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Light The Torch – You’ll Be Death Of Me

Light The Torch
You’ll Be Death Of Me
by Paul LaPlaca at 05 September 2021, 7:35 AM

LIGHT THE TORCH, the American supergroup that was formerly known as DEVIL YOU KNOW returns with the follow-up to 2018’s,  “Revival”. “You’ll Be The Death Of Me” is the second album under the new moniker, the band was forced to change their name after their original drummer made a partial claim to their first name and they were forced to rebrand.

The band is made up of a core trio, with legendary vocalist HOWARD JONES from KILLSWITCH ENGAGE at the helm,  guitarist FRANCESCO ARTUSATO formerly of ALL SHALL PERISH, and bassist RYAN WORMBACHER of BLEEDING THROUGH rounding out the line-up. They are joined by ALEX RUDINGER from WHITECHAPEL on drums but have made the decision to not tour at this time based on COVID concerns. JONES has also struggled with diabetes and mental health issues in the past and while this makes touring a challenge, these problems coupled with Artusato’s recovery from injuries sustained in a car crash have only served to cement the band’s friendship and fueled their songwriting.

“You’ll Be The Death Of Me” is full of anthemic hooks and excellent musicianship. The production is stellar and they are in the top 10 in 4 different Billboard charts. The songs are tight, well written, and executed perfectly. And I hate it. I fucking hate it. I don’t know why. I should love this but I close my eyes and see myself in a Hot Topic surrounded by teenagers who are angry about a life they haven’t even started living yet, crying about the hurt and pain that only a teenager is self-centered enough to believe is greater than all the suffering in the world. It’s the AM Radio of heavy music. The NICKLEBACK of metal. It’s EVANESCENCE, “Bring Me To Life” but like in the movie Gremlins when they get wet. The reproduction makes carbon copies, that are slightly off the original and slightly more evil. And not in the fun kinda way.

So, let’s be clear on this- music can be looked at with some pretty clearly defined categories of judgment. Is the musicianship of high quality? Are the songs well constructed? Is the production at a professional level? It’s all there. But on a subjective, reactive, gut-level feeling, for me this makes me recoil in a really violent way. I don’t understand it, I should love this and I don’t. Every song has an infectious, memorable hook. JONES voice is best on the screams and harsher sections but I do not enjoy the mid tenor tone of his clean singing. And any band that pronounces “me” as “may” is automatically on my shit list.

Highlights of the album are the title track, “Death of Me”, “Something Deep Inside”, and “Come Back To The Quicksand” for their big hooks and sweet vocal harmonies. “Denying The Sin” is more full-bore ferocious and this approach can be found in spots throughout the rest of the album. This style of music is not for me but there is no denying the musicianship, songwriting, and production. There is a pop sensibility to this, a focus on really tight songwriting, and big sing-along choruses. And did I mention, I hate it?

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. More Than Dreaming
2. Let Me Fall Apart
3. End of the World
4. Wilting In The Light
5. Death Of Me
6. Living With A Ghost
7. Become the Martyr
8. Something Deep Inside
9. I Hate Myself
10. Denying The Sin
11. Come Back To The Quicksand
Lineup:
Howard Jones  – Vocals
Francesco Artusato – Guitar
Ryan Wombacher – Bass
Alex Rudinger – Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records
     


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