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Music is okay, but the vocals ruin it - 29%

PorcupineOfDoom, October 9th, 2014

Again, Light This City is never a band that I bothered checking out. They're closely linked to The Agonist, who I've decided I'm not a fan of, so I think maybe it was a bad idea to check them out. Still though, for whatever reason I listened to the album 'The Hero Cycle', and I'm here to give my views.

The opener 'Apostate' does give good first impressions in some respects as the melodic hooks are there and the drumming is decent, but when the vocals start something doesn't quite fit. They're not really as great as I was led to believe they were, and they also feel like they're being overpowered by the rest of the music. The music also kind of tires after a bit, and I can kind of see where the rest of this album is going from this point.

Regardless of that last song though, I soldiered on through the rest of the tracks. They do sound a bit samey, the guitars kind of playing in the same sort of patterns over and over again. The songs 'Picture: Start' and 'Give Up' in terms of the hooks are practically the same, and it almost sounds like they've just gone up an octave or something like that. Of course it is slightly different, but really, it's not much. And the same irritating vocals go on through the whole album, and I'd seriously consider putting them at the bottom of my list of vocalists (those of you that have read my reviews before will know that spot belongs to Johan Liiva, but I think this chick is worse).

'Laid to Rest' caught my attention because obviously one of Lamb of God's most popular songs has the same title. Unfortunately it's nowhere near as good as LoG's version was, and although it's not too bad it's really nothing spectacular. The drumming is pretty solid at least, but the guitars don't really sound like they're playing the right song. Still, at least they kind of cover up the shitty scream/growl things coming from that woman's mouth.

Thankfully there are some other decent tracks here, such as 'Sierra', which features some neat melodic hooks and some decent (if somewhat weak) riffs in the verses. Drumming is good once again, and the vocals can almost be forgotten about (thankfully). If the whole album was more like that, maybe my ratings wouldn't be so harsh. 'Next to Godliness' is another good example of this, good track bar the horrid vocals. Seriously, I don't care whether your vocalist is a woman or not, just get someone that can do a good job.

I do feel as though maybe they're trying to play the whole "we've got a hot girl doing death metal" card, something that has never caught my attention (say what you want about me liking AE, but they never milked it when Angela was in the band). When you have to resort to doing that in the music industry, you know you're doing something wrong. And then, oh my god, they use cleans at last that I'd been expecting from the start on the track 'The Weight of Glory'. Good thing too, because none of that songs seems to be original. Every riff seems recycled. The brief break in the screams is nice, but they're not going to make me a fan of the band. Especially not when they only last about ten seconds at a time before having another half minute of screams.

So no, this is not a band that is similar to Arch Enemy like everyone seems to think. Maybe their other stuff is better, but I can't put up with listening to another one of their albums. Honestly, great musicianship before you notice that it all sounds the same, if they'd just ditched the vocalist maybe the band could have been good.