There’s never such thing as over for some. One of those is longtime Bullet For My Valentine drummer Michael “Moose” Thomas, who three years after being dismissed from BFMV has bounced back even stronger with Kill The Lights, a new supergroup alongside members of Throw The Fight, Night Signal and Still Remains. First came “The Faceless” as an opening single last year, followed now by the corresponding album The Sinner, a release that appears nothing short of promising given the lineup behind it.
“Shed My Skin” makes for a remarkably strong start; equal parts hammering, chaotic and anthemic with Moose’s snare sounding tight and crisp as ever and Travis Montgomery ripping a clean, tasteful solo to boot. “The Faceless” is a perfect collision of Firewind-esque power metal with Jason Clark’s melodic core vocals while “Watch You Fall” is utterly massive and a guaranteed pit anthem when pits (and full-fledged concerts) are allowed again. “Through The Night” peels back a few layers of the merciless sonic assault thus far to expose KTL’s vulnerable side, nevertheless keeping up the heavy where the heavy counts. “Open Your Eyes” smashes the gas back to soaring arena metal, conveying much of the power and melody of Striker but not quite as thrashy of course; “Plagues” carries on much of this energy and channels it through a brutal breakdown and more top-shelf guitar work.
“Tear Me Apart” starts as a sing-songier “Snuff” and grows into its own as it goes, culminating in a masterclass in six-string harmony and thousand-pound choruses reminiscent of the likes of Divine Heresy. “The Enemy” sees KTL’s gargantuan formula become solidly cemented, their carefully refined hybrid manifesting further in “Sober” though nevertheless allowing for numerous dynamic reprieves to occur such as “Tear”, “Through The Night” and “Rest”. At last there is “Unmoved”, the definition of a strong finish if there ever was one: The song is absolutely huge and encapsulates all the elements and energies poured into this record one last time for good measure.
It can be damn hard to come together as a new band (ok, they had a couple years together prior to this record coming out but still) and put out a record of this caliber on your first go. Thankfully experience is on Kill The Lights’ side, and as far as first impressions go they knocked this one out of the park. If this is their bar out the gate as far as the studio goes, the live show, whenever we get to see it will be something else.