Thursday, January 10, 2013

Lightsbane - Lightsbane (Demo)

This is a promo CD-r that I got from the band when they played at Lanza's in Ansonia, CT in 2012. The discs were hand-labeled and had no cover art (thus no cover image here). The songs can be heard on their Facebook page:

Lightsbane play groovy melodic death metal, a blend of the groove of early-mid Lamb of God and the string-skipping melodies of early-2000s American melodeath. They share some chromatic riffing tendencies with old Cannibal Corpse - the first riff in "Ten Pounds of Recoil" is reminiscent of "Hammer Smashed Face". They separate the groovy melodic sections somewhat from mid/fast paced death metal, contrasting somewhat plain segments with catchy ones. The second track is much more groove-oriented, while the first one includes a lot more of the bland death metal sections. The vocals are varied a bit, mostly low-mid range growls that play more of a supporting role than a leading role, though the non-groove sections could be improved if they were. The vocals are good but nothing exceptional, they're adequate but not exceptional.

The guitar solos show that the lead guitarist is technically capable but wandering and lacking direction. It's a little bit flashy, but completely forgettable and not entirely interesting. The production is honest, and the playing is alright but not studio polished, though the band has sufficient chops to pull their songs off live. The first solo is kind of boring, the second one is interesting but repetitive, a bit sloppy and completely loses any sort of phrasing in the sloppiness. The drumming is pretty dynamic, not relying much on fills but shifting between different beats for segments of each riff, much more aware of the music than a lot of death metal drumming but nothing over the top.

Lightsbane are an interesting band and this demo/promo gives a pretty good impression. I'll be sure to check out what they come out with next.

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