Review Summary: Light This City doesn’t quite go out with a bang on their last album but make it quite entertaining
When a band decides to call it a day, it can be tricky to find the proper way to go about it, it’s even more difficult when they already have an album completed that has yet to be released. As it turns out, Light This City decided to disband after completing “Stormchaser”
and while it’s not at the level of their previous album, the outstanding “Facing the Thousand”
it’s still a very good album.
Throughout their short, four-album career, Light This City never really gained much notoriety and were overshadowed by similar bands like The Black Dahlia Murder. Over the course of their career, Light This City evolved from a young group of At the Gates worshippers and began to establish their own identity however short-lived it might’ve been. Taking from Sweden’s melodic death metal and combining it with bay area thrash, Light This City’s sound is reminiscent of At the Gates and those similarities are shown on tracks such as “The Anhedonia Epidemic” with their typically astounding guitar work.
Full of memorable riffs like the melodic “Beginning with Release,” Light This City’s guitar work is as good on “Stormchaser”
as it had been on their previous albums and the switch in guitarists goes unnoticed. The ferocious “Bridge to Cross” is the fastest song on the album and probably it’s highpoint, with some great guitar soloing and manic drum work.
Laura’s raspy vocals are good yet a bit tedious and wear thin after a while, guest vocalist John Strachan of The Funeral Pyre does nothing to break up the monotony as his vocals are nearly identical. Thankfully that is not the case with Chuck Billy from Testament who guests on “Firehaven” and provides a nice change of pace. Something that always made this band stand out in my mind were the lyrics, although they are nearly indecipherable, they are nevertheless amazing and deeply personal like on “Fragile Heroes:” Do I hate you now for not being who I thought you were or do I hate myself for loving one I’ve just created?”
Although it is a good album, “Stormchaser”
seems a bit disjointed and while it might have some of Light This City’s best moments it is not as consistent as any of their previous albums, there is a major drop-off in quality between some of these tracks that was not evident even in their debut “The Hero Cycle.”
Unlike their heroes At the Gates, Light This City did not go out with their best album, that would be “Facing the Thousand” but they also didn’t embarrass themselves by hanging on too long like many other bands cough*In Flames*cough. Light This City’s founding members(and only originals that made it to this album) Laura Nichol and Ben Murray went on to form a pop-punk band named Heartsounds that is VERY far removed from Light This City and is an outlet for their musical creativity although in a much different way.
Bridge to Cross
Beginning with Release
The Anhedonia Epidemic