Howard Jones

Live Review: Mark Morton, Light The Torch & Moon Tooth at The Roxy

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On a clear Monday night in Los Angeles, at the legendary Roxy on Sunset, three bands, each with their own style, left an imprint on this fabled street and venue. Those in attendance (and there were quite a few, especially on a Monday), were witness to one hell of an energetic evening of heavy music. Led by headliner Mark Morton along with Light The Torch and up and comers Moon Tooth, there was no stopping the train of heavy from decimating the Roxy.

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Opening up the evening was Moon Tooth. Ever since I heard of them a few months back, I’ve been highly intrigued by them. Their blend of heavy and psychedelia mixed with bits of prog and jazz makes them one of the most exciting new bands to come along in a while. Their second album Crux (which comes out Friday March 29), is one hell of a record and it most definitely will be at top ten album of the year. Every minute of their set was absolutely on fire. As they ripped through new songs like “Trust,” “Omega Days,” and “Awe At All Angles,” there was no question that these four gents are primed for something great. Each member from Nick Lee (Guitar/Vocals), John Carbone (Vocals), Ray Marte (Drums/Vocals), and Vin Romanelli (Bass), really gave it everything for each song. Personally I was kind of bummed their set ended. I really wanted more. Moon Tooth really got the crowd going and delivered a performance that when they are headlining their own shows, will be talked about for some time.

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The middle slot of the night belonged to Light The Torch (formerly Devil You Know) and they brought the thunder with them. As the lights dimmed down, the frenzied crowd lost their shit when singer Howard Jones took the stage. For the next hour, Light The Torch, riding high off their new album, Revival, Howard Jones along with Francisco Artusato (Guitar), Ryan Wombacher (Bass/Vocals) and Mike Sciulara (Drums) delivered a set that was inspiring and crushing. Playing songs like “Die Alone,” “Calm Before The Storm,” “The Bitter End,” “The God I Deserve,” and “The Safety Of Disbelief,” there was no doubt on anyone’s mind that Light The Torch are here to stay. One of the best parts of their performance was the interaction between Howard and the crowd. It’s clear that Howard is a favorite among many people. His time in Killswitch Engage was something special and getting Howard back doing what he is meant to do is just great. Light The Torch are primed for a take over and rightfully so.

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The main event of the evening belonged to Mark Morton of Lamb Of God. His debut solo album, Anesthetic, is a departure from what most fans of Lamb Of God are used to. This evening though showcased what a talented songwriter Mark is as well as solidifying his status as a modern day guitar hero. For this tour Mark recruited drummer Art Cruz (Prong, Winds Of Plague and Chris Adler’s fill in for Lamb Of God), guitarist Doc Coyle (God Forbid, Bad Wolves) and Sons Of Texas members Mark Morales on vocals (who also sang the song “Blur” on the record) and Nick Villarreal on bass. This lineup along with Mark on lead guitar stormed through their set with vigor and passion. The songs on the album feature a diverse style of songs ranging from super heavy like “The Truth Is Dead” and “The Never” to more rock styles like “Cross Off,” “Sworn Apart,” “Save Defiance,” “Blur,” and “Imaginary Days.” The best songs though are the total curve balls like “Axis” and “Reveal” which truly show how good Mark Morton really is. The performances of these songs were right on target. Mark Morales did a stellar job handling the vocal duties for all these songs. The tandem guitars of Morton and Coyle were spot on and the pounding and thunderous rhythm of Cruz and Villarreal was right in the pocket. They even had a couple special guests joining them on stage. Naeemah Maddox was brought up to sing her song “Reveal” as well as staying on stage to perform “The Truth Is Dead” with Roy Mayorga (Stone Sour, Soulfly, Abloom, etc) pounding the drums.

 
What a great night for every band on the bill. Each band was different and brought an energy that carried on to the next. It’s shows and tours like this that get people excited and want to go see live music. Not only was that a great show but, it was a great way to start the week. I know I’ll be replaying the show in my head for sometime, especially Moon Tooth. I can’t wait for them to come through town again. And a special shout out to Heavy Grass for making it happen for me to attend this great show!

 

Review and Shots By: Brian Lacy

(I was too into the show to take many pictures).

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On The Rise: Light The Torch

 

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I’ve said it many times before and I stand by it, heavy music and melody go together like peanut butter and jelly. They both come from different places but when they are combined the end result is perfect. There is a band out right now that does melodic heavy music perfectly, and that band is Light The Torch. You might recognize them originally as Devil You Know but, due to a former band member causing some issues, the remaining members opted to change the name and continue on albeit on a slightly different path. The first two Devil You Know albums were more in that “djent” style but now with Light The Torch, they have gone more melodic without losing the “heavy.” Singer Howard Jones (formerly of Killswitch Engage) sounds great and just as good as he did on the Killswitch album The End Of Heartache. The riffs courtesy of guitarist Francisco Artusato aren’t over complicated, instead they have a really subtle ebb and flow of clean and distorted tones.

