Rating:
8.0
Killswitch Engage - Disarm The Descent
2 April 2013


01. The Hell In Me
02. Beyond The Flames
03. New Awakening
04. In Due Time
05. A Tribute To The Fallen
06. The Turning Point
07. All That We Have
08. You Don't Bleed For Me
09. The Call
10. No End In Sight
11. Always
12. Time Will Not Remain
13. Blood Stains [Special Edition Bonus]
14. Slave To The Machine [Special Edition Bonus]
15. Numbered Days [Live 2012] [Special Edition Bonus]
16. My Curse [Live 2012] [Special Edition Bonus]


In 2011 The Hymn of a Broken Man by Times Of Grace was released and quickly became my favorite album that year. The collaboration between Adam Dutkiewicz and former Killswitch Engage vocalist Jesse Leach; a real gem of an album that I felt nobody got the chance to really appreciate that year. It was really amazing to hear these two musicians back together again and experience what they could do, especially on the album that pushed the boundaries of metalcore music. The Hymn of a Broken Man was extremely melodic and catchy without having the poppy gang chorus styling of many other metalcore bands. It seemed like not too much longer after this record came out that news that vocalist Howard Jones was leaving Killswitch Engage and Jesse Leach was coming back as their frontman hit the Internet. I was very interested in seeing where the music would be heading with this new announcement. Killswitch Engage fans have been to torn for such a long time over who is the better vocalist. I could never really decide but I will say that The End of Heartache was my favorite album by them, which was Howard's debut with the band. So now we have the original vocalist back with a brand new album. How does it measure up to previous works? Is this just a rehashing of the brilliant The Hymn of a Broken Man? Does the band still have the same punch that it did with Alive or Just Breathing?

The first thing that is very apparent is at this is classic Killswitch Engage music. So if you don't care for Alive or Just Breathing or The End of Heartache you're not going to like this album but if you're huge fan of those two records you will be enthralled. After the snooze-fest that was the last to Killswitch albums, Disarm the Descent is a massive breathe of fresh air...well as fresh as Killswitch Engage can be. Let's face it, they never have been known as a band that has been extremely experimental. This is not to stay they write same stale and bland songs over and over, because they don't, and this record is evidence of that. If nothing else the one thing that stands out about this band above all other metalcore acts is their ability to seamlessly weave in melodies amongst the brutality. It is this trait that shows us why they are the masters of this genre when so many other bands use the back and forth style merely as a gimmick.

What this album lacks in originality it makes up for in songwriting. These are all well crafted songs. In many ways this reminds me of the most recent Soilwork album (you can read my review here), talking about them being a one trick pony. Killswitch Engage is very much the same thing; they know what they're good at in a stick to it. Funny side note: the connection between Soilwork and Killswitch Engage is that the vocalist from both bands have been guests on Demon Hunter albums. But I digress, so back on to reviewing this album. The guitar work here is some of the best I've ever heard from this band. Most of the riffs are more refined and the solos or less flashy than in previous albums. The bass lines are more predominant on this record as well, check out the song "You Don't Bleed For Me" which showcases some fluid bass lines. In all honesty as far as the instrument go, I have no complaints. They're all really solid and competent musicians.

So now on to the big question, how are the vocals? The simple answer: they're amazing. Jesse has really been able to redefine himself in the last several years. I always preferred Howard's warming baritone voice over that of Jesse's earlier work. Here we really get a chance see what Jesse can do and it is really impressive. He has a wonderful grasp on tonal control and harmonies which can be experienced on a song like "Always." The vocal styling that he showcased with Times Of Grace are very prevalent here. This is a metalcore album remember, so there will be plenty of gutteral growls and hardcore screaming, which Jesse does a wonderful job with. The ability to tackle both styles exceptionally well within the same song is an impressive skills. It is safely clear that Jesse Leach is back with a vengeance and delivers as promised.

This album contains the perfect balance of the hardcore and the melodic. Without a doubt this is a must have for any Killswitch Engage fan, metalcore fan, or even for someone who wants to get into this band. If you don't particularly like this style of music this album will not change your mind. For long time fans like myself the return of Jesse Leach has been one the most anticipated metal moments of this year and it has been well worth it.


Band profile: Killswitch Engage
Album: Disarm The Descent


 



Written on 04.04.2013 by
Dane Train
Dane hails from Asheville, NC which is Beer City, USA. When he is not drinking various craft and micro brews, Dane fronts the Stoner Doom Metal band, The Quick. He also has a massive collection of Hellboy comic books.
More reviews by Dane Train ››



Comments

‹‹ Back to the Reviews
Comments: 23  
Users visited: 282  
Search this topic:  


BoxCar Willy - 04.04.2013 at 21:36  
See, I'm a huge fan of metalcore, but I really didn't like this.

