Memphis May Fire
This Light I Hold


3.0
good

Review

by sempiturtle USER (3 Reviews)
October 28th, 2016 | 56 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A return to form (sort of).

Memphis May Fire’s five year climb up the “rise-core” food chain may have hit a few stumbling blocks. The one-two punch of The Hollow and Challenger, which brought the band to the very top of their genre, was made a distant memory after 2014’s Unconditional. On that less than stellar effort, poor production and appalling lyrics -- along with MMF’s apparent unwillingness to divert from their standard metalcore formula -- disappointed both longtime fans of the band as well as newcomers expecting to hear an excellent metalcore record.

Fortunately for Memphis May Fire, some of the problems that plagued Unconditional are solved on their newest release, This Light I Hold. The production is stellar, as the vocals of Matty Mullins are placed very comfortably in the mix; his growls are striking and powerful without overpowering his bandmates. This allows the guitar leads of Anthony Sepe and Kellen McGregor to be prominent once more, unlike the muddy “wall of noise” that was heard on Unconditional. The drums of Jake Garland are also punchy and dynamic, especially on the heavier songs such as ‘Sever the Ties’.

As far as songwriting goes, This Light I Hold is par for the course, by Memphis May Fire standards. As expected, the band show that they are perfectly happy staying in their comfort zone; supplying catchy, fun metalcore with no groundbreaking elements and no massive surprises. This is in stark contrast to several of their contemporaries (Bring Me the Horizon, Crown the Empire, Of Mice & Men) who seem to be doing all they can to distance themselves from the “risecore” genre, for better or for worse. While this obviously gives weight to the claims that Memphis May Fire are generic and a one-trick-pony, it’s oddly refreshing to see a band that knows what they’re good at and sticks to it. The placement of well-crafted guitar solos where one would normally expect a “chugging” style breakdown (‘The Antidote’, ‘This Light I Hold’) is also a welcome addition to their sound.

Unfortunately, the largest problem that plagued Unconditional has not been rectified on This Light I Hold, this being Matty Mullins’ lyrics. While not as terribly preachy as his last effort, Mullins’ lyrical output on This Light I Hold ranges from generic hopecore: “Don’t let your fears keep you from dreaming/It’s all a lie when you believe you can’t (‘Not Over Yet’)” to horribly cringe-worthy and defensive cliches: “Decrease the morals/Increase the funds/Don’t be too preachy if you wanna be loved (‘Carry On’)”. Throughout the record, there is absolutely no hint of subtlety or nuance in the lyrics. At this point, this lyrical train wreck has become the norm for Memphis May Fire, and it unfortunately brings the album down several notches.

At the end of the day, This Light I Hold is, in many ways, a return to form for Memphis May Fire. While the lyrics are as bad as ever and Matty Mullins’ ego is still fully on display, several of the elements that made The Hollow and Challenger top-notch metalcore releases are prevalent. If you’re a fan of the band’s previous work, then you’ll probably find something to enjoy in This Light I Hold as well. But, for those that have already decided that Memphis May Fire isn’t for them, this album will do nothing to change their mind.


user ratings (78)
Chart.
2.6
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
sempiturtle
October 28th 2016


1036 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

A bit of a short review, but there's really not much to say about this, it's just another MMF record. Feedback is appreciated, as always.

Digging: Lights - Skin & Earth

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
October 28th 2016


13089 Comments


this band is still around wow



Digging: Palais Schaumburg - Palais Schaumburg

bentheREDfan
October 28th 2016


351 Comments


Awesome review. Really dig The Hollow and some stuff off of Sleepwalking but that's as far as I've really gone with this band.

pjquinones747
October 28th 2016


1513 Comments


I don't think I can handle more of the same damn thing from these guys anymore

Digging: Pallbearer - Heartless

theDisconnect
October 28th 2016


121 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good review. rating is right

SteakByrnes
October 28th 2016


3726 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I've never understood the appeal of these guys

Digging: The Dream the Chase - Found Again

Snide
October 28th 2016


7050 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Album is fun and the second best in their discog

William21
October 28th 2016


164 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

This could be the worst metalcore album of the year. At least we still have The Hollow.

ZodiacalWolf
October 28th 2016


169 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

What the hell happened to Matty? He sounds so underwhelmingly bland. His melodies and choruses used to be the high notes of their records. Dude sounds bored.

flabbywhale
October 28th 2016


103 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

somehow more watered down than their last album, which was more watered down than the previous. Give up.

KenboSlice
October 28th 2016


1357 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

It's no Sleepwalking that's for sure.

theDisconnect
October 28th 2016


121 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

y'all are hating. the instrumentation alone warrants at least a 2.5. lyrics suck and there's nothing too memorable but the guitarists at least TRY to be interesting

betray
October 28th 2016


9122 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

wow

Jangostar
October 29th 2016


3 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i find the album so perfect..just my opinion

Danred97
October 29th 2016


1422 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I'm excited and terrified for this album at the same time. They've been on a steady decline since their debut, and Unconditional was a hard 1.5. So, let's see if they go for a 1.0 this time around.

Snide
October 29th 2016


7050 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Sleepwalking is their worst album.

Average is going to be incredibly low, this is almost as good as The Hollow.

KenboSlice
October 29th 2016


1357 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Sleepwalking is their best album. This is just as bad as Challenger and Unconditional.

sempiturtle
October 29th 2016


1036 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sleepwalking is definitely my least favorite, but I'd put it about even with Unconditional.

Danred97
October 29th 2016


1422 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Sleepwalking is their only album that isn't boring/generic metalcore. It at least had some unique guitars and the lyrics weren't complete shit. I'll check this in a bit, but I'm still expecting this to be the first and only 1.0 of the year, based on the horrid singles.

Danred97
October 29th 2016


1422 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Well, just finished, and they didn't get worse. There are actually decent moments of music on this album (opening guitar on That's Just Life and solo in The Antidote), and Matty's screams sound a lot more powerful than on Unconditional. Unfortunately, his cleans are still grating, and the lyrics are still abysmal. It's not quite as bad as Unconditional, but it's not really a step up either.



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