Their album Revival is exactly the type of melodic heavy record that you’d want to hear from this band and Howard. When you have songs like “Die Alone,” “Calm Before The Storm,” “Raise The Dead,” and “The Safety Of Disbelief,” it really shows a different side of each member and allows Howard to showcase his pure singing voice. Then you have a song like “The Sound Of Violence,” which sounds a bit like Howards pre-Killswitch band Blood Has Been Shed. Closing the album is “Judas Convention” which is a great summation of what the album has to offer.

Revival isn’t reinventing melodic heavy music but it sure gives it a shot in the arm. Having Howard Jones in this sort of shape both vocally and lyrically gives Light The Torch the guidance needed to really leave their mark on the scene. I’m just putting this out in the aether but, a Killswitch Engage/Light The Torch tour sure would make a lot of sense and would be HUGE!!

 

Light The Torch- Revival:

Guest Vocalist: Howard Jones- Light The Torch Ex Killswitch Engage

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For many years now, Howard Jones has been a well respected vocalist in the heavy music world. From his time in Blood Has Been Shed to Killswitch Engage and now with Light The Torch (formerly known as Devil You Know), Howard’s voice and lyrics have resonated with countless amounts of people. Since Light The Torch is getting set to release their new album, Revival (out March 30), I thought it would be fun to put together a bunch of songs Howard has guested on over the years.

 

36 Crazyfists- Elysium (from Rest Inside The Flames):

 

Eighteen Visions- One Hell Of A Prize Fighter (from Vanity):

 

Throwdown- The World Behind (from Vendetta):

 

Roadrunner United- The Daggar (from Roadrunner United- The All Star Sessions):

 

Every Time I Die- Punch-Drunk Punk Rock Romance (from Last Night In Town):

Within Temptation- Dangerous (from Hydra):

 

Jasta- Chasing Demons (from The Lost Chapters):

 

Asking Alexandria- Until The End (from From Death To Destiny):

Ultimate Set List & Tour: Killswitch Engage w/ Jesse & Howard and Darkest Hour

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The first Dream Tour and Ultimate Set List I made was pretty amazing. The line up of Mastodon, Neurosis and O’Brother would be a tour for the ages. After that, I made a list of others that I thought would be pretty amazing. What I present to you is a dream tour that would be absolutely awesome. Imagine if this ever did come to fruition… Killswitch Engage tours with Jesse Leach AND Howard Jones. Each singer gets their own set of songs from the albums they were on, and then at the end they join each other for a few songs. Well, here is the set list that I came up with, the one I’d want to see, along with Darkest Hour as their opener and their set list. Enjoy!!

With all that in mind, here are the guidelines for this now expanded category.

1: Where would you want to see the show

2: What is the order/set lengths of the bands

3: What line up of the band would it be (If necessary)

4: Set List (In order of how the set should go)

 

Venue: 

The Worcester Palladium in Massachusetts

Order: 

1) Darkest Hour (45 mins), 2) Killswitch Engage (45 mins for Jesse, 45 mins for Howard, plus 15 mins for the Encore)

Line Up:

Darkest Hour: John Henry, Mike Schleibaum, Ryan Parrish, Kris Norris, Paul Burnette

Killswitch Engage: Jesse Leach, Howard Jones, Adam Dutkiewicz, Joel Stroetzel, Mike D’Antonio, Justin Foley

Set Lists:

Darkest Hour:

01) Doomsayer
02) No God
03) Convalescence
04) Timeless Numbers
05) So Sedated, So Secure
06) Knife In The Safe Room
07) Eclipse
08) Pay Phones and Pills
09) The Sadist Nation
10) For The Soul of the Savior

Killswtich Engage:

Jesse Set:

01) Numbered Days
02) Beyond The Flames
03) We Carry On
04) Life To Lifeless
05) You Don’t Bleed For Me
06) Cut Me Loose
07) Self Revolution
08) Fixation On The Darkness
09) In Due Time
10) Strength Of The Mind
11) Always
12) My Last Serenade
13) Vide Infra

Howard Set:

14) Daylight Dies
15) A Bid Farewell
16) A Light In A Darkened World
17) When Darkness Falls
18) World Ablaze
19) The Arms Of Sorrow
20) Breathe Life
21) Reject Yourself
22) My Curse
23) Rose Of Sharyn
24) The End Of Heartache

Jesse and Howard Together (Encore):

25) Irreversal
26) Soilborn
27) Take This Oath