Boring riffs, repetitive nature, overproduced, and I'll even say I didn't like the vocals (at all)
!J.O.O.E.! - 04.04.2013 at 21:52  
I love Alive... but I wasn't enthralled by this =P
psykometal - 04.04.2013 at 22:18  
Don't listen to these losers ( ) Dane, couldn't agree with your review more. Love the return of Jesse Leach and better songwriting!
madstorkmsu - 04.04.2013 at 22:29  
There are actually a number of Soilwork/KsE connections:

-When Jessie left KsE back in 2002, KsE asked Soilwork's Bjorn Strid (who on tour with KsE) to fill in. He declined.
-When Adam D had back surgury in 2007, Peter Witchers (ex-Soilwork) filled in for their European Tour.
.Halpin. - 05.04.2013 at 02:59  
I love this album, i completly agree with you on this review. My only request is that they compose a song that is like 7 minutes, wouldn't hurt to at least try. I got to say my favorite songs are "The Call", "All That We Have", and "In Due Time"; very well composed songs!!!:thumbup:
Wes - 05.04.2013 at 03:07  
The vocals drag the album down quite a few ratings for me. A lot of "yelling", rather than "death vocals". His death vocals are pretty good, but he seems to give up at a certain point and start yelling which simply makes him sound like he's imitating an angry person. I like the album, but probably no more than a 7 for me personally. I know a lot of people like Jesse's vocals, so not trying to say it's bad, just not for me. I do however really like a lot of the riffs, and vocal melodies on the choruses.
psykometal - 05.04.2013 at 05:52  
Written by Wes on 05.04.2013 at 03:07

The vocals drag the album down quite a few ratings for me. A lot of "yelling", rather than "death vocals". His death vocals are pretty good, but he seems to give up at a certain point and start yelling which simply makes him sound like he's imitating an angry person. I like the album, but probably no more than a 7 for me personally. I know a lot of people like Jesse's vocals, so not trying to say it's bad, just not for me. I do however really like a lot of the riffs, and vocal melodies on the choruses.

I never noticed what you're talking about him "giving up" but it is possible he may have intentionally given himself "breaks" and doing that may be explained by the reason he left the band the first time. He left originally because he never learned how to properly scream/growl so he was practically shredding his vocal chords every night on tours and when he finally went to a doctor they told him what was happening and if he didn't stop screaming/growling then he would eventually lose the ability to speak. That is why he dropped out of the band suddenly right before the start of a nationwide tour with Otep in 2002, and why the band he started some years later (Seemless) was a stoner metal band with no screaming/growling.

I assume he must've finally taken vocal lessons to learn how to scream/growl properly but he may still be worried about damaging his vocal chords, so he may have intentionally written less drastic scream/growl sections to give himself "breaks". I wouldn't be surprised if that's also why they added the "evil effects" (Idk what else to call them) to several of his growls in the studio to give extra impact without him having to push his vocal chords too much in the studio.
Ace Frawley - 05.04.2013 at 08:31  
What's the album cover given with this review - is it an alternative one? Also, there seems to be a lot of clean and harsh vocals over the top of each other on this album - is that multi-tracking of Jesse Leach or backup vocals from the other band members?
Wes - 05.04.2013 at 09:16  
Written by psykometal on 05.04.2013 at 05:52

Written by Wes on 05.04.2013 at 03:07

The vocals drag the album down quite a few ratings for me. A lot of "yelling", rather than "death vocals". His death vocals are pretty good, but he seems to give up at a certain point and start yelling which simply makes him sound like he's imitating an angry person. I like the album, but probably no more than a 7 for me personally. I know a lot of people like Jesse's vocals, so not trying to say it's bad, just not for me. I do however really like a lot of the riffs, and vocal melodies on the choruses.

I never noticed what you're talking about him "giving up" but it is possible he may have intentionally given himself "breaks" and doing that may be explained by the reason he left the band the first time. He left originally because he never learned how to properly scream/growl so he was practically shredding his vocal chords every night on tours and when he finally went to a doctor they told him what was happening and if he didn't stop screaming/growling then he would eventually lose the ability to speak. That is why he dropped out of the band suddenly right before the start of a nationwide tour with Otep in 2002, and why the band he started some years later (Seemless) was a stoner metal band with no screaming/growling.

I assume he must've finally taken vocal lessons to learn how to scream/growl properly but he may still be worried about damaging his vocal chords, so he may have intentionally written less drastic scream/growl sections to give himself "breaks". I wouldn't be surprised if that's also why they added the "evil effects" (Idk what else to call them) to several of his growls in the studio to give extra impact without him having to push his vocal chords too much in the studio.


