Light Up the Dark

1. In The Heat Of The Night
2. Words Are Not Enough
3. Every Time You Cry
4. I Wanna Be The One
5. I’ll Die For You
6. Angel Of Mine
7. Fantasy
8. We Are One
9. Only Time Will Tell
10. Break The Silence
11. Save Me
12. Catch Me When I Fall
13. Without you

Guitar - Claudio Matteo
Bass - Beat Kofmehl
Guitar - Mack Schildknecht
Vocals - Eric St. Michaels
Drums - Billy La Pietra

China (1988)
Sign in the Sky (1989)
Go All the Way (1991)
Live (1991)
So Far (1992)
Natural Groove (1995)
Alive (2000)
The Very Best Of (2008)


Chris Johnson, Michael Parnin (producer)

Released 25/3-2011
Reviewed 24/2-2011


The dictatorship and idiotic leadership of China seem to have begun a musical propaganda to spread their message throughout Europe and the rest of the world. As I hate China and everything they build I have a bit of a hard time understanding why anyone want to name a band after something bad, like Maim or Mutilation or whatever else really awful you can figure out, Korea and so on and so forth. This band China hails from Switzerland, despite the name, and have been around for a while and it was a while since they released their latest creation, fifteen years more or less. Now they are back with a new studio album called Light Up the Dark and that is what I have taken a look at for a while now.

So what about Light Up the Dark, is it a good album, and how does it sound musically? It is an album falling in somewhere around the metal and AOR intersection, maybe it can be called melodic AOR metal or something like this. I say it is melodic hardrock with distinctive choruses, some distinct guitar lines and a clean melodic sound. The vocal part is not as high pitched as it often tend to be in bands of the genre but still a quite melodic vocal style is present on this album along with choirs and the similar. You can also state that the band has made a very varied record with songs of different styles of music. The record is varied without feeling incoherent, it all fits in the same musical style and does feel like part of the same album even though it is varied.

This album starts with the title track which is an energetic track with a good feel to it, setting up for a positive feeling for the one starting up the album. I find this to be one of the real top tracks on this album as it has all that is good about this band. The album reaches on for about 45 minutes which is split up on twelve tracks that are all quite good. There is generally a good feel to the tracks and I enjoy listening to them while I listen to this album. It is also good that it is no longer than it is as 40-45 minutes feel like the ideal length of an album.

There are some problems though, the music does not really come into my mind as the real good music. The tracks are forgotten when they end and the record is forgotten as soon as I don’t play it and that is not a sign of a good record in my opinion. I have tried to get to the bottom of what it can be that is the cause of this problem but I have difficulty figuring it out as this album has it all, great melodies, good songs, powerful choruses, it is not too long and it all works well but still it is not memorable in any way. My theory to this feeling is that the singer is to blame for this, not because he is bad but because he is not that last tipping point that is needed to make a good band great.

So what all happens in the end, when the music of China stops playing they seem to vanish until the next time I play them, they are not even remaining in my mind or in my consciousness and sometimes it seems like the only time I recall them is when I flip through the bands in my iPod. Then I might play them and find them good, they are a mystery this band, maybe they are as mysterious as the ancient chinese with their dragons and great walls and not having anything to do with the China of today that is all about oppression and evil. So despite the name, this band is a decent one with their music even though they are a mystery at the same time.

In short, it is a good band albeit an anonymous one despite the more blah blah that was promised.


Label - Metal Heaven/GerMusica
Three similar bands - Bad Habit/Gotthard/King's X
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm