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1. New Baby Girl
2. Love And Death MP3
3. Five Blows
Reviewed by: Cory
// Published: 11/5/2008
Light Yourself On Fire is a group of four veterans of Tampa, Florida's vibrant "hardcore" community, notably former Reversal of Man vocalist Matt Coplon, Robert Winslow and Ken Karg of Omega Man and Scrog and John Allen, also of Scrog. Light Yourself On Fire is a logical extension of the band members' collective musical pasts, a love letter to Florida's metal history and a substantial statement in its own right. Despite the disc's eighteen minute runtime, there is more than enough material here to merit one's interest. Their brand of metallic hardcore might have more in common with Coalesce than Black Flag or Agnostic Front but there is an undeniably punk approach to even the disc's most metal moments. There's a little bit of everything in LYOF's stylistic bag of tricks (shredding, grinding, chugging, squealing, screaming, etc.) and these guys make every last note work.
The disc begins with one excerpt from an essay by philosopher Alan Watts and includes another later in the disc, as well as clips from Fahrenheit 451 and Sean Penn's unsung directorial debut The Indian Runner. These carefully chosen bits present the band's apparent anti-establishment views effectively without becoming tiresome even on repeated listens. The disc's liner notes include lucid explanations of lyrics referencing Kierkegaard, Camus and Sartre but if you're more interested in music than philosophy, Intimacy can certainly be enjoyed on a more visceral level. At various times, Light Yourself On Fire evoke everyone from Hot Cross and Converge to Cannibal Corpse and Carcass in the less than twenty minutes.
Of the disc's five complete compositions ("Montag" is more of an interlude), there isn't a weak track. Obvious highlights are closer "Haunts," which gives traditional mid-paced death metal a memorable twist and "Five Blows," a powerful reflection on man's relationship with nature drawn from Coplon's experience losing a home to a hurricane in 2004. It's not that the disc's other tracks are weak, even by comparison to these songs, but these would be excellent entry points for anyone curious about the group's overall aesthetic. The record was recorded and mixed by Mark Nikolich (Torche, The Holy Mountain) and mastered by Scott Hull (Pig Destroyer, Nile) predictably sounds pretty great.
Bottom Line: Intimacy is one of the best releases of any length that I've heard in 2008. It grabbed hold of me on the first listen and, despite repeated spins, hasn't lost any of its initial impact. Seventh Rule has struck again, adding to their already impressive roster and further quietly establishing themselves as one of the most consistent record labels around.
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