James Clark - Vocals / Travis Montgomery - Guitars / Jordan Wheelan - Guitars / Michael "Moose" Thomas - Drums
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It's coming on three years since Michael "Moose" Thomas was ultimately dismissed from Bullet For My Valentine, but that did not stop him from continuing on his musical path. At the start of 2019, he announced his new band Kill The Lights, which also features Jordan Wheelan (Still Remains) and Travis Montgomery (Threat Signal) sharing guitar duties, and James Clark (Throw The Fight) on vocals. The band also featured Davey Richmond (Glamour Of The Kill) on bass, but he ended up leaving the band, so they are currently without a bassist. The band gave their first taste of music with two songs in early 2019. After they released the two songs, updates from the band came to a halt, and things went silent for a while, which got people speculating that the band was already over.
Musically, there's many moments on here that feel reminiscent of old-school BFMV. Fans from the Poison era will find a lot to love on this record. The opening riff to "Watch You Fall" immediately conjures those early Poison vibes, but this band is not meant to be a clone of BFMV, or Still Remains, or Threat Signal, or Throw The Fight, but you can certainly hear elements of all these bands in the music. "Open Your Eyes" is another standout track, because it's probably the most intense song on the record, with a rampaging thrash-oriented riff, blast beats and a searing solo from Montgomery, but once again, the chorus just sticks in your head like crazy. Tracks like this one, "The Faceless", "Shed My Skin" and "Unmoved" are guaranteed to give musicians a good workout.
There's not really any major flaws with this record. I think the only thing I would point out when it comes to any type of flaw is that the main riff in "Plagues" doesn't seem to stand out like the other riffs. The chorus makes up for whatever the music lacks. I hardly listen to metalcore anymore because I grew out of it, with the exception of a small handful of bands that are stil putting out great music, but I have to say that this was a really solid metalcore record, and probably the best one I'll hear this year. This is certainly the most intense drumming we've gotten from Moose since Scream Aim Fire. At the same time, the guitar work from Montgomery and Wheelan is majestic, and Clark's vocals are on point. Since there's no bassist, the bass had to have recorded by either Wheelan or Montgomery. For those who are BFMV fans that miss Moose behind the kit, and hated the last album Gravity, fear not because the man is back with a vengeance with Kill The Lights, and The Sinner is a stunning first salvo of music from the band. We're looking forward to seeing where the band goes from here.
Highs: Probably the most solid metalcore record that 2020 will see.
Lows: "Plagues" is the only non-perfect song
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