For a band that is primarily known for their covers of various pop songs, Our Last Night has produced an album with overarching thematic elements and a unified sound. The band’s fifth studio album, Let Light Overcome, follows the post-hardcore album formula laid out by many others in the genre. It establishes that yes, this is indeed a post-hardcore album if there was any doubt. The lyrics are about feelings that only the listener could feel sung in a mixture of clean vocals and screaming like so many other albums in the genre. Through closer listening, however, Let Light Overcome uses the confines of a sound built for moshing to cleverly express new and unique sounds.
The album can be broken up into two main parts separated by the fourth song “The Darkness.” The first half of the album is characterized by a driving, aggressive sound that makes you want to move as the tempo speeds up. As the lyrics explore an inner self and the struggles of being one’s self, the sound is fast and throaty. For lack of a better word, the first half of the album is heavy. The aggression, punctuated by clean vocals and minimal instrumentation, creates a sharp contrast in the songs making them memorable and exciting to listen to. The first three songs, especially “Bury the Hatchet” are catchy with choruses that are easy to pick up as you listen.
The themes and sound of the album change after “The Darkness.” The album becomes more musically complex and layered with different instrumentation in the second half of the album. “Castle in the Sky,” in particular, displays a variety of different guitar sounds and offers a welcomed change in sound from the start of the album. Lyrically, the songs change as they begin to look outside of the self. These songs seem more hopeful both in lyrics and sound than the beginning songs that reflect on the self. The remainder of Let Light Overcome reflects the pacing of a typical post-hardcore song. Songs that are screaming dominant and songs that are sung entirely clean are intermixed to give the remainder of the album the energy found in the majority of the songs. Like the songs on the album, there is a rest before the ending energy. After the relatively soft “Bleed for You,” Let Light Overcome ends on a high full of energy.
Through the catchy choruses and clever tempo changes, Let Light Overcome delivers a worthwhile listen. Though some of the electronic noises added to the songs seemed to do little to improve the sound, the album makes up for this with other instrumentation and vocal delivery. There is enough uniqueness in the other instruments to differentiate this album from another band in the genre. Overall, the screaming on the album is effectively placed and sung. Understandable and lyrical, the album could have used more screaming as there are sections that seemed to ask for a scream that never came. This album’s strength is its ability to mix in a heavier sound than many other bands do in an enjoyable way, though this strength could have been emphasized more.