Quick update: Howard Jones’ Light The Torch used to roll under the moniker of The Devil You Know. Some shit blew up with their drummer and a name change occurred…..but you knew that already!
So, now we come to the ‘debut’ album from Light The Torch – or the third album from The Devil You Know, if that’s how you feel about it – and melodic metalcore may well have its ‘album of the year’ accolade sewn up!
In contrast to the lyrics found on “Judas Convention”, the prodigal son has returned and Revival finds one of the most recognisable set of pipes in metalcore in full voice. With Howard Jones singing far more than screaming (a complete contrast to the aggression and brutal bellowing found on The Devil You Know’s The Beauty Of Destruction) and delivering a performance of a lifetime, the man sounds fucking huge here! He sings loud, he sings proud and he brings raw emotion to proceedings at a level only he can.
With Jesse Leach (rightfully, in our opinion) back at the helm of Killswitch Engage, those Killswitch fans still lamenting the loss of Howard should revel in the fact that Light The Torch practically are Howard-era Killswitch Engage, now running concurrently alongside his former band and delivering an album to equal the mastery of The End Of The Heartache and As Daylight Dies.
So, two for the price of one….you’ve gotta be happy with that, right!?
In fact, Revival seems to draw from Howard’s past in more ways than one, with “The Sound Of Violence” channeling the quick-fire atonal brutality of Blood Has Been Shed, with its heavier-than-shit riff crushing all in its path. At the opposite end of the spectrum, “The Great Divide” may prove a little too saccharine for some but it’s still a monumental slab of heartfelt metal balladry (did you expect anything less?) from a band capable of the most soaring expression and the most aggressive verses around.
Revival is beautiful, anthemic, chest-pounding heavy metal music which transcends its metalcore tag to deliver a masterclass in technical prowess and emotional heft.
Are Light The Torch stoking the flames of a melodic metal/metalcore revival? On this evidence, we’d say too fuckin’ right they are! 8/10
Francesco Artusato – Guitar (Ex-All Shall Perish, The Francesco Artusato Project).
Ryan Wombacher – Bass (Bleeding Through)
Mike “Scuzz” Sciulara – Drums (Extinction A.D.)
Revival is out now via Nuclear Blast!