Sound — 10
Melodic death metal band Light This City's third album is the most popular one with fans, and when the sound is a mixture of At The Gates and Arch Enemy, it's easy to see why. The flow of the album is also very good and there's only one filler song, which luckily is the last. It's not a bad song, it just isn't memorable and being the shortest song on the album, it needed some better riffs. I described the sound of the previous album as "melodeath" towards the brutal side, "Facing the Thousand" is much more towards the melodic side. Great songs like "The Unwelcome Saviour" and "City of the Snares" have guitar melodies that "makes" the songs. You feel more like singing along with the melody than to the lyrics.
"Facing The Thousand" is the first album written with a designated guitarist. In fact, two guitarists: Brian Forbes and Steve Hoffman. Drummer Ben Murray wrote all the guitar parts on the last album and the guitarists have kept his core sound intact. But like I said, more melodic guitar work and for the first time some guitar solos, which are great and makes the album sound more complete. The speed and energy of the Ben Murray's drumming really drives the music forward, as well as Laura Nichol's intense vocals. The production is better this time around, but there's still some small things that could've been even better, like the bass could have been more audible.
The title track, which starts with a simple violin/orchestral melody that surprised me at my first listen, opens the album in an excellent way. The band then kicks in with the guitars playing the same melody, this is where things start to get epic. The build up stands for a third of the 5 min. Song, which is one of the best on the album. About halfway though the song, you can already tell that this is something greater than "Remains of the Gods." Several awesome riffs later "Cradle for a King" hits you. This one is heavier than the opening track and most other songs on "Facing the Thousand." The heavy part after the second chorus and the melodic instrumental last minute, makes this another one of the best. "The Unwelcome Saviour," was the only LTC song that became a video. The song "Exile" is partly about ripping a mans heart out and eating it. Awesome riffs, fantastic verses, kick ass drumming, great guitar solo and instrumental part at the end makes this, by far the best song on the album. "Fear of Heights" features guest vocals by Trevor Strnad from The Black Dahlia Murder.
Lyrics — 9
I must say that Laura's vocals has improved a lot in the few years between "The Hero Cycle" and "Facing the Thousand." She now reaches both high and low, which makes her sound less monotone. I like that she can go from growls that you can tell what she's singing, to ones where you have no idea because of their brutality. Her growl sounds very similar to Angela Gossow's on Arch Enemy's 2007 album "Rise of the Tyrant."
Just like on the other albums, the lyrics are really great. Dark and with a poetic undertone, Laura is an awesome lyric writer. The highlights are the songs "Exile" and "Tracks of Decay," which features awesome lines such as: "I plunge through the ribs and grasp the steaming, slippery heart. It slides down my throat and I am king again" & "All aboard your train wreck life. Last stop, Tracks of Decay!"
Overall Impression — 9
Because of the how the way things progress throughout the songs; the tempo changes, the diverse drumming and the fact that a crushing song suddenly turns into a melodic one, keeps your attention throughout the album. There is plenty of riffs that causes you to instinctively headbang, and the flow of this album is excellent. The total running time is 40 minutes, so this time the album doesn't feel to short.
From this 2006 release you get 9 great songs and 1 good song, the highlights being "Facing the Thousand", "Cradle for a King" and "Exile." I discovered this band in 2007, and after I heard how much they had evolved over the course of just 3 years, I could almost see an epic 2008 album coming from these talented musicians... I wasn't wrong.