“Disarm The Descent” is currently streaming over at Alternative Press. Listen here!  The past few years have been interesting for Killswitch Engage.  Aside from Howard Jones’ health problems, which eventually lead to his departure as lead vocalist,  the rest of the band members were involved with side projects.  Whether it be Adam D. and Joel Stroetzel’s work in Times of Grace, Mike D’Antonio’s efforts in Death Ray Vision, or Justin Foley’s temporary role as Unearth’s drummer, these musicians found themselves engaged without the Killswitch.  Needless to say, many fans and critics began to question the band’s future.  Then after Jones’ departure, the band reunited with former vocalist Jesse Leach, raising the eyebrow of the metal and hard rock community.  The band began touring again and even catching the attention of old school fans.  And now with the release of “Disarm the Descent”, it’s as if KSE is telling the world, “Your Massholes are back, refreshed, and ready to tear you a new one!”.

That is definitely the feeling one gets from listening to “Disarm the Descent”.  This album is very different from anything they’ve released in the past.  One major difference is an increase in guitar solos.  Anybody that is familiar with KSE’s discography knows that Adam D. rarely solos.  In fact, the only original songs with solos were “Breathe Life” and “Never Again”.  That is changed on this album as the listener can expect to hear solos in at least five songs. Another major difference comes from the vocals of Jesse Leach.  Even though he served as the band’s original vocalist, the difference comes from how much he has improved.  Songs such as “No End in Sight” demonstrate a more powerful and confident vocal delivery than what was heard from him on the band’s first two albums.  This should come as no surprise to those that have followed Jesse’s work with Seemless or The Empire Shall Fall, but fans that are only familiar with a select few songs from “Alive or Just Breathing” should be pleased with the vocal improvement.  “Disarm the Descent” also has a much more aggressive sound to it.  Foley really demonstrates his speed in “The Call”, where in the chorus his blast beats generate enough force to detonate a building.  Adam and Joel really pick up the pace too, creating rhythm sections that rival those of some of thrash metal’s early practitioners.

The album showcases diversity.  Tracks such as “In Due Time” and “Time Will Not Remain” demonstrate the classic KSE metalcore, full of melodeath riffing and memorable choruses.  Fans of Shadows Fall will appreciate the relentless shredding and soloing in “The New Awakening”. The song “Turning Point” opens with a heavy breakdown overlapped with riffing that is reminiscent of early August Burns Red.  The chorus in “You Don’t Bleed For Me” has a melancholy feel to it, similar to what you may hear from some 90’s alternative rock bands.

“Disarm the Descent” is a phenomenal release from start to finish.  It will be released on April 2nd via Roadrunner Records.  If you like the new record be sure to catch them on tour in the future, their live show is second to none.

(p.s. the cover art is probably the coolest looking since “The End of Heartache”, courtesy of Mike D.)

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