With the demise of LIGHT THIS CITY in the recent times, it was only fitting that there be some sort of release to commemorate their time upon this Earth. Why not a rerelease of their independently released debut “The Hero Cycle” from 2003? Of course, LIGHT THIS CITY was one of those Melodic Death Metal bands that arose at the height of saturation for the genre that many overlooked but perhaps deserve a bit more praise than they ended up with.
While “The Hero Cycle” may have garnered some attention from Prosthetic Records to sign them (they are the ones behind this re-release too), the debut album itself from these California Metallers seems to come across as a rather run of the mill Melodic Death Metal record. As much as it may pain one to hear this, it’s the slight Metalcore influence in the record that probably made it stand out at the time. Although that influence is rather minute compared to the worship of some of those early Gothenburg bands, its still there and is one of the reasons I’m sure this band was able to garner some eyes and ears in their direction.
If there was another band to compare LIGHT THIS CITY to on this debut record, it’s easy to do so with ARCH ENEMY. With the female Death Metal vocals and the general intense melodic take with layered Death Metal, it’s a pretty standard comparison. The band seems to run at full speed through most of the album, only slowing down occasionally with a riff or two for diversity’s sake.
This leads the album down a path of songs running together a bit too much and somewhat leaves an unmemorable taste in your mouth. Although the cohesiveness of the album is admirable, the lack of change can be boring too. The band hits full stride quickly and rarely loses pace, mashing riffs, constant melodic guitar lines, heavy bass, quick footed drumming, and growling vocals together consistently and constantly without giving the listener a break too often. It’s one of the reasons that “The Hero Cycle” comes off as mediocre.
There is not much else to say about “The Hero Cycle”. It’s your standard fare of Melodic Death Metal although it does have its slight Metalcore tinges included. The band does throw in a rather fine cover of AT THE GATES’ “Cold” on here, which was a nice choice, but for the rest, they come off as standard tracks. Not anything new and not anything quite as good as some of the other bands. LIGHT THIS CITY does improve on their later discs, but this debut is mostly for fans of the genre or the band.
Songs to check out: “Give Up”, “Cold”, “Next To Godliness”.
(Online June 15, 2010)