Released: 2008, Blind Prophecy Records
Reviewer: Simon Lukic
The fact that I enjoyed LIGHT THE FIRE comes as a bit of a surprise to me. It’s not that I judged the band before checking them out, it’s that I had a feeling that Ekotren would be one of another in a long list of modern metal bands that don’t want to labelled metal. Produced by Paul Trust of Diecast and Endo fame, LIGHT THE FIRE has also come into a bit of acclaim with lead single and title track ‘Light The Fire’, spending 27 weeks as one of the most requested songs on Sirius Satellite Radio Hard Attack's Devil's Dozen. It eventually peaked peaking at No. 3. The band has also been on the road supporting the album on tours alongside Ill Nino, Scum Of The Earth, Diecast, Mower, Droid and Bobaflex.
With that said, what we have here is essentially a heavier version of Linkin Park if that makes much sense? Mix that with some Killswitch Engage, Sevendust, Tool, Slipknot and Bleeding Through and you should have an idea of the Ekotren sound. If I haven’t been clear enough, this isn’t Manowar. You can therefore look forward to gruff/melodic vocals and downed tuned guitars but the thing is, the band has a very versatile edge that makes their material very appealing. For such a young band, Ekotren know how to craft really catchy hooks and melodies. This is clearly evident on the title track, ‘Paper Thin’, ‘Nothing Left’, ‘Falling’ and ‘Death Blanket’ as each song is memorable and packs a punch. Vocalist John Sheldon is versatile and can scream and sing with the best of them, as can be heard during the very melodic ‘Needed You More’ and can then follow it with massive amounts of angst during the final cut ‘Chupacabra’.
I’ll round this review up saying that LIGHT THE FIRE proved to be a bit of surprise for me and it will be interesting to see if I return to the album at a later stage. For now I’ll say that if you enjoy any of the bands above, then check it out and make up your own mind. Your attitude will clearly determine how you approach Ekotren.