Album Review: Killswitch Engage - 'Disarm the Descent'

14 April 2013 | 11:51 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

The past re-visited and re-worked

More Killswitch Engage More Killswitch Engage

Killswitch Engage simply sound like Killswitch Engage. That’s the long and the short of it. It does away with vague attempts at comparison and says it all in neat and succinct form.

Sure a Killswitch record is a predictable premise. But that doesn’t mean it’s a let down. There’s enjoyment in consistency.

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However, while this may be a familiar style from a familiar band, this album – at least going into it – marks itself as Killswitch’s most definitive offering. Out goes Howard Jones and re-entering is Jesse Leach.

The initial statement becomes painfully clear. The personnel is stronger than ever if ‘Disarm the Descent’ is evidence. Yes, it’s only a one-fifth change (and perhaps not a drastic change as Leach has been there and done that), but the dynamic and overall feel is an overwhelmingly positive one. Almost as if everything is re-aligned as initially intended.

Disarm the Descent’ is solid. It’s slick and well produced (almost too polished at times). Leach is given the mic, both figuratively and quite literally, and works to show his purpose and value within the pre-existing Killswitch structure. It is unfair to make this all about the vocal change, but everything from a style to a compositional standpoint is complimented neatly.

It is the first half of full-length number six that sets the tone and provides the ideal snapshot. It’s always good to get out of the blocks quickly. ‘The Hell In Me’ is typically a fast, heavy opener. The brutality/melody partnership is established.

Justin Foley deserves credit for keeping the pulse. The overall pace is varied, but a steading influence on the rest. The bell of the ride is crisp, the crash piercing, and those snare hits positioned in even sequence.

The duo of early-to-middle tracks ‘In Due Time’ and ‘A Tribute to the Fallen’ are the best sequence of songs to dissect. The former, the album’s first and main single, is Killswitch Engage personified. While, the latter has that ‘Rose of Sharyn’ feel, with heartfelt sentiment and uplifting delivery mixed with the dense and aggressive metal approach.

Few surprises on this one, but that’s to be expected. It’s a welcome return for Leach and another reliable offering from the Killswitch boys.

‘Disarm the Descent’ contains nothing glaring or concerning. It is another album that sits comfortably. It won’t deter fans and might just bring in some new ones. Say what you will about metalcore, there’s still a spot for it when done right.

1. The Hell In Me

2. Beyond The Flames

3. New Awakening

4. In Due Time

5. A Tribute To The Fallen

6. The Turning Point

7. All That We Have

8. You Don’t Bleed For Me

9. The Call

10. No End In Sight

11. Always

12. Time Will Not Remain