Review: Kill The Lights- The Sinner

It’s always fun when members from different bands come together to form a new entity and, with Kill The Lights (Bullet For My Valentine, Threat Signal, Throw The Fight, Still Remains)- that’s exactly what we have- a completely new entity.  Their debut, The Sinner via Fearless Records is a debut that all debuts should be held accountable to as this is more than just a record- it’s a statement.  “Shed My Skin” opens things up courtesy of an eerie spoken word audio track with organs that’s ripped to shreds with a devastating scream from singer James Clark and pummeling guitars via Travis Montgomery and Jordan Whalen and drums from Moose.  This is how you make a statement to open your debut record; The clean vocals are a perfect combo matched with the unclean.  “The Faceless” is purely adrenaline-fueled. Montgomery and Whalen’s unified guitars make this song combined with the kickass chorus.  “The Faceless” is one of the many standout tracks with lyrics like “You can tear open, you can shut me up but you will never take my life. We taste the dead, we touch the sun. We march to the sound of a broken drum…we are the faceless we are yours.” This song has everything it needs to be huge and is an anthem.  “Watch You Fall” is just a straight-up assault while “Through The Night- wow, just wow.  “Through The Night” could qualify as a ballad but is even more powerful as any other track in more ways than one. This one shows the full arsenal the guys in Kill The Lights actually have and prove they aren’t just a heavy band. They tackle mental health here and, with lyrics like  “Nothing left but broken promises, staring in the mirror and I feel so hopeless…demons in my head and I just can\’t fix it. Tear me open, leave me broken, drown the lights and kill this nightmare,” this song is absolutely heart-wrenching.  “Open Your Eyes” takes it back to the brutality with opening guitars that would make the dudes in early Avenged Sevenfold proud but with a vocal onslaught that will beat the living shit out of you while “Plagues” is one of the deepest-cutting and most personal songs on the record.  “Plagues” talks about singer Clark’s battle with cancer; His grandmother and uncle passed away from it and this song is his conversation about chemotherapy, knowing someone who may be close to the end, the brokenness they feel and the loss they feel inside. If that isn’t deep, I don’t know what is. We can only thank James Clarkfor being willing to put that to music and use his art to put himself out there. The band doesn’t hold back and the music mixed with lyrics, heart-felt growls and screams make you feel what the song is about and that’s what makes a good song.  “Tear Me Apart” is an absolutely gorgeous ballad and its acoustic approach shows yet another side of the dudes in Kill The Lights. “Tear me apart, take my skin from the bone, smuggle me in your shadow tonight. Give me your hand, close your eyes, let\’s pretend that the stars are aligned in the sky” are the words that echo through the speakers and it will cut you deep.  Then Montgomery and Whalen’s dual guitar solo at 2 minutes in will bring tears to your eyes if you’re truly feeling this song; As the song builds for the rest of the song, and Clark’s vocals hit their strongest point and he’s singing at the top of his lungs, you will too and you’ll cry while you do it.  “The Enemy” keeps the perfect balance that this record has, kicking it back up to heavy and talks about having an inner enemy that you’re constantly fighting and the mental health issues that come with that. This one is Moose’s coming out party and shows him just going off After “Sober” keeps the onslaught going, “Rest” completely changes the style up in every way.  With its hypnotic guitars, keyboards, “Rest” is almost cinematic with a big feel. Clark singing his guts out, screaming “Burn my eyes, take away the pain…take my hand, show me you’re alive, wash away the thoughts that echo in my mind, far from hope tonight. This is yet another standout track and will resonate with fans on so many levels, it’s unreal before “Unmoved” closes the record out with a fist-pumping, crowd-chanting metal anthem. “Unmoved” makes you want to go back and listen to the entire record again and you will.  In the end, The Sinner is loaded with memorable and addicting choruses, insane riffs and solos and is a lyrical masterpiece. If you don’t give this album a listen- or if you do but without the sound all the way up, you’re robbing yourself of one of the most powerful debuts in a very long time  Kill The Lights aren’t afraid to tackle pain, anger and other emotions their fans deal with and they don’t hold back. This is a debut record full of emotion, giving you a chance to get all of it out and you’ll feel better after you listen to it. Do not sleep on this band. This is a band that has everything it takes to be a top group in metal and fans will fall in love with the songs immediately.  Rating: 9.5 -Reggie Edwards