Killswitch Engage are back with their original singer Jesse Leach, and this has caused a lot of controversy among fans. The first two albums released by the band cemented them as the founders of metalcore, and they gained much more popularity during the Howard Jones era, despite having a weak second self-titled album before he left. Now, Killswitch Engage have to win back fans with ‘Disarm the Descent’ – if it’s good, then the fans will stay, but if it isn’t, then the band might as well not stay together. After listening to the album, I’m going to conclude what it’s like now: ‘Disarm the Descent’ practically shits on all of the band’s discography: it’s nothing short of amazing.
The first two songs ‘The Hell in Me’ and ‘Beyond the Flames’ barely clock up to the three minute mark, but they burst at the seams with energy and glimpses of the style adopted from the Howard Jones era, with Adam D and Joel Stroetzel’s harmonious guitar duelling. Jesse’s vocals have improved tremendously since his departure, with his cleans sounding a crisper and less forced, to much more brutal screams. ‘The New Awakening’ proves all of this in a nutshell, not forgetting Justin Foley’s drumming being at its peak.
Following on from this is the first single ‘In Due Time’, which cannot be described in any way apart from using the word ‘epic’ – and the picture of me being an absolute fan boy from behind the computer I’m using to write this review. I’m not ashamed!
That’s pretty much the formula for the album: bursting with creativity, still rather crass song names, and stunning musicianship. Listening to ‘Turning Point’ substantiates this, with aggressive verses, melodic choruses, and fantastic solos. There’s not one filler on the album, as towards the end ‘The Call’, the anthemic calls of ‘Always’, and ‘Time Will Not Remain’ prove to stand out as much as tracks from the start of the album – a consistent trait that very few bands can pull off.
‘Disarm the Descent’ is the band’s lifeline. They had one chance to prove the fans that they can continue strong. They took that chance, and succeeded. No more of the whole “Which singer’s better” or “They’ll be worse with change” scrabbling amongst fans. This album is a true standout for bands, and let’s hope there will be more material like this to come.
By: Rob Ryles, Contributing Writer