Light This City
Terminal Bloom

Back in the early and mid 00s, female fronted metal absolutely blew up, especially in the melodic death metal, metalcore and screamo genres. Spearheaded by matriarchs Karyn Crisis and Angela Gossow, bands like Walls of Jericho, Landmine Marathon, In This Moment, The Agonist, Ikilledabearaonce, Hiretsukan, Undying, Eyes Set to Kill, Circle Takes the Square, Made Out of BabiesBloodlined Calligraphy, were in all the magazines with big and uncomfortable  “hottest chicks in metal” spreads, tours and such.

One of the more competent acts was California’s Light This City, who got on my radar with their rough but energetic debut, The Hero Cycle back in 2003. Laura Nichol fronted the band with venom and ferocity and the band made no bones about their At The Gates influence, cemented by a cover of “Cold” from Slaughter the of the Soul. They released two more albums in 2005s Remains of the Gods and 2006s Facing the Thousand and in 2008 they released their swansong, Stormchaser, and called it quits with little or no fanfare. Well, a decade latter the largely original-ish line up from across the bands discography has renunited and released a scorcher of an album that almost puts their peers from then and now to shame.

Well, the band nor Laura Nichol has lost no steam as Terminal Bloom shreds from start to finish like its 2006. The crisp, tight Zach Ohren production is perfect allowing every shredding, tight as fuck melodic riff and lead and Ms Nichol’s potent screams to leap from the record with a confident intensity. Riff wise, this is the very epitome of the melodic death metal genre, as Steve Hoffman and Ryan Hansen deliver some brilliant riffs and leads  that are searingly melodic (Just check out the dancing riff of “The Wake of my Will”) and still rooted heavily in Slaughter of the Soul. In fact, they sound more like classic At The Gates now than At The Gates do now (listen to “Neverlanding”).

Other than brief interlude “Death Downwind” , the 10 tracks are so tightly wound yet, addictively melodic it’s hard to pick out stand outs. That said, I kept coming back to the compact, furious infectiousness of straight up gallopers like “Dormant Tide”, “Extinguished”, “Neverlanding” and closer “Wildheart” over and over again. But more restrained, developed but still excellent numbers like opener “Reality in Disarray”, the title track and first single “A Grotesque Reflection” are still incredibly satisfying.

Terminable Bloom will probably be one of the more underrated and under the radar. yet satisfying reunions of the last couple of years. Which is a shame as Light This City came up when  melodic death metal was in a bit of a tired state and got a little swept under the rug with then saturated metalcore scene but still delivered 4 strong albums. And now their 5th album still might get overlooked as both genres have had their day, in spite of being an incredibly strong release.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
June 4th, 2018


  1. Commented by: Vegard

    Excited to check this out and see if it matches Facing the Thousand, their best work by far imho.

  2. Commented by: Jay

    Diggin’ “Dormant Tide.” I had all of their stuff at one point and definitely thought they were ahead of the pack for what they do. Nice one man!

  3. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    This is good, the guitars need to be moved up in the mix and made a little heavier.

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