Light This City - Facing the Thousand
Prosthetic Records
Melodic Death Metal
10 songs (40:05)
Release year: 2006
Prosthetic Records
Reviewed by Cody

Coming into their own in a market that is absurdly saturated with metalcore clones attempting to show off how "true" they are by displaying their tenacity via Gothenburg dueling guitar melodies, California's own Light This City have been at their job since 2002, and have just started to receive mainstream attention with last year's release of Facing the Thousand. The bread and butter of this joint's cohesiveness is their ability to meld aggression and melody without tumbling into the abominable abyss known as core-hood. to those who are still reading after seeing "California", and "Gothenburg" in the opener, their may be hope that I will get a few to read this entire review.

At their most aggressive, one could compare Light This City to a melodic death metal in the vain of The Black Dahlia Murder, just not quite as punishing and a tad more melodic. Vocalist Laura Nichol (who is absolutely kind on the eyes) is a satisfactory vocalist, but she cannot compare to the most successful of the Gothencore vocalists (such as Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder). However, by only making comparisons to other bands, I am doing Light This City a disservice because these guys know how to compose music. Instead of leading a steady assault via similar song structures throughout the album (which The Black Dahlia Murder have been known to do), Light This City tend to throw a few bits curveballs of catchiness which only adds to the vigor of Facing the Thousand. I noticed this type of songwriting in the band's previous effort Remains of the Gods, however, I think with their 2006 release, they have matured quite a bit more and have really created their own little niche that could have the potential to allow them to survive when many others with similar sounds will inevitably fade away. Perhaps the single saving grace, and their most marketable factor is not their aggression, but their use of melodies without lame clean vocal attempts and breakdowns.

The true melodies begin around the 2 minute mark of Unwelcome Savior, which is acutely welcomed by bringing this relatively heavy album into a lighter mark, which is a precursor to the rest of the song becoming a respectful In Flames tribute in the melodious sense. While the remainder of the album doesn't continue with the same In Flames-esque vibe, the melodies do not cease (except for other pummeling numbers such as Fear of Heights). Some highlights in addition to Unwelcome Savior would have to be City of Snares and Tracks of Decay for their authentic mix of death and harmony.

If you are a fan of melodic death metal and want something new to set your ears on, then give this a listen. It belongs in the American metal movement, which might scare some listeners away, but it really isn't that core-ish, and it doesn't dwell in melodies so much that it loses its death metal edge, and, perhaps most of all, it doesn't have clean vocal interludes...hooray! Seriously though, if you are a fan of The Black Dahlia Murder's destruction interlaced with some catchy melodies, I would suggest looking into this one, hopefully this will be one of those gems that pops up from the waste heap for you.

Killing Songs :
Unwelcome Savior, City of Snares, Tracks of Decay
Cody quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Light This City that we have reviewed:
Light This City - Stormchaser reviewed by Jerrol and quoted 85 / 100
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