Revival, huh? That seems a bit on the nose, don’t you think, Devil You Know? I mean, Light the Torch. See, it’s a Revival (Nuclear Blast), because it’s the first album since Devil You Know was forced to change their moniker due to legal troubles with a former drummer. Fucking drummers, man. Also, it’s a revival of sorts because Light the Torch is taking their sound to novel and interesting places.
The artists formerly known as Devil You Know plied a technical Metalcore style on The Beauty of Destruction and They Bleed Red, not unexpected when you enlist members of Bleeding Through (Ryan Wombacher) and All Shall Perish (Francesco Artusato). While those albums were strong slabs of chugging guitars and smashing drums, it wasn’t the sum of those individual bands’ parts.
Where do we go from there? Well, quickly take note of Howard Jones’ decision to stick mainly to his mighty cleans on ‘Die Alone’ and ‘Calm Beyond the Storm.’ While he unleashes his hardcore howl fleetingly on the former and there is enough palm muting to beat the band on ‘The God I Deserve,’ Revival plants its flag in a sound veering between Hard Rock and Metal. Seriously, ‘The Safety of Disbelief’ isn’t all that different from Linkin Park’s ‘Somewhere I Belong’ in terms of songwriting. Yet, it never becomes a source of concern.
‘Raise the Dead’ also marches down this rock path, while never coming across as half-assed like All That Remains’ recent efforts to ape Five Finger Death Punch. Primarily because the production is here to raise all performers equally. Wombacher’s bass is gurgling right along with Artusato’s riffs and non-indulgent leads while being directed by the confident beats of former Extinction A.D. drummer Mike Sciulara. If you were expecting a Blood Has Been Shed album chances are you ditched this review paragraphs ago, but while not as chaotic as that band’s glorious noise, ‘The Sound of Violence’ and ‘Judas Convention’ do have lots of Metalcore fire in the belly.
Is it in Light the Torch’s future to follow a more streamlined/commercial road? Perhaps. If they approach it with this level of self-assuredness, I’ll be there.