Welcome to What’s the Buzz, 25YL’s feature where members of our staff provide you with recommendations on a weekly basis. In our internet age, there is so much out there to think about watching, reading, listening to, etc., that it can be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff, filter out the noise, or find those diamonds in the rough. But have no fear! We’re here to help you do that thing I just described with three different metaphors. Each week a rotating cast of writers will offer their recommendations based on things they have discovered. They won’t always be new to the world, but they’ll be new to us, or we hope new to you. This week, Jay Rohr is listening to “More than Dreaming” from Light the Torch and Jason Sheppard recommends you check out David Byrne’s solo album Uh-Oh from 1992.
Light the Torch, “More than Dreaming”
Jay: Light the Torch recently dropped a visualizer video for their latest single “More than Dreaming.” Featuring artwork designed by guitarist Francesco Artusato, the song creeps in a heavier direction than their previous single “Wilting in the Light.” In a way, it’s a taste of the familiar while remaining fresh.
As usual, vocalist Howard Jones carries metal into an operatic arena with soaring vocals. These aren’t the unintelligible atavistic gutturals or ear piercing screams many associate with the genre. Jones provides a clear yet intense voice for poetic lyrics too often unheard in modern metal. More than anything, his voice resonates with emotion lending a genuine quality to the song.
However, the rest of the band isn’t leaving the heavy lifting to Howard. “More than Dreaming” is a tight train. Ryan Wombacher uses his bass to add a steady sledge hammering heads into banging, while Francesco Arturo expertly fluctuates between groove metal riffs and melodic shreds.
It’s the kind of song that makes a listener long for live concerts. Having been privileged enough to see Light the Torch perform (under their original moniker Devil You Know) this song speaks to a talented group. In a way classically metal, harkening back to performers like Dio, and yet contemporary like a smoother version of Lamb of God.
Metal is awash in dive bar gutter thugs screaming in the graveyard. Light the Torch, however, is a slick killer in a classy cocktail lounge. Despite the melancholy tapestry the lyrics weave, a certain optimism exists within this song. Although, that said, don’t be fooled. There’s nothing cloying about the emotions conjured by this track. It’s an oddly accessible brand of metal given that it can still shred skin.
In the video’s content description, Howard Jones is quoted saying, “I love starting the album with ‘More than Dreaming’.”
As far as an opener, the track is a reminder of what fans have come to expect from Light the Torch. However, it contains enough fresh ideas to encourage an ear to continue listening. Not just to the single but the rest of the album as well. In that way, it’s an invitation and a promise.
The video seems mostly intended to serve up the album art crafted by Franceso Artusato. A 3-D model of said work rotates bathed in neon and licked by flames showing off tantalizing macabre features. The image is evocative and hard not to look at without sparking strange visions. For instance, it seems like something from a cyberpunk dystopia, a futurist evolution of a concept as simple as a torch, yet it could easily exist in a fog shrouded castle, glowing in the depths of a dungeon. Such versatility in imagery befits a band able to achieve soaring heights and bloody brutality depending on the track.