Following their superb debut release, Revival, in 2018, Los Angeles metal anthem machine Light The Torch is set to release their sophomore effort, You Will Be the Death of Me, on June 25 – also on Nuclear Blast Records. Featuring eleven original tracks – and a cover of Terence Trent D’Arby’s “Sign Your Name” – the record looks to cement both itself and the artist in metal fans’ hearts in a similar manner to each member’s previous works.
Opening with the energetic “More Than Dreaming,” the vocals of the inimitable Howard Jones soar over the constant forward momentum that’s become the band’s hallmark driven by the riff wizardry of Francesco Artusato and Ryan Wombacher in perfect sync. Shown early on in this record is that, despite the greater renown of Jones’ vocals, it’s when he and Wombacher harmonize through chorus passages that the standout places on the album can be found – and those true moments where the hairs on your arms and the back of your neck stand up.
Lyrically, Jones notes he’s poured more of a personal touch into this release than perhaps his writing in the past – with those in “Let Me Fall Apart” hitting particularly hard for those who can relate them back to struggles at the end of his time with Killswitch Engage. Each track is particularly concise – not a single of the original compositions tops four minutes – and designed to not only hit hard but also bring singalong moments aplenty. Alongside the levels of technical talent on display in each track, the standout feeling is that each of these songs is catchy as hell and bound to be bouncing around your head as earworms for weeks.
Many may have previously (cynically) thought the band was a mere vehicle for the iconic vocals of Jones, but on their prior release (and enhanced yet further on this latest effort) there’s evidence of the growth in bond and friendship between all members over the past three years. With Artusato (All Shall Perish) and Wombacher (Bleeding Through) both also bringing their own true metal pedigree, it’s the coherence in the songwriting as a unit that shines through most and really makes this album embed itself in your head and heart. Drums on this release are handled by outstanding sticksman Alex Rudinger, of Whitechapel fame, and the whole team feels like artists soaring the crest of a wave at the peak of far longer careers.
As the album concludes with that unusual (but fun) Trent D’Arby cover, this release forms the second punch in the knockout combo started with Revival three years back. Fans of the more melodic end of metal, yet music that sacrifices nothing in the way of riffs, would be highly advised to check this out. Back in 2019, I was extremely lucky to photograph Light The Torch in a 250-capacity room in London – if You Will Be the Death of Me gets the attention it deserves, the band will be packing rooms many times that size for years to come.
You Will Be the Death of Me Track Listing:
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
12. Sign Your Name
Run Time: 42:44
Release Date: June 25, 2021
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records