Killswitch Engage are back in 2013 with their latest album ‘Disarm the Descent’, their 6th album. With the departure of their previous lead singer ‘Howard Jones’, Killswitch Engage decided to audition singers to try out for the band, (which included thousands of poorly, performed YouTube applications).
Suffice to say, none of these bedroom rockers made it through to become part of Killswitch Engage. So the band reverted to their old friend Jesse Leach, and the original front man to the band. This news (to diehard long-term fans of the band) was well received.
However there were murmurs in certain circles, that due to Howard being such a unique type of singer, and the front man that everyone had grown accustomed to (and love). Maybe Jesse would cause Killswitch Engage to regress. However, with myself being a big lover of this band, and having the pleasure of seeing both Howard and Jesse live before I think they both have great qualities soon to be seen again.
‘Disarm the Descent’ takes off with explosiveness. To be honest, one of the things that hit me first was the fact that they have reverted to a heavier style due to Jesse, however I do not want to get stuck in a ‘Howard’ vs. ‘Jesse’ debate. I digress. Track one, “The Hell In Me” says quite blatantly that guitarists Adam and Joel want to go fast, and hard, and do more than they could previously.
Continue on and you quickly find “New Awakening”, lightening fast legato riffing, with constant drilled machine gun kick drums blow you away with the though in the mind; this new awakening is with Jesse in the saddle. The vocals are much more along the lines of hardcore vocals, fiery. The squealing guitars, and squealing vocals blend together on this track and make it stand out. Did I mention a face melting solo, well there is one, and its pretty intense.
Their released single, “In Due Time” is very much in a similar tone and style to “New Awakening”, and very much of the album is all about heavy riffing, fast paced, high octane, METALCORE. Maybe due to the content of “New Awakening”, it would have been more fitting as their single release, but then again, I am not A&R man.
Slowing things down a little, tracks like “Always” do pull back the pace and add a softer side to the album. Although the lyrics are simplistic (they would probably be picked apart by a Morrissey fan) and easily relatable, I can imagine them bringing together raucous Hard Rock festival fan goers, to amass a grand sing along. Another stand out track I would say is “Time Will Not Remain”, this has a great mix to it, with everything thrown together, great sing along, cool riffs, and the classic Killswitch Engage 6/8 chorus that you could Waltz to (providing you know the footing and have a suitable partner).
There are some good solid riffs in this album, some solid guitar solos, some solid vocals. Sadly, that is all this album offers. Killswitch Engage are not sugar coating this however, they are not Pink Floyd and do not try to be. After all, it is the first album comeback with Jesse since 2002. I think with the track names, the band try and make this abundantly clear. So just remember, that this is ‘The Turning Point’, the ‘New Awakening’. Jesse took ‘The Call’, and now there is ‘No End In Sight’.