heavy metal

Light This City Bio

Light This City
Band members
Laura Nichol - vocals Mike Dias - bass Brian Forbes - guitar Nick Koenig - guitar Ben Murray - drums


Twenty years ago, the San Francisco Bay Area was Ground Zero for the extreme metal scene. Metallica, Exodus, Testament and many others were the progenitors of a sound that has endured to this day--albeit in a number of modified forms--and remains the modern sound of metal. Light This City are acutely aware of the musical history of their Bay Area roots and, since their 2003 debut The Hero Cycle, have endeavored to create a sound that not only to pays homage to the originators, but also incorporates the extreme sounds of death metal and the lyrical honesty and passion of hardcore. Some may call it metalcore, but Light This City have taken a different angle on the genre with their unabashedly old-school influences.

The trio of vocalist Laura Nichol, bassist Mike Dias and drummer Ben Murray first formed Light This City in 2002 based on a shared interest in both the melodic death metal of bands like At the Gates and the classic thrash metal of Metallica and Megadeth. After extensive touring and the recording of The Hero Cycle with an early lineup that included two different guitarists, the band solidified things with the addition of Brian Forbes and Nick Koenig.

In 2005 this quintet became Prosthetic Records' latest signing and delivered to the label an album that fulfills the potential that its debut suggested. Remains of the Gods, Recorded by Zack Ohren at Castle Ultimate Studios in Oakland, is 34 minutes of unrelenting intensity. Murray’s complex songwriting combined with Nichol’s engraged roar takes metalcore to places it's never been before. Rather than relying solely on Maiden-esque guitar interplay to inject melody into their bludgeonous songs, Light This City instead offer up a punishing fistful of melodic speed metal riffs--think Metallica's Ride the Lightning or Exodus' Bonded By Blood--to create a brutal sound that never needs to devolve into a math-metal cacophony or aimless blast beats just for the sheer sake of proving its intensity.

Remains of the Gods is the rare record that takes liberally from the past, without neglecting modern influences. And with it Light This City have created an album that not only far surpasses their well-received debut, it quite explicitly defines the band's remarkable sound and simultaneously contributes a new page to the Bay Area's storied history of extreme metal.

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