Amplified is a weekly column focusing on new and emerging artists. Got a band that fits the bill? Email

We’re at a point now where I think playing melodic death or any of its offshoots is a bit of a lost creative cause for most artists. We can really only hear the same pedaled melodic minor riffs ripped straight from Slaughter of the Soul and watered down beyond recognition so many times before it’s pretty clear that there isn’t a whole lot left to say. So, if that’s your vibe, telling me about how much you like Iron Maiden is going to get my attention. California’s Thorns of Sin did exactly that with their new record, Destroy The Light. Frankly, it’s cool to have an LA artist on our radar that’s not disposable, cheap bullshit by way of the countless dad-rock bands crowding that scene! The fact that it began as a one-man project only drives the musical passion and talent here home.

Thorns of Sin love their melodeath, that’s for sure, but the interesting part is how clear the nods are to Reinkaos-era Dissection; an extremely underrated, brilliant guitar album that’s mostly verboten only because of the straight-up black metal that preceded it in the band’s discography. The pronounced blackened edge to these songs in both the vocal delivery and melodic choices overall are what sets them apart from the hundreds of bands aping the more diluted, feel-good sort of direction the genre took as it veered into metalcore in the mid 2000s.

Since it’s tough for me to pick just one song off of this monster, here’s two: “Lust Through The Ashes,” and “The Truth Awakening,” which features a ripping guest guitar solo courtesy of Scar Symmetry’s Per Nilsson. Stream it, buy it, love it.