Bullet From My Valentine drummer/founder Michael ‘Moose’ Thomas’s departure from the band back in 2017 would unwittingly bring together four individuals with the collective intent of combining the tried’n’tested metal of times past with modern-day relevance. Having already crossed paths many times over their respective careers, a simple text message from Thomas resulted in the creation of Kill The Lights: an amalgamation of current and former members of Still Remains, Throw The Fight and Threat Signal. Debut album The Sinner represents that vision.
Straight out of the blocks, Shed My Skin raids the senses with a devastating combination of riffs, maintaining massive groove without abandoning ferocity or skill, its accompanying spoken-word sample of ‘There will be no mercy, there will be no surrender!’ setting out the band’s 13-track manifesto in one defiant breath. Released independently more than a year ago, The Faceless and Watch You Fall will likely be the most talked-about tracks here, with the former quickly racking up half a million streams, while introducing the hordes to James Clark’s seamless transitions between transcendent cleans and gut-punching roars amid guitarists Jordan Whelan’s and Travis Montgomery’s fleet-fingered shredding. They’re balanced by confessional-of-sorts, Plagues, which shows off their razor-sharp melodic streak, and a Trivium-esque chorus as the vocalist reaches inward to relive his previous battle with cancer.
Covering similar ground, Tear Me Apart and Unmoved revel in emotionally charged melodies and huge choruses. These aren’t the most immediate songs on the album, but only a few listens are required before they’re lodged firmly in your cranium. Yet what will stick with you long after closer Voices brings things to a riotous finish is Kill The Lights’ ability to make their sound, predominately rooted in metalcore’s mid-00s heyday, feel perennially fresh.