Light This City

Facing The Thousand

Written by: PP on 27/11/2006 18:06:57

Those of you who hold albums like "Whoracle" and "Slaughter Of The Soul" dear to your heart will immediately either love or hate Light This City. If you can forget the fact that "Facing The Thousand" is the long-lost follow-up album to the At The Gates classic or a new In Flames album returning to their roots, then, like me, you will love the album and cherish the fact that even today, 10 years after the genre's creative culmination, it still sounds just as relevant as during the mid 90s.

The ten brutally assaulting tracks on "Facing The Thousand" effectively highlight everything that was great with the Gothenburg Melodeath scene and add in bits and pieces of Americanized thrash metal and absolutely phenomenal drumming as a cherry on the dessert, to complete what may be the best melodic death album for several years now. There are more great aspects about "Facing The Thousand" than I have space to discuss on this review, but "The Eagle", for instance, works as a flagship of their sound, featuring high-flying twin-guitar harmonies flying above the growling shrieks and screams that make Children Of Bodom's Alexi Laiho sound amateurish. Nevermind the fact that these shrieks are coming out of the vocal chords of a picturesque, fragile-appearing teenage girl ('fragile' based on their promo shot)!

Once you've surpassed the intial shock of the teenage vocalist emitting such paradoxically fantastic and horrendous screams, the next shock awaits. The drumwork on the large majority of the album is some of the best, fastest drumming you'll have heard in a long time, coming at you in rapid-fire pace, mutilating the drumset with emphasis on dual blast beats and innovative bridge-sequences. The production of the album is understandably set to highlight the drums, but most importantly, it doesn't forget to crystallize the brilliant twin-guitar harmonies that constantly carry the songs forward and take them to heights you wouldn't expect them to be. The speed of it all ensures you'll never be bored and guarantees that even after several consecutive active-listening sessions, you'll still be hypnotized listening to the lead guitar teaching you lessons on how extreme melody can and should be done.

Aside from the fact that this has all been done over ten years ago, there are no significant faults on the album. The songs vary in pace and altitude of the melody enough to differentiate each other, and the occasional whisperous background growls contrast Laura's shrieks wholly, clearing the possibility of songs becoming too much alike on the vocal department. As I stated to start off the review, you'll either love this or hate "Facing The Thousand", but my guess is that if you're fan of complex yet blistering guitar work a la early In Flames / Children Of Bodom, it is just the right album for you to restore some light on old classics you may have forgotten, or for the newer generation, the album that might just be their "Slaughter Of The Soul" of melodic death metal.

Download: The Eagle, The Unwelcome Savior, City Of The Snares
For the fans of: In Flames, Children Of Bodom, Carcass, At The Gates, The Haunted
Listen: Myspace

Release date 25.09.2006
Provided by Target ApS

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