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    Senior Member All-Star CayugaPosse's Avatar
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    Jan 2004

    The return of Jesse Leach: Killswitch Engage's "Disarm the Descent" thoughts

    So understanding that metalcore's kind of a sore subject with some fans of metal I will still stand forever by the fact that early Killswitch Engage is about as good a band that has come out in the last 15 years. "Alive or Just Breathing" and "The End of Heartache" are both absolutely incredible albums. Between those two, there was the switch from Jesse Leach to Howard Jones, which didn't negatively impact End of Heartache much at all, but the subsequent follow ups got progressively worse(As Daylight Dies has some great tracks and some big misses, the self-titled album is nearly fully a waste of time(there's the odd good song but for the most part it's a swing and a miss).

    Now we get the return of the "original" vocalist, who made Alive or Just Breathing so incredible. And just judging from a few songs that had been released by the band, there was every reason to be excited about a potential return to form for KSE.

    The thing that always made Jesse Leach so outstanding was his ability to find completely original, creative ways to melodize a song. Howard was fairly predictable, and fairly repetitive at the end of the day, everything was huge sweeping chorus'. Jesse is much more restrained, controlled and creative in the way he delivers vocals to the audience, and it takes exactly 2:59 seconds(the run time of opener "This Hell in Me") to see exactly what I'm talking about. It's a completely different sound than KSE had fallen into the habit of repeating even though it ends in that same familiar place(the sweepingly large chorus). The second track("Beyond the Flames") changes that as Jesse takes a much more subdued approach through the chorus.

    I'm not going to bother going track by track with this, because it's largely un-necessary. This review is infinitely simpler than that: At the top of this review I said "Alive or Just Breathing", the last album they made that featured Jesse Leach on vocals, is a true classic and one of the best metal albums of the last 15 years.

    Well, Jesse Leach walked back into a band that had fallen into a pretty stale formula with his replacement, and without missing a single beat whatsoever, they released another album on the level of "Alive or Just Breathing".

    The band never really faltered, they're as tight, precise and focused as ever. The song structures faultered, and they're back to being as good as ever.

    A while ago I posted on the forum that I thought the new single "In Due Time" was a fantastic omen for the album, it turns out it was even better than I thought, because it's actually the worst song on the entire thing(I'm not sure how it was picked in all honesty...I know they released it as another sampler more recently, but I think "The New Awakening" is by far the most obvious single on the album. From everything to the name of the track to the actual track itself being one of the standouts here, it just makes sense.)

    To end with the most cliched final thought imaginable in this post: Killswitch Engage is back. In a major way.

    It's the band completely refocussed, with Jesse giving as good a vocal performance as he's ever given in anything at all. It's the band with the edge and kick of "Alive or Just Breathing" again, and it's the band with Jesse's own brand of uplifting/positive lyrics to genuinely make you feel good as you listen. In short: It's everything that was good about Killswitch Engage once again unleashed. It's incredible.

    Here's "The New Awakening", which I mentioned would have made for a much better single...

    Last edited by CayugaPosse; 03-27-2013 at 08:56 AM.

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