Light The Torch – You Will Be the Death of Me (Album Review)

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Once known as Devil You Know, the recently rebranded powerhouse Light The Torch come forward with the second album under this name, “You Will Be The Death of Me.” Following three years after the aptly titled “Revival,” the latest effort from this supergroup offers metalcore with an emotional polish and a solid lineup exhibiting sheer confident in their work. Led by the charismatic and seasoned front-man Howard Jones (ex-Killswitch Engage), “You Will Be the Death of Me” is an ode to the potential of modern metalcore, proving that its snappy polish does not necessitate forgoing depth or passion. For every ounce of brightness, this album packs a just as heavy punch with its engaging composition. 

With the wisdom of practiced musicians on their side, Light The Torch wastes little time in getting down to business and showing the listener just what fires they were forged in. Decades of collective experience lend well to convincing hooks such as the main draw to the heavy thriller “Living With A Ghost.” The opening notes to “Become the Martyr” swallow the listener whole, its disembodied atmospherics engulfing as they swell and give way before Jones’ voice enters the fray. He remains distant through the first few verses before the chorus comes crashing in with an almost melancholic passion, elevating Jones to part man and part god. Each track is under his complete control, his unwavering vocal dominance assisted by backing vocals from bassist Ryan Wombacher for pleasant contrast. “Come Back to the Quicksand” offers a tantalizing variety in tempo, switching from melodic lulls into roaring choruses energetic enough to light up a stadium crowd. The range of vocal nuance couples with unyielding power for a convincing display of sheer talent and emotion. Yet another strength showcased in both “Come Back to the Quicksand” as well as “Death of Me” is the notable presence of bass, often rising above the other instruments for a dynamic approach to the metalcore package. Though guitarist Francesco Artusato challenges Jones to the spotlight with his impressive riffs, the rhythm section more than pulls their weight in painting a picture of committed fervor. 

For the occasional bouts of soulfulness, there are also more pre-packaged offerings on “You Will Be The Death of Me,” including the pop-polish of “Something Deep Inside.” Erring on the side of painfully repetitive and strikingly bright, the track successfully uplifts Jones’ voice but fails to go much further. Opening track “More Than Dreaming” is similarly guilty in regards to symplicity, but serves as an effective enough hook to lure listeners further into the album’s later depths. In this way the album treads an interesting line, hovering somewhere between a work of art with undoubted artistic depth, and a shrink-wrapped off-the-shelf piece of modern metal meant for easy consumption. While the sway between the two is occasionally off putting as the album makes its way, those deeper moments are all the more appreciated for its shallow waters. Either way, the care put into each song’s composition and the album’s overall polish is undeniable, as even these more predictable moments seem to be intentional in tone and placement. 

Closing out the album is “Sign Your Name,” which can be no more aptly described than a beautiful addition to an already strong tracklist. Swimming with ethereal grace, the touching and instrumentally proficient exploration is a fitting swan song for an album as emotional as it was aggressive. A delicate but engaging guitar solo fills out the song’s middle, leaving the listener satiated as Jones’ voice slowly fades away for an expertly crafted cover of the 80’s original by Terence Trent D’Arby. This softened whisper is the perfect note to seal a departure, a promise for more to come and a final reminder of Light The Torch’s versatility and a final line in a tracklist filled with poetic titles. Well into their journey of bearing a new name and solidifying themselves as a formidable force in metalcore, “You Will Be The Death Of Me” is a strong addition to Light The Torch’s burgeoning legacy and the existing legacy of its musicians. 

Released By:
Release Date: June 25th, 2021
Genre: Metalcore

Musicians:

  • Francesco Artusato / guitar
  • Howard Jones / vocals
  • Ryan Wombacher / bass
  • Alex Rüdinger / drums

“You Will Be the Death of Me” Track-listing:

  1. More Than Dreaming
  2. let Me Fall Apart
  3. End of the World
  4. Wilting in the LIght
  5. Death of Me
  6. Living With A Ghost 
  7. Become the Martyr
  8. Something Deep Inside
  9. I Hate Myself
  10. Denying the Sin
  11. come Back to the Quicksand
  12. Sign Your Name
8.1 Great

Capturing the best of metalcore's synthetic polish but metal's authentic emotional edge, "You Will Be The Death of Me" is the next step in this supergroup's fight for a slice of the spotlight.

  • Musicianship 9
  • Songwriting 7.5
  • Originality 7
  • Production 9
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