Review: New Light Choir “Torchlight” [Svart Records]

Review: New Light Choir “Torchlight” [Svart Records]

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Whilst perusing Bandcamp, within my feed someone had bought the track ‘Psalm 6’ by NEW LIGHT CHOIR. The artwork sucked me in (maybe album cover of the year), the band name alike. Add to that, it was mastered by Temple of Disharmony – oh, go on them, I’m in.

‘Psalm 6’ did not disappoint and so I immediately jumped at the chance to review the full album when offered by Antichrist.

Here’s some of the press release: Torchlight sees the duo (New Light Choir consists of guitarist/vocalist John Niffenegger and drummer Chris Dalton) step on the distortion pedal and travel deeper into the mystical, dusk-filled metallic territory hinted at on its predecessor. Torchlight is possessed with the same creative spirit and a sense of wonder as the early albums by genre forefathers Trouble and Manilla Road, yet they are devoid of the trappings of retro worship and prefer to look into the future.

Never content to exist in an easily defined space, New Light Choir defy genres, preferring to weave diverse threads of sound into their own unique sonic tapestry. On their previous album Volume II (High Roller Records, 2015) the two-headed genre hybrid group explored the 50-year history of dark, heavy guitar-based music and made what Invisible Oranges called “music made from missing links”.

Well, I was more intrigued than ever but talk about putting your best foot forward… ‘Psalm 6’ is the best track out of the 10 offered up. There is some hope. The Doom laden riffs near the end of ‘Last March’ are great and the opening riff of ‘Stardust and Torchlight’ are welcome in my Black metal infested brain. Still, if I’m brutally honest, they’re just glimpses of something I wanted but they didn’t deliver – ‘Dark, heavy music, made from missing links’.

I will say this – John Niffenegger is a good vocalist. So good and so distinctive in fact, that he pulls this album from an absolute waste into something in the ‘could do better’ category.

The Album Torchlight will be available on November 23rd on LP, CD and digital formats worldwide. You can purchase ‘Psalm 6’ right now via Bandcamp.

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