That's interesting, I honestly have a very hard time deciding how I feel about his vocals, since there are little snippets here and there where he made stylistic choices to scream in certain ways that I'm not a fan of, but also some parts are just fine and pretty wicked. Here is when I must remind myself that I'm not originally a fan of this genre, so it's not fair for me to complain or rate it low based on stylistic choices. One thing I cannot stand is when people criticize a band for not being what they never were to begin with. I felt a lot of this when Wintersun's Time finally came out. All these people ripping on it who never even liked what Jari was trying to make. It seems like Jesse has a pretty big fan base, so I'll respect that and keep listening. You can probably tell I've been flip flopping a lot on my opinion on this album, from 9 to recently a 7 heh. I think 8 is definitely deserving as this review points out quite well. I'm really liking the song writing as well.
psykometal - 05.04.2013 at 09:45  
Written by Wes on 05.04.2013 at 09:16

That's interesting, I honestly have a very hard time deciding how I feel about his vocals, since there are little snippets here and there where he made stylistic choices to scream in certain ways that I'm not a fan of, but also some parts are just fine and pretty wicked. Here is when I must remind myself that I'm not originally a fan of this genre, so it's not fair for me to complain or rate it low based on stylistic choices. One thing I cannot stand is when people criticize a band for not being what they never were to begin with. I felt a lot of this when Wintersun's Time finally came out. All these people ripping on it who never even liked what Jari was trying to make. It seems like Jesse has a pretty big fan base, so I'll respect that and keep listening. You can probably tell I've been flip flopping a lot on my opinion on this album, from 9 to recently a 7 heh. I think 8 is definitely deserving as this review points out quite well. I just love some of the riffs and clean choruses, so if I was a fan of Jesse, I can see myself rating this higher which I might end up doing : ) I'll be listening.

Well so far you haven't really "ripped" on Jesse at all that I would call it. I just see a guy unfamiliar with the band or the genre for the most part calling out what he does and doesn't like based on personal tastes and observations. And I don't have an issue with that at all because you aren't biased in the matter and you're not name calling or being an ass about any of your posts.

Me on the other hand, I'm a huge Jesse fan and have been since 2002, and not just of his Killswitch stuff but also his other bands. So I am a bit biased (as Joe called me out on in the other thread that I admitted too) and therefore my opinion of the album is probably a little jaded by fanboy-ism so I apologize if I came off as an ass in my initial conversations with you in the other thread.

The only song I ever liked with Howard was "When Darkness Falls" because it was the first song recorded with Howard and the only song recorded with Howard that still had remnants of their Jesse-era music style (and Howard still used his BHBS-style screams), other than that I never cared for Howard in KsE. Which is ironic cuz I was rather excited initially about Howard because I thought he was great in his original band Blood Has Been Shed (and because "WDF" still featured his BHBS-style) where he was quite a bit more "brutal" in his vocal approach but with KsE he always sounded weak and whiny to me whereas Jesse had tons of raw power and angst in his voice.
Uldreth - 05.04.2013 at 11:46  
Only gave glancing listens yet but sounds very good so far.

Nice work, Killswitch. Also love the vocals though haven't heard anything as powerful vocally here yet as Numbered Days or Self Revolution.
psykometal - 05.04.2013 at 20:10  
Written by Uldreth on 05.04.2013 at 11:46

Only gave glancing listens yet but sounds very good so far.

Nice work, Killswitch. Also love the vocals though haven't heard anything as powerful vocally here yet as Numbered Days or Self Revolution.

Those were some mighty powerful tracks, 2 of my faves from Alive.
Cynic Metalhead - 06.04.2013 at 10:41  
BoxWhore Lilly is stupid. He must be listening this album with "cotton-buds" fucking his ears-in.

this album ain't that bad as it looks. It is definitely a powerful come back record for Killswitch.

I don't know what type of "metalcore" lilly listens.
psykometal - 06.04.2013 at 17:21  
Written by Cynic Metalhead on 06.04.2013 at 10:41

BoxWhore Lilly is stupid. He must be listening this album with "cotton-buds" fucking his ears-in.

this album ain't that bad as it looks. It is definitely a powerful come back record for Killswitch.

I don't know what type of "metalcore" lilly listens.

Well given that his tastes are typically lo-fi black, gaze and doom bands, I wouldn't base any decision to listen to something like this on what Tanner says about it.
!J.O.O.E.! - 06.04.2013 at 17:29  
Written by Cynic Metalhead on 06.04.2013 at 10:41

BoxWhore Lilly is stupid. He must be listening this album with "cotton-buds" fucking his ears-in.

this album ain't that bad as it looks. It is definitely a powerful come back record for Killswitch.

