Nights Like These
Sunlight At Secondhand
posted on 12/2007 By:
Despite the dubious moniker and the fact that they are on Victory, Nights Like These managed to impress with their debut The Faithless. Yes, the metalcore tag came up pretty quickly, but it was definitely a pre-Killswitch Engage, late nineties take on the genre. The band have since developed their sound, branching out into sludge and ambient territory while pushing the metal to slower and heavier depths, and the result is an accomplished sophomore effort in Sunlight At Secondhand. While this album isn’t exactly unique, the improved songwriting, and the fact that there aren’t many high profile bands opting for this style at the moment, help it to stand out.
“Heart Of The Wound” kicks off Sunlight At Secondhand with a wall of thick, down-tuned guitars over fast, thrashing drums. It’s the only song on the album reaching such speeds, but it’s an effectively energetic opener regardless. “Samsara” and “Bay Of Pigs” are two of the best instances of the slowed down, sludgy riffing that characterizes most of Sunlight At Secondhand, with the big, earthy riffs bringing to mind Times Of Grace-era Neurosis. “Collective Unconscious” is noteworthy for being a moody, atmospheric instrumental that counts as an actual song rather than an ill-fitting melodic interlude or a collection of random noises used as filler. But the album’s apex is “Claw Your Way Out”, with its dynamic, textured interplay between chugging metal, melody, clean vocals and progressive flourishes. It’s an impressive track and rounds up a strong first half. The later songs, while more straightforward in their heaviness and intensity, are still well-written and memorable.
This is a solid second effort from Nights Like These, and given the youth of the band I would think it reasonable to expect something pretty special from their next album. With significant advancements in the songwriting department, as well as a willingness to loosen up musically and break from the shackles of genre, Sunlight At Secondhand shows an encouraging diversity yet remains tight and well-rounded. As mentioned before, these guys don’t stand out so much in terms of their style, but more because it’s a style we don’t hear nearly enough of nowadays. In the time I’ve spent with this album it’s grown on me significantly, and that’s always a good sign. Confident, focused and crushingly heavy, Sunlight At Secondhand impresses.
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