REVIEW: Killswitch Engage – “Disarm the Descent” (2013)



Artist:  Killswitch Engage [Facebook] [Twitter]

Album:  “Disarm the Descent”


  1. The Hell In Me
  2. Beyond the Flames
  3. The 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

After the return of the band’s original vocalist, Jesse Leach, rumors spread like wildfire about a new Killswitch Engage album.  Soon after these rumors began, a song leaked – the community took to it like moths to flames, and the hype for the supposed to record rose and rose.  Not too long after all of these events, the band confirmed fans’ suspicions, and eventually announced the coming release of “Disarm the Decent,” featuring the aforementioned newly-returned original vocalist.  Though many were saddened by Howard’s leaving, after hearing the single for the album “In Due Time,” all fears were washed clean, and this “Disarm the Descent” became something to look forward to.

This album makes itself a pretty good throwback to the old sound of Killswitch Engage, definitely a heavier piece of work than releases before it.  Of course, there was less of an operatic feel in the vocals, with Howard being no longer the vocalist, but Jesse’s own voice is pretty good competition here.  Though not much as so, Jesse can hit those notes just as well as Howard could, it’s just a different man’s voice – it might take some getting used to for fans who only became aware of Killswitch Engage during the middle of their career, but not too much.  As I said, this album does sound like old Killswitch Engage material, but with far better production.  It’s heavier, definitely through songs like “All That We Have,” and seems to have new-found feeling in it.  This band’s music has always seem to have been filled with emotion, but this album seems to express it in a different way – where the previous albums filled the music with emotion through vocals, this album reaches out in all ways, instrumentally and otherwise.  The feeling of the music itself broadcasts that emotion now, and the vocals seem to play as the other side of the coin, giving a more supporting feeling.  Don’t get me wrong, though, the vocals are still a vital part of what makes up the album.

There’s a tendency of “genericism” in this album, though.  It’s only made generic because of the fact that, really, it’s as if it’s the same song played over and over again, just with a few different parts here and there.  Not all of the songs sound the same, mind you, but really the majority of it does, and this really is a letdown if you’re looking for something diverse and out there.  I have to say, though, this album does feature songs that do stray from the beaten path that the album takes, songs like “Always” and “All That We Have,” but for the most part it just seems to keep up a certain comfortable sound.

I’ve mentioned this song twice already, so it’s no surprise that I’m going to continue to talk about “All That We Have.”  This really doesn’t sound like a Killswitch Engage song, to be honest it reflects a different sound, like that of bands like As I Lay Dying and Miss May I – bringing a more “hardcore” sound into the mix of their very own music.  I have to say, I would have loved to have heard more songs like this, and I really do hope they keep this sound in mind for future releases.

“Disarm the Descent” drops on April the second through Roadrunner Records, and is available through the band’s merchandise website, as well as the usual places like iTunes and Best Buy.  Be sure to pick it up!

Rating:  8.8 / 10

For Fans Of:  As I Lay Dying, All That Remains, Times of Grace