you can feel his pain, his anguish. Brutally honest the track ends, “I’ll never forget you...”.
The last track on the album ‘Judas Convention’ is soft, with an almost diaphanous keys intro which is so peaceful and alluring. The emotion of the track is so beautifully laced into the instrumentation that you can’t help but be drawn in by the beginning of the track. When the heaviness hits it’s almost euphoric, certainly captivating and, in my opinion, placed perfectly on the album as it leads to the need for more, the inevitable repeat of the album ensues, leaving you stuck forever in the loop of REVIVAL.
“This is now the end of the story,” (Judas Convention).
Though it could be said that Revival lacks the full on scream fest that Howard Jones is more suitably known for, I personally think this album delivers far more diversity in the range of vocals, technical ability and ear bashing rhythm that Light The Torch conveys throughout the album. It’s an exhilarating album, colossal in its delivery and unequalled by anything currently on offer from the world of metalcore. There’s no doubt in my mind that this album is a strong contender for metal album of the year.
The God I Deserve
Calm Before The Storm
Raise The Dead
The Safety Of Disbelief
The Great Divide
The Bitter End
Lost In The Fire
The Sound Of Violence
Pull My Heart Out
Light The Torch are:
Howard Jones - Vocals
Francesco Artusato - Guitar
Ryan Wombacher - Bass
Mike ‘Scuzz’ Sciulara - Drums
Find out more from Light The Torch at:
Order the album at: https://media.nuclearblast.de/shoplanding/2018/LightTheTorch/revival.html