IF IMITATION is indeed the sincerest form of flattery, there’s going to be a host of awfully flattered metalcore bands after hearing The Killing Lights’ self-titled debut EP. Former Vampires Everywhere! ringleader Michael Orlando is at the helm, a man whose previous band had a revolving door of bandmates and witnessed many of his peers leave his gang in the dust. Now, having seemingly settled on a concrete line-up over the past few years, Orlando’s new charges have decided to wipe the slate clean and start afresh in a world where Twilight and True Blood’s dwindling appeal have made blood-suckers less popular.
But now, even operating under a new moniker, it’s soon apparent that some of their nasty habits have survived the shake-up. Although having previously claimed the likes of Cannibal Corpse, Dimmu Borgir and Behemoth as influences, there’s still no sign of where these band’s actually fit into their sound. Needless to say, fans of heavier music won’t be enjoying The Killing Lights any more than they would have enjoyed the band under their previous guise. Vampires Everywhere!’s 2011 debut Kiss The Sun Goodbye was fairly derivative, while their 2012 follow-up, Hellbound And Heartless owed much to Marilyn Manson, coincidentally around the same time Motionless In White were grabbing people’s attention and Davey Suicide was trying his hardest to get a seat at the big table.
The Killing Lights’ opening track, Until I Bleed sounds suspiciously like Michael impersonating Oli Sykes. The subtle electronic elements that underpin the song don’t help either, bringing to mind an inferior version of Bring Me The Horizon’s It Never Ends, bolstered by a chorus reminiscent of Black Veil Brides. It’s not the first or last time the EP offers reference points which shamelessly ape some of the bigger names that have found success on Warped Tour. Barely Breathing’s chunky, bouncy riffs and clean, rough vocal trade-offs sound recall Of Mice & Men, while Lies Spread Like Fire could have been plucked directly off Asking Alexandria’s album From Death To Destiny, except for the fact that Danny Worsnop’s unique and powerful vocals are nowhere to be found.
The whispered vocals and pop rock feel of the two remaining tracks Crashing Down and Conversations offer a brief respite from overly familiar ground, and are all the better for it. These songs point towards a brighter future for this band, but if they’re still lacking any originality when their full-length album comes around, then they won’t be making much more of a dent with the new name either.