Light this City- Facing the Thousand
Release Date: September 19, 2006
Record Label: Prosthetic Records
The San Francisco native Light this City have already shredded through three devastating albums, including 2 in the last 2 years since their formation in 2002. Light this City owes most of their influence to traditional thrash and melodic death metal bands (ala At the Gates and friends). The first thing most will notice is the female vocalist, Laura Nichol, but not necessarily by the vocals themselves. Of the small number of female fronted metal bands out there, Nichol does a noteworthy job of not being a gimmick and definitely not dragging the band down from achieving true metal greatness.
Musically, Light this City is a straightforward approach to melodic death metal. However, while their second album “Remains of the Gods” was a pretty rigid formula, “Facing the Thousand” extends the songwriting a great degree, and replaces the repetitive blast beats with increased melodic leads, and more complex song structures. In comparison to their previous work, “Facing the Thousand” is on a much grander scale, the high moments are higher and longer, and the crunchy brutal midsection rolls along with a very refined audacity.
The title track that opens the album has an extensive build up, first with a string section then with pummeling guitar transitions. From the beginning, “Facing the Thousand” has a much more epic feel than any of their previous work. The following track, “Cradle for a King” is a brooding piece that features an extensive guitar solo outro which cements their growth as songwriters, as well as musicians. While the melodic chorus sections feel very familiar at points, the small innovations keep the songs fresh and interesting. A perfect example of how Light this City is maturing is “Exile.” The blistering pace is slowed just a bit to let a more grooving mid section push through. Add the gripping chorus and finishing guitar solo and you have a pristine example of what this genre can be.
Still early in their career, Light this City is guilty of sounding just a little too much like other bands out there, but with each release they are gaining valuable personality. Nichol’s vocals are spot on this time, and each song is way less predictable than tracks from their previous work. Each change direction numerous times, taking a much more progressive approach and allowing more monumental moments to arise. This band isn’t quite ready to change the metal world yet, but if their songwriting continues to improve (as shown by the dynamic contrasts in "Fear of Heights"), they may be making an impact in the near future. Facing the Thousand obliterates their previous material and creates a lofty standard for bands in the thrash and melodic death metal genres.
1. Facing the Thousand
2. Cradle for a King
3. The Unwelcome Savior
5. The Maddening Swarm
6. City of Snares
7. The Eagle
8. Fear of Heights
9. Tracks of Decay
10. Like Every Song's our Last