2014 is yet another prime year to be in a metalcore band. Decide on your name, make sure you have an image, record a few songs and watch the fans flock to you. What about a complex, carefully crafted and nuanced sound? Never fear, the musical formula is tried and true, utilized by whatever band is currently adorning those black T-shirts of fledgling metal fans: chugging riffs, electronic interludes, good cop/bad cop vocals and plenty of guitar squeals. Newcomers, The Killing Lights offer very little to push the boundaries of metalcore, instead forcing their own sound through that classic formula.

The Killing Lights arose from the group Vampires Everywhere! who already had an established career, with stints on Warped Tour and opening for other notable metalcore bands. The transition into The Killing Lights came after a concerning number of lineup changes, the only constant member being vocalist Michael Orlando.

After listening to The Killing Lights’ debut self-titled EP, it’s clear that his vocals are the centerpiece of their sound. Orlando alternates between polished hooks and a raspy, but not entirely, atonal vocal style. Throw in the flashy leads of guitarist DJ Black plus the inevitable “headbanging in unison” breakdowns, and you’ve deciphered the blueprints that are sure to attract droves of fans.

The overall offering of The Killing Lights’ EP is not completely homogenous. Songs such as “Crashing Down” and “Conversations” offer a slightly more radio-friendly sound, one that would fit perfectly on your favorite rock radio station. If “Conversations” offers any insight into how this band will progress then they have a promising career. The song features the catchiest hooks out of the entire release, delivering emotional intensity without having to rely on screams or a breakdown.

Ultimately, the debut EP from The Killing Lights will surely satisfy the legions of fans who having been following Orlando. The Killing Lights certainly have the ability to push their scene in a newer, more interesting direction, but will they? With just a debut EP, it’s difficult to predict; regardless, their massive following will continue to grow as they enter the mainstream.

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