Release date: March 30, 2018
Rating: average (3)

Line-up:
Howard Jones – vocals
Francesco Artusato – guitar
Ryan Wombacher – bass
Mike Sciulara – drums

Fun fact: At our graduation ceremony, everyone had to assemble a PowerPoint slide with pictures of them with family and friends, which then was displayed on a big screen during the handover of the graduation diploma. We could also pick a song to be played during the handover. Me and a friend were the only ones to pick metal songs, and I chose Light The Torch’s “My Own” (formerly Devil You Know) because the lyrics and the message of the song speak to me so much. I consider this band to be one of my favorite bands, that’s what I’m saying. And as with all favorite bands, a new release means a lot of excitement and high expectations in equal measure.

Great melodies are truly the focal point of “Revival”, while the previous album “They Bleed Red” was considerably heavier. Vocals of course play a big part in that. Howard Jones, the frontman of Light The Torch and my spirit animal, has always been an incredible vocalist, yet his vocals stand out on “Revival” because they don’t sound as if Jones tried to fit them into an already existing pattern – namely harsh vocals in the verses and cleans in the chorus – but seems to have let loose. Jones’ harsh vocals only appear where it’s truly appropriate now and he doesn’t use them just for the sake of heaviness, but rather to convey a certain emotion. Combined with his lyrics, his vocal performance on “Revival” is probably the most genuine I have ever heard. Knowing that, it is no surprise that the strongest tracks on the new record are simultaneously the ones with massive and catchy choruses, like the singles “Die Alone” and “The Safety Of Disbelief”. “The God I Deserve” is surely another crowd-pleaser, as Jones truly put his heart and soul into the vocals. Additionally, Light The Torch once again shine equally with heavy and faster-paced tracks like “Calm Before The Storm” and “The Sound Of Violence” and more alternative songs such as “The Great Divide” and “Judas Convention”. They even sneaked in some keyboards, as heard in “Virus”.
Light The Torch, at least so far, have never undergone enormous shifts in style. They are one of the few bands nowadays that actually keep releasing quality material without changing very much. And while “Revival” definitely contains quality material, the band’s third record exhibits similar mistakes to the last one. For example, there are some tracks around the middle of the record that just don’t stand out: I would have forgotten about tracks like “The Bitter End” or “Lost In The Fire” if I hadn’t specifically looked out for them. The bottom line is that not every song on this album is as stellar as it could have been. For instance, nearly every track on Light The Torch’s debut record “The Beauty Of Destruction” is brilliant. It’s a little bit disappointing that it hasn’t been the case with the last two albums.

In my opinion, making the vocals such a big part of the record was a step into the right direction for Light The Torch. Of course, the music has to be solid instrumentally as well, which is ensured with guitarist and main songwriter Francesco Artusato and new drummer Mike Sciulara, who apparently finished all drum recordings in less than 14 hours with only one to two takes for every song. However, with Howard Jones being so popular in the metal scene, giving him a place to shine will automatically please the fans (and my little inner fan girl as well).
In conclusion, “Revival” is a pretty solid record, and very close to being outstanding.

Tracks:
01. Die Alone
02. The God I Deserve
03. Calm Before The Storm
04. Raise The Dead
05. The Safety Of Disbelief
06. Virus
07. The Great Divide
08. The Bitter End
09. Lost In The Fire
10. The Sound Of Violence
11. Pull My Heart Out
12. Judas Convention

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