Light This City
Facing The Thousand


3.5
great

Review

by Nick Greer EMERITUS
December 31st, 2006 | 18 replies | 9,448 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Fun, fast, and a whole lot of harmonic minor. Ya, it's metal, so what?

Thrash, melodic death, viking, folk, etc. Subgenres of metal usually mean very little to a lot of people, especially those who look to the internet for record reviews (considering the density of indie reviews and few popular bastions outside of lambgoat). Sure, there is a lot of blending together to the unfamiliar ear, and there are specific differences to the finely tuned ear, but overall the differences are not as interesting as the similarities. For some reason, I can't find a song in any metal subgenre other than maybe post-metal that isn't completely dependent on harmonic minor. That #7 scale degree is felt so heavily in thrash, death, black, and even doom metal, that it's hard to get around it. This leads to an overall blurring of the importance of the subgenres, which in turn creates a grey supergenre of just "metal." One such band that sits of heavily on harmonic minor, and also seems to be a blend of multiple subgenres is Light This City. Coming from the Bay Area, which allegedly has a big thrash scene, there is a primary mix of thrash and melodic death, with influences from grind, death, power and, for shit, I may even have heard a breakdown because nobody is deaf to metal/hardcore crossovers in late December of 2006. Light This City are dependent on the trappings of metal and all the leading tones that provides. In fact, they're proud of it. So, while their overall sound is homogeneous to most, it's what they do with their predictable scalar choices that makes them interesting.

The most admirable deviation for Light This City is their songwriting. The melodies are incredibly memorable, if derivative, and there are tons of guitar leads to keep the songs incredibly catchy and motivated. Then on top of that, the pace is pretty furious. Facing the Thousand, though clocking in at 40 minutes, somehow feels shorter because Light This City never relents. On top of that they manage to keep the song section pretty diverse and typically avoid verse-chorus-verse repetition schemes. Not unlike Trophy Scars, Light This City strings together a lot of individual, differing moments through the superb drumming. The drums are incredibly varied and will often move between half time feels with huge double bass fills, to those fast thrash beats, to obviously death-influenced blasting double time feels with huge snare and double bass hits. If the drumming weren't so fluidly transitioned and tastefully varied, I feel like I'd get lost in this album. Thankfully though, the brutal pace and continued harmonic minor sound are rendered more fresh and varied by virtue of the drum patterns and overall songwriting.

I've already mentioned a favorable bit about the technical aspects of this album, but beyond the drumming there is nothing particularly scintillating on an individual level. The guitar, bass, and vocals are standard fare for any thrash or death act, and don't give me any huge "WOW" reactions. However, Light This City does succeed at having an incredibly tight sound. They aren't necessarily crazy musicians in their own rights, but play very well together. The playing here is incredibly clean and every single little pinched harmonic or stop time feels effortless and smooth. This compliment also speaks to the production, which feels very crisp. It doesn't water down the sound, and this album is really densely packed without feeling cluttered. In fact, this is one of the few CDs I have trouble finding human error in. Every song is like a round from a Mac 10.

If you're not a fan of metal, or haven't listened to much metal, don't rag on this album for being a little cliché on the surface. At just a little depth there's a lot to listen to. And more importantly, this album is freakin' fun. The pace is insane, the melodies are fun, and the drumming is awesome. All of these factors may not ensure this album has some amazing artistic value or some staying power against the evolution of metal, but they ensure this album is incredibly visceral and instantly gratifying. Oh ya, and nobody can write a Light This City review without mentioning that the vocalist is a girl, and she screams harder than most "manly" male vocalists. But that too is just part of the fun of it all. Don't tell Pelican or Isis though, they're too busy laying off of the harmonic minor to care.



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user ratings (101)
Chart.
3.7
great
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Neoteric
December 31st 2006



3243 Comments


Three staff reviews in a row.

Nice.

Abaddon2005
December 31st 2006



684 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

my favourite review by you in awhile, I'm gonna get this.

Zoo
January 1st 2007



3759 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Light This City is one of my new favorite bands. I have yet to find a metalcore song more epic than Facing the Thousand (It sounds like it should be in Zelda or Final Fantasy game, the first 1:50 at least, before Laura Nichols starts screaming).

DFelon204409
Emeritus
January 1st 2007



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

metalcore song


ya totly

Mikesn
Emeritus
January 1st 2007



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah, these guys are pretty good.

ReDIcE
August 19th 2007



95 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Decent guitar melodies and the rhythm is extremely addictive.

Aeksis8745
August 19th 2007



448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think they're a stand out in the modern american metal scene right now. This album jus doesn't let up.

robin2220
August 19th 2007



569 Comments


I wish I could scream like Laura Nichol.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
October 11th 2007



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like how mudvaynian has created his own heirarchy of liking the different shades of metal in the world. He has this weird elitism happening on bands that don't merit it at all but seems to hate legit bands.

Aeksis8745
October 11th 2007



448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

still enjoyin this band, the opening track is great and at the end of exile you can't help but headbang to it.

BallsToTheWall
December 21st 2007



44164 Comments


I really like this album. Exile's the shit. Man, Laura is hot and in a metal band, where the hell is this in my town?

KieranVogel
December 25th 2007



29 Comments


Really like this album. "City of the Snares" is by far my favorite song.This Message Edited On 12.25.07

BallsToTheWall
October 27th 2008



44164 Comments


Sand And Snow from the new album slays so hard. I can't wait to buy it. My crush on Laura Nichols will not go down and that Amon Amarth t-shirt is only making it harder.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 27th 2008



17197 Comments


lol. I cant wait for that aswell. too bad they wont be touring for it.

dontreallycare96
May 27th 2009



2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think they are cool and i also like Laura

cleary21
May 30th 2009



671 Comments


i've heard exile, unwelcome savior and like every song's out last

all of them were sick

ViralOblivion
October 4th 2012



7679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is awesome

SpiritCrusher2
April 7th 2014



2889 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

generic faux m/ to the max, but damn I'm kinda addicted to it right now lol

most of the leads and melodic riffs are just too damn good



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