Light This City
The Hero Cycle (Re-Issue)


4.0
excellent

Review

by somberlain USER (64 Reviews)
January 19th, 2010 | 22 replies | 7,776 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The beginning of a short-lived band that showed flashes of brilliance from the start.

Coming out of the Bay Area that was the breeding ground for several great thrash metal acts, a young group of friends (still in high school!) got together to form Light This City. Influenced by bay area thrash bands like Testament and Exodus but also by melodic death metal like At The Gates and Carcass, they’ve created they’re own metal hybrid which can best be described as melodic thrash. With all those influences in the mix, the most obvious is “Slaughter of the Soul”-era At The Gates and on this album they pay homage to their heroes with an awe-inspiring cover of “Cold.” Originally released on indie label Reflections of Ruin records, Light This City’s final label Prosthetic decided to re-release The Hero Cycle over a year after the band broke up in 2008.

Starting with the obvious: they have a female vocalist. The first time I heard of this band was when Laura Nichol appeared on Revolver’s “Hottest chicks in Metal” and Laura was wearing a Carcass T-shirt! What really caught my attention was that this band was inspired by At The Gates and that Laura’s main vocal influence is Tomas Lindberg. Unfortunately, due solely to fact the she is a woman, Laura had to hear the comparisons to Angela Gossow during this band’s entire run, it’s unfortunate because that’s a ridiculous comparison, the only similarities between them is that they are female vocalists for metal bands. Although their vocals are probably equally monotonous, Angela’s voice is much deeper and masculine.

Album opener “Apostate” sets the bar pretty high for the rest of the album, with a static fuzz intro that recalls At The Gates’ “Blinded by Fear” (not a coincidence I’m sure) Laura comes in with a roar and some very interesting lyrics:

“You used to spread your wings only when no one was looking,
And when you finally trusted me enough to reveal them I slowly ripped them off.
What have I done?”

The lyrics aren’t perfectly intelligible in parts but do yourself a favor and look them up as they are deeply personal and emotional(if somewhat cryptic). It’s fascinating when you realize that a teenage girl came up all of this because it seems surprisingly mature, more so than people twice her age and with long, established careers. Laura’s vocals, which are a mix between Trevor Strnad’s (Black Dahlia Murder) cleaner vocals and Tomas Lindberg are a quality that while giving the band a certain uniqueness also bring it down a bit due to the lack of variety. In no way are the vocals bad, but they get a bit tedious over the course of the album so it’s a very welcome change on “Weight of Glory” where another(male) vocalist comes in and Laura displays her clean vocals, this vocal variety makes it one of the best tracks and certainly the most memorable.

The band has talent all-around and drummer Ben Murray shows tons of ability behind the kit, his drumming is definitely what keeps these songs together but the guitar is what makes this album great. Guitarist Steven Shirley lays down some very catchy riffs throughout the album, every track has great guitar work and having it placed so high in the mix with very little bass highlights it even further. Though The Hero Cycle is extremely melodic and catchy, it loses none of its heaviness in the process.

Clocking in at just over 30 minutes, Light This City certainly doesn’t overstay it’s welcome on their debut and they make it an entertaining experience cramming in many memorable riffs all the way through. Even after several listens, there is a certain “sameness” in this album, it is consistently great although it’s difficult to differentiate between tracks. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because the songs are equally good so it would be like complaining about having steak and lobster for dinner everyday: repetitive but good.

Recommended tracks
Apostate
The Weight of Glory
Sierra



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user ratings (12)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
somberlain
January 19th 2010


2121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love this band, too bad they broke up

witchxrapist
January 19th 2010


11029 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

These guys were so catchy, mad good live.

somberlain
January 19th 2010


2121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

very catchy indeed. wish I coulda seen them live

witchxrapist
January 19th 2010


11029 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

They were awesome live.

And Laura's posture when she screams is hot.

bloc
January 19th 2010


34847 Comments


singer is attractive

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

somberlain
January 19th 2010


2121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I thought Laura was very cute, not sure about all that ink though

ThePalestMexican
January 19th 2010


2816 Comments


Your complaining?
Good review too

somberlain
January 19th 2010


2121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

complaining about what?

BrahTheSunGod
January 20th 2010


1279 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yess! Nice job, pos'd. Weight of Glory is an awesome song.

ThePalestMexican
January 25th 2010


2816 Comments


Complaining about the ink

bloc
January 25th 2010


34847 Comments


I wouldn't say it's excessive.

somberlain
January 25th 2010


2121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

she has a whole sleeve!
maybe its not awful but definitely not a turn-on

bloc
January 26th 2010


34847 Comments


I dunno, as long as the rest of her is fairly simple, a sleeve of tattoos is probably one of the hottest things imaginable.

somberlain
January 26th 2010


2121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really bloc? well to each his own, it just seems that when someone gets ONE big tattoo they can't stop and keep getting more.
have you seen the chicks from Walls fo Jericho and In This Moment? thats WAY too much, chest and neck should be off limits. Laura is ok as long as she doesnt keep going

bloc
January 26th 2010


34847 Comments


True, I definitely agree with you on the chest and neck. But like I said before, that's why I prefer the arms; they provide a nice accent to a simple body.

somberlain
January 26th 2010


2121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so have you seen the chicks I'm talking about?
theone from ITM is pretty hot but has a neck tat. the one from WOJ is not hot and has a chest tat

bloc
January 26th 2010


34847 Comments


Yeah, but to be honest they don't take anything away from their natural beauty, you think?

somberlain
January 26th 2010


2121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the WOJ chick it doesn't matter, she's not much to look at anyway
a bit from the ITM chick, but she IS very hot, I could do w/out the neck tat at least

bloc
January 26th 2010


34847 Comments


I suppose, I guess it's all an opinion.

somberlain
January 26th 2010


2121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you think the chick from WOJ is hot?



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