SPARKLE OF HOPE - Light The Torches

Sparkle Of Hope - Light The Torches

9 songs
36:53 minutes
***** ***


Belgian metalcore band Sparkle Of Hope had been founded already in the summer of 2000, but it took them five years to find a more or less stable line-up to record their debut It’s Calculated Murder, a solid if not exactly innovative work.

Three years later they are back with their second album Light The Torches, released again on the Belgian label Funtime. Apart from a new drummer, there have been no changes this time, although the band has considerably matured. The main ingredient of their music is still metallic hardcore in the vein of As I Lay Dying and Darkest Hour. They took care to add a lot of breaks into their songs, although you will not find many speed attacks. Dead’s Hot is the exception with its elevated pace, but apart from that, the band mostly stays in mid-tempo territories, without giving up any of their brutality. Next to the aggressive riffing, the emphasis is on the harmonic guitar playing which remind at times of Iron Maiden, and on the varied vocals that manage everything from evil growls over screamo to melodic emo. The songs mostly start with violent verses that segue into more melodic choruses that invite to sing along. Occasional complex and atmospheric parts bestow an even progressive aura upon the band.

Sparkle Of Hope have managed to really surprise me with Light The Torches, by offering everything that was still missing on their debut. Guest vocalists from label mates Campus and Maple Room make for a little variety. The aesthetically pleasing cover artwork has been done by Mike Bukowski who also drew already for NOFX and Comeback Kid. Sparkle Of Hope have improved in every possible way, and deserve to get fullest attention with their new album.

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