Jesse Leach is back in Killswitch Engage and though most of you have probably heard the album through the stream via Front Magazine or you own it (legally or not), here is my belated review.
On a first listen this album is incredibly catchy, lead single ‘In Due Time’ gets stuck in your head all day despite the fact it is one of the weakest and most ‘poppy’ songs. These insanely melodic hooks are one of the ever present attributes of this album; ‘Beyond The Flames’ and ‘All That We Have’ and quite frankly most of these tracks are catchy. The infectious melody however is somehow a detraction as after a while the rhythms become more and more predictable. The clean vocals are the main source of the catchy melodies whilst the harsher vocals obviously feed the aggression. A short song like ‘The Call’ is one of the better songs on the album due to the superb work with the rhythm section and the super fast chorus. ‘Always’ is a nice change form the unrelenting torrent of violence being a more ‘ballad’ song, though it ends quite unsatisfying. One of the greater tracks ‘Time Will Not Remain’ is saved til the end, usually this isn’t bad but the middle section of the album could use more of a lift. The production work is great but a little too polished, no where near dirty enough. Instrumentally it’s very clever although, asides from a few guitar riffs, the guitar work won’t be as inspiring to the 6-string players out there, the percussion is however outstanding.
If this wasn’t Jesse’s first album with KSE in a long while there isn’t much that would make this a great release. It’s still a decent effort, and managing to find life in a genre of music that has been utterly pillaged by bands not even half as good is commendable, but unfortunately this won’t live up to the hype in many people’s eyes. Those devoted to KSE and the return of Jesse may adore this album, but it may take a couple of listens to truly start loving this record.
That said, it’s still better than a lot of metal records out there. An album of the year for some, but KSE can easily top this.
Verdict = 3/5 stars
Release Date = 2nd April 2013