Disarm The Descent
Sound: The album starts with a solid rhythm that demands your attention. At 0:10, Leach is heard for the first time since his departure in 2002; his loud, slightly generic, vocal tones make me nervous at first, but he delivers a solid verse. Not much farther into the song, Leach unleashes a wave of melodic vocals that ease any doubt I have of the album; it would have been nice to hear a solo, but it did not detract from the song too much.
Next on the album was the song: “Beyond The Flames.” Upon hearing the opening riff I knew I was going to like the song. It is the type of song that puts a smile on your face with the first note, you just know you will like it. Apart from the guitar, Leach sells the song with solid verses and an extremely catchy chorus. “Beyond The Flames” clearly demonstrates the melodic elements and crushing metalcore sounds that we all know and love.
“In Due Time” was the first single released by the band for this album. The song starts with a heavy head banging riff that makes you just want to go and punch someone. Leach delivers yet another stellar chorus; it’s catchy, easy to remember and will definitely cause some spontaneous outbursts of singing. For the most part, there is not a single song I hate, the only song I have a remote problem with would be “A Tribute To The Fallen.” I just don’t get the same feeling I do with the others; it is still a good song, just not one I can get into. The tone in which Leach sings does not carry the way the other songs do. The way the chorus is sung just rubs me the wrong way for some reason, and while this could just be me, I think it could have been done better.
Sound Rating: 9
Lyrics: Jesse Leach and Howard Jones have both been known to sing about uplifting topics, such as love and understanding. Upon their release of their self titled album, Jones admitted his writings had taken a darker turn. With Jesse’s return, his lyrics appear to discuss his inner struggle with depression, yet there will always be hope, and that he will overcome whatever is thrown at him. This can be seen in the song “In Due Time.”
“How much more can I give of myself,
as these walls close in on me?
As I slip down into this despair
(into this despair),
There is nothing to attain.”
Leach uses a mixture of dark and light lyrics to convey his message. Dropping into despair, (above) Leach sings about his slow descent.
“All that we suffer through leads to determination.
The trials we all go through gives us the strength to carry on.
Something within us burns, desire feeds the will to live.
A reason to believe I will see redemption.”
But seeing the light, he powers through the darkness with heavy riffs of pure metal and vocals of steel until he breaks through and achieves his redemption.
Lyrical Rating: 9
Overall Impression: Yes it is true, Jesse Leach is not Howard Jones, but they are both incredibly talented. Whether or not one leaves and the other returns, Killswitch Engage will always be a great band deserving praise. As for Jesse, he has grown into a fantastic screamer and an overall excellent vocalist. While it will take some getting used to for some, or may be a bit slow at times for others, I am completely fine with Jesse back on the reins and I believe Killswitch Engage still has many years of greatness. I look forward to the future of this band and encourage you to go out and buy this album.
Overall Rating: 9