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Disarm The Descent
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Disarm The Descent
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Disarm The Descent marks the return of original singer Jesse Leach to Killswitch Engage. Leach was the voice behind the genre defining release Alive Or Just Breathing. This album has been hailed as one of the most anticipated releases of 2013 by magazines, blogs and most importantly the fans who are eagerly welcoming Jesse back into the band after 10 years away.
Special Edition includes bonus DVD of the making of Disarm The Descent.
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Sounds Like: Killswitch are alive and more than just breathing.
- Jesse is back! And not only that, he sounds phenomenal. That guttural, rough-around-the-edges delivery you remember from the band's birth is still alive and kicking, though slightly refined. Howard is a rather large voice to replace and Jesse is equally up to the task of pulling off the clean vocals as well.
- The production by guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz gets the band back on track after the murky sound of the Brendan O'Brien produced 2009 self-titled effort, highlighting each guitar-lick and bass-kick equally.
- The album is lean, mean and no frills. There really isn't a track that feels extraneous. This one flows perfectly from front to back, which the band hasn't quite pulled off since "Alive Or Just Breathing."
- Though Jesse does a good job of delivering some good, old-fashioned Killswitch-brand melodic metal, there isn't much exploration beyond what the band has already accomplished. I guess you can only push this sound so far?
- Even though it flows so nicely, the album feels a bit brief. It feels like there is at least one massive, epic song missing. Even the last effort had the brooding "The Return." Gimme some of that goodness, guys!
- "The Hell In Me" opens the album with a substantial and appropriate bang. This track just defiantly screams "We are Killswitch Engage, we are back and we mean business!"
- "Beyond The Flames" is one of the speediest and catchiest of the batch. This is the "must hear" track of the album. Classic Killswitch.
- "Always" and "In Due Time" being the album's most accessible tunes are also the perfect marriage of the Jesse-era and the Howard-era. They really hit the sweet spot here.
- "Tribute To The Fallen" and "You Don't Bleed For Me" are a bit repetitive, but really don't drag the album down too much.
Best Listened To When: You haven't listened to Killswitch Engage in a long time and need a reminder of just how awesome they were (and still are).
Personally: Though I liked their 2009 self-titled just fine, it was pretty formulaic and didn't bode well for the future. By that point, the writing was on the wall with Howard and it seemed something had to change. The band kept on good terms with Leach all along and the ensuing homecoming is glorious. I dig "Alive Or Just Breathing" just as much as "The End Of Heartache" and this strikes the perfect balance between the two worlds.
The Bottom Line(s): It's Killswitch Engage. They blend hardcore with classic metal better than anybody. Jesse is a powerhouse and a genuinely gifted performer. You owe it to yourself to give the band another chance, even if they may have lost you a bit in the late '00s.
Don't get me wrong. Howard was an amazing singer. Hell, he was the one that got me into "heavier" metal when I listened to The End of Heartache, which started my progression toward listening to death, black and all other flavors of metal, but when I got Alive or Just Breathing and heard Jesse's growls, screams and especially his melodic singing, I fell in love. Something about what he says and how he says it really spoke and still speaks to me. His obviously deep passion towards the words he speaks and the authenticity with which he conveys those words are a big part of what makes him so marvelous. I've been hoping for his return to heavier music for a while. The Empire Shall Fall was the first gleam of hope in that respect and while that band is extremely awesome, it just wasn't the same as his past with KSE in my opinion. Same went with Times of Grace (and yes I know that Adam D produced and plays in band). I love both of those bands a ton, but they just didn't seem as great as the original KSE to me.
So if you have any reservations about buying this album because of how soft and sort of bland KSE had been sounding lately (I know I did) or maybe even because you liked Howard better, know that this is definitely worth every penny. It's like Alive or Just Breathing with better and faster drums and better vocals since Jesse's range seems to have broadened over the years. Some songs he sounds just like Howard. Other times he sounds like Phil from All That Remains. He can sometimes sound like other great singers while still keeping true to his own style. I was also blown away at the fact that there was a lot of quick double bass and even blast beats. Didn't think KSE would produce a heavier album like this after their last album. They seemed to be moving to the softer side like most heavy bands seem to do as they age and become famous (Cough, Mastodon). So it's nice to hear a band move away from the more commercial, soft stuff and back to being a bit harder and faster. I honestly figured that this would just end up being another Times of Grace album (which wouldn't necessarily have been a bad thing), but I was ecstatic to find that I was completely wrong in my assumption. This collection of songs is their return to their time of grace (sorry, had to be done) while still producing something seemingly fresh with faster and heavier tracks.
So whatever reason you may have for not purchasing this latest album from Killswitch Engage, stop thinking and just get it. You won't regret it a bit. I know I haven't.
However, KSE had brought us a really impressive content with massive dinamicy, which is reflecting life into our ears - there are bad time, yet there are magical, positive also - it's like this album has tracks with huge brutality, dark riffs, but always there is a classy Jesse Leach- like clean vocals and "Sissy-riffs" which reminds us 'don't worry man, everything is fine, there is always light at the end of the tunnel' (Times of Grace resemblance, even though there is no connection what so ever reffering to the bands interviews), but these guys have matured, and perfectly mixed all the memorable elements from previous albums, gave it some new ingredients, but with Jesse these elements are alive, it's so inspirational, it has a soul, and we can only be happy that our band is back.
Now this album drawes dinamyc diagram begining from 4 out of 5, uprisingly to the middle of the album, which represents the supernova top FIVE rating, and from there again to the lower ratings right to the end, it's like a perfect circle. Perfect, because it is a massive, good tracks included album with well crafted musical innovations, and varying riffs in every seconds. All Heil to KSE, they are good people, and of course welcome back Jesse Leach.