I don't know what type of "metalcore" lilly listens.

I must be stupid as well then because I have exactly the same opinion. This album isn't bad by any means but it's a pretty tired rehash of the melodic metalcore sound with a novelty original vocalist giving an underwhelming performance.
!J.O.O.E.! - 06.04.2013 at 17:31  
Written by psykometal on 06.04.2013 at 17:21

Well given that his tastes are typically lo-fi black, gaze and doom bands, I wouldn't base any decision to listen to something like this on what Tanner says about it.

Actually Tanner listens to quite a lot of -core, and in fact from my understanding he prefers sludge and stoner to doom and his taste in black metal is certainly not geared toward "lo-fi" stuff, so his opinion on this certainly shouldn't be disregarded because of his tastes.
psykometal - 06.04.2013 at 19:07  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 06.04.2013 at 17:31

his taste in black metal is certainly not geared toward "lo-fi" stuff

Then why does he periodically complain in the SB about not being able to find enough good lo-fi black metal?

And I must've missed his gear shift from doom to stoner/sludge...
!J.O.O.E.! - 06.04.2013 at 20:02  
Written by psykometal on 06.04.2013 at 19:07

Then why does he periodically complain in the SB about not being able to find enough good lo-fi black metal?

And I must've missed his gear shift from doom to stoner/sludge...

Probably because he doesn't like lo-fi black metal

I don't really ever recall him being big on proper doom tbh.
psykometal - 06.04.2013 at 21:57  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 06.04.2013 at 20:02

Probably because he doesn't like lo-fi black metal

I don't really ever recall him being big on proper doom tbh.

Then why are his own projects lo-fi...?

I think he's more into the "extreme" dooms.
!J.O.O.E.! - 07.04.2013 at 04:43  
Written by psykometal on 06.04.2013 at 21:57

Then why are his own projects lo-fi...?

I think he's more into the "extreme" dooms.

Because he has no ability to make anything well produced and has no choice

Dunno, maybe he likes the odd thing me and Rod like, but I don't think he actively seeks out extreme stuff.
psykometal - 07.04.2013 at 05:03  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 07.04.2013 at 04:43

Because he has no ability to make anything well produced and has no choice

Dunno, maybe he likes the odd thing me and Rod like, but I don't think he actively seeks out extreme stuff.

Well, even people that are interested in creating higher quality muusic try as best they can to create higher quality music despite not having the funding to produce it. But Tanner intentionally creates lo-fi post/black/what-sounds-to-me-like-doomy stuff so my assumption there was not just a lack of funding/equipment but a general desire to create that style of music...
Cynic Metalhead - 07.04.2013 at 09:49  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 06.04.2013 at 17:29

Written by Cynic Metalhead on 06.04.2013 at 10:41

BoxWhore Lilly is stupid. He must be listening this album with "cotton-buds" fucking his ears-in.

this album ain't that bad as it looks. It is definitely a powerful come back record for Killswitch.

I don't know what type of "metalcore" lilly listens.

This album isn't bad by any means but it's a pretty tired rehash of the melodic metalcore sound with a novelty original vocalist giving an underwhelming performance.


Well, tired rehashing has always been a banal force of metalcore scene. Who doesn't know that?!

Yes, that's true that the record has some weak patches where they just went quite superficially with their procession. But, if you look at the album overall, i think it sounded pretty good enough. We can't say that it came out a complete mediocre blown-out record but it had some awesome moments where i thought "this could be the pinnacle moments of this album".
RicardoRoque - 19.01.2014 at 22:31  
Great review! And i can't stop listening to this album.. there are GREAT songs like All in due time, new awakening, a tibute to the fallen and You don't bleed for me but the whole album is very good! A must have for fans like me and a good try for those who don't know the band! but if you don't like this kind of metal that alternates between clean melodic and dirt screaming vocal.. stay away from this album anda stay away from this band! It's not for you!

Advertise on Metal Storm


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Albums Killswitch Engage - Disarm The Descent 9 01.04.2013 by psykometal
Events SWE, Stockholm - Killswitch Engage: Disarm The Descent European Tour 2013 7.5 22.04.2013 by Razamir
Reviews Killswitch Engage - The End Of Heartache 7 02.03.2008 by Uirapuru
Alternative metal forum The Killswitch Engage thread! 6 17.05.2006 by
Reviews Katatonia - Night Is The New Day 6 02.12.2009 by Marcel Hubregtse



Hits total: 5053 | This month: 2