Band: Like Moths To Flames
Album: Dark Devine
Label: Rise Records / BMG / Warner
Like Moths To Flames conjure the type of anthems that move crowds and evoke each listener’s deeply rooted passions, as evidenced by the millions of streams accumulated by songs like “Bury Your Pain,” “No King,” “The Worst in Me,” “Wither,” and “You Won’t Be Missed” (which alone accounts for 5 million views on YouTube). Tours with bands like All That Remains, The Devil Wears Prada, and Memphis May Fire cemented their status as a live act worthy of admiration.
Album debuts on the Billboard 200 chart; high-profile stints on Vans Warped Tour, The AP Tour, Scream It Like You Mean It; headlining tours supported by bands like Crown The Empire, The Color Morale, and Palisades; the five-piece Columbus, Ohio metalcore monster is among the standard bearers of the genre.
Produced by Erik Ron (Attila, New Years Day, Set It Off), Dark Divine is the breathtaking result of experience, enthusiasm, and renewed vigor, an effort destined to ensure longevity for the band within an underground scene dominated by fading trends. Fronted by vocalist Chris Roetter and cofounding member Aaron Evans (bass/vocals), Like Moths To Flames have hit a creative high on album number four. It’s an electrifying showcase for what Roetter, Evans, Jeremy Smith (guitar), Zach Pishney (guitar), and Greg Diamond (drums) can achieve, with dedication and the hard won lessons learned while on the road.
Across four albums, Like Moths To Flames have enlisted friends and contemporaries from bands like Silverstein and the Amity Affliction as guests, while trading in massive breakdowns, thrashing riffs, and melodic might, adeptly moving between crushing brutality and soaring catchiness with powerful energy.
Alternative Press heralded the band’s sophomore set, An Eye for An Eye (2013), as “catchier, more anthemic and less dependent on easy ‘brutality’ than its predecessor,” the band’s head-turning debut album, When We Don’t Exist (2011), which Mind Equals Blown declared a “rage fest” for a “destructive mood.”
Completing a trilogy of albums produced by Will Putney (Every Time I Die, Knocked Loose, Fit For A King), The Dying Things We Live For was a swift and brutal shot across the bow against self-serving commercialism and contrived “evolution,” concentrating the darkest and angriest elements of the band’s sound into their heaviest album thus far. Having delivered the foundational mission statement, the group set their sights on bigger creative horizons and reinvention.
After all, the band’s versatility was evident when they accepted an invitation to participate in the popular Punk Goes Pop series, delivering a vibrantly confident cover of “Some Nights” by Fun. Dark Divine scratches the creative itch with broader dynamics and an empowering outlook, without sacrificing the group’s signature heaviness, striking a difficult balance many bands fail to execute.
The album’s title track demonstrates many of the album’s strengths in short order, delivering the goods with many of the elements Like Moths To Flames set out to explore. “Shallow Truth for Shallow Minds” jettisons the more linear thinking of the band’s previous work in favor of greater atmosphere, offering a rollercoaster ride through a variety of expressive styles and flourishes.
“Empty the Same” is a vibe soaked foray into balladry, crystalizing the fearless spirit that coalesced into Dark Divine, a record that’s less melancholy and angrily self-reflective lyrically than its predecessor, inviting listeners inside with new warmth. Other parts of the record are reminiscent of seminal groundbreaking records from influential bands like Senses Fail and others who laid the foundation for Like Moths To Flames, including their friends in The Devil Wears Prada.
It all amounts to a courageous and uplifting album that will satisfy old-school fans of Like Moths To Flames, audiences who devour every release from bands like August Burns Red, and future disciples alike. Dark Divine is a massive step toward ensuring the band leaves a legacy, opening the door to a long career doing what they’ve wanted to do from the very beginning: connecting with people around the world through the cathartic and impassioned power of heavy music.