By now I am going to assume that if you are here, reading this, you are a fan of heavy metal in most of its wide and varied forms. Because of that assumption I will not take up valuable reading time discussing where this band came from or their former moniker.
Basically, Light the Torch is a vehicle for the more melodic side of its major players, the smooth vocals of the one and only Howard Jones, and the jarring melodies of guitarist Francesco Artusato.
With no time to waste, More Than Dreaming comes galloping through the speakers with a drum roll any hardcore band would be proud of before settling into a melodic groove that directly opposes the lyrical darkness of loneliness laid out. The small keyboard flourishes hidden in Let Me Fall Apart and the first genuine screams by Howard in the chorus display the power of his voice. This is pushed to the fore more on End of the World, the closest that this band has come to matching the scope of the group that first brought Howard Jones to the attention of the wider metal community in the early 2000s.
Death of Me and Living With a Ghost continue this adventure into the heavier realms of what the band can do. In particular, Living… reverses the formula of the group with heavier verses giving way to soaring melodic clean choruses that make for a refreshing shake of a musical construct that at this midpoint of the album predictable if enjoyable.
The predictable nature of the second half of the album doesn’t sap the joy out of the music, as has happened on countless albums before. The lyrical content mixed with the more upbeat music does just enough to keep the listener hanging on in case it all suddenly comes off the rails in spectacular fashion. At the same time, it’s nothing to write home about. The songs are just there. This becomes most obvious on the final track Sign Your Name, a cover originally by Terence Trent D’arby. It took most of the track before it became apparent it wasn’t one more part of the formula, but a on special little add on. No where does it fit into the album, but that is the beauty of it. After all the darkness and depression faced head on, Light the Torch are happy to just relax and show they are more than doom and gloom.
Howard Jones has always used his lyrics as subtle (sometimes not so subtle) release of his well covered mental health issues. This lyrical display set forth here is no different other than the fact it is facing a lot of the darkness head all, showing he has faced the certain darkness and fought his way back with a solid resolve. This album is a message of light recorded in unsure and dark pandemic driven times. Hope is always there. Sometimes it is a little more difficult to see, but you are never alone.
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