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lightthetorch IMG 4699Zeche Carl, Essen, Germany
23rd April 2019
Light The Torch - “Revival” Tour 2019 - Special guests: Malcolm Rivers

LIGHT THE TORCH arose from the ashes of DEVIL YOU KNOW, the band around ex-KILLSWITCH ENGAGE singer Howard Jones. Within four years, the Californian New Metal formation DEVIL YOU KNOW had gained a worldwide reputation as an extremely captivating live band. Then followed a break with the departure of their drummer and founding member John Sankey along with some legal struggles. After a reorientation and the completed search for a new drummer, the formation started again as LIGHT THE TORCH. ‘Revival’, their programmatically titled first album under this new name, has clearly gained in melodics and compositional finesse without losing pressure and intensity. To find out how this would translate into the live setting, I made my way to Essen to the Zeche Carl.


Malcolm Rivers

Surprise last minute tour addition was the band MALCOLM RIVERS. MALCOLM RIVERS are five guys from Münster, Germany, who have been spending their youths listening to the likes of STICK TO YOUR GUNS and BURY TOMORROW, and who have been at it since 2008. So far, they are on their second album, the latest of which has been released beginning of 2017 and is called ‘Karmageddon’. https://www.facebook.com/MalcolmRivers / www.MalcolmRivers.com

Music & Performance
It was a warm sunny Tuesday evening, and people were lounging outside the Zeche Carl. As announced, the five members of MALCOLM RIVERS entered the stage at 8pm, giving each other fist bumps, while guitarist Jan motioned people in the club to come forward to the stage. The band started the set with the song ‘The Last Call’ from their recent album.

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Singer Andi displayed a great deal of energy, as he whizzed back and forth on stage, alternating between more melodic singing, and the characteristic growling. For the second song, Andi jumped onto the crowd to do some crowd surfing. However, he did not come very far, as the people were not standing dense enough, but luckily no one was hurt in the process. In terms of music, MALCOLM RIVERS clearly draw on the classic ingredients of Metalcore. However, initially the instrument mix did not really unveil the full potential of the band. The vocals were a little too low, and the guitars difficult to distinguish. But things got better towards the end during their 30-minute playtime, which Andi used for another crowd surf expedition, and which left the audience members thoroughly warmed up.

Setlist
01. The Last Call
02. Mistakes
03. Freedom of Hate
04. Living in Denial
05. Karmageddon
06. Justice

Rating
Music: 6
Performance: 6
Sound: 5
Light: 6
Total: 6 / 10

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Light The Torch

As mentioned, the band LIGHT THE TORCH has written the name Howard Jones (former singer from KILLSWITCH ENGAGE) all over it. The current “Revival” tour is the first European tour of the band, which has released one album with said title so far. Find out more about the band via https://www.facebook.com/LightTheTorchOfficial/.

Music & Performance
Finally, it was time for main act of the evening. Shortly before 9pm, the lights went out, a menacing intro resounded while the band entered the stage and kicked off their set with the opener ‘The Bitter End’.

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From the very first second it became clear that LIGHT THE TORCH are unlikely to be a one-time affair. Each of the four members demonstrated superb skills, and the band as a whole acted in such a precise and coherent way, that it was really a marvel to watch. Although the Zeche Carl was by no means sold out, vocalist Howard Jones was on his best behaviour. He displayed an enormous amount of dedication during his performance, and in the song breaks, while the audience was chanting the band’s name, he displayed a huge smile, thanked the crowd for coming out, and stated “I do not bullshit, the smile is real”. The band played all the songs of the ‘Revival’ album with the exception of the track ‘Pull My Heart Out’, and the people loved it, while the band seemed to feed on the energy of the crowd. The only downside of the evening was that LIGHT THE TORCH ended their set after only 45 minutes without any chance for an encore.

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While this is understandable from a band with such a short back catalogue, it would have been nice to see them perform some of the earlier works from the DEVIL YOU KNOW times or some kind of cover. But this did not happen, so we can only hope the band takes back all their tour experiences and converts them into new album ideas.

Setlist
01. The Bitter End
02. Embracing
03. Calm Before the Storm
04. Lost in the Fire
05. Virus
06. Consume the Damned
07. The Safety of Disbelief
08. The Sound
09. God I Deserve
10. The Way We Die
11. Die Alone

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7.8 / 10

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All Pictures by Markus Holzer

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