Times of Grace
The Hymn of a Broken Man


2.0
poor

Review

by J. Ponton EMERITUS
January 14th, 2011 | 349 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Broken man with broken songwriting writes broken album

The thing that really prevents The Hymn of a Broken Man from being great, in any sense of the word, is its problems with dynamic, tempo, and melody usage, vocal or instrumental. The flow of Times of Grace’s debut is so jagged and stop-start, the chore of listening to it makes the gems that appear later on in the tracklisting, like the purely acoustic and slowed-down “The Forgotten One”, easily the strongest and most enjoyable track of the bunch, almost not worth the effort of discovering. Roughly ten of the the thirteen tracks to be found here sound the same, a mix bag of ballad-esque starts and ends, with crunchy, melodic Killswitch Engage-like metalcore, thrown together for a mess of overly long songs that prove to be completely forgettable once the clean guitar tone of “Fall From Grace” fades to silence at the album’s end.

And what’s with the use of poorly implemented melancholy, anyway? Granted, The Hymn of a Broken Man was written by a broken man after all: primary songwriter and Killswitch-hero Adam Duktiewicz put most of this album’s contents together while sick in a hospital with back problems. Yet, seriously, what the man is trying to convey through the voice of friend and past band mate Jesse Leach can’t transition that well across on record to listeners, at least in a way that isn’t boring or that doesn't come across as forced. This lends much of the debut’s subject matter to fall on deaf ears, the equivalent of numerous pop-punk clichés hitting listeners in the face song after song, only in a depressed melodic metalcore context, with an emphasis being placed on clean vocals over those that are harsh.

Most of this problem can be attributed to how the vocal melodies here aren’t strong enough on their own, let alone when matched up with untraditional guitar riffs that are meant to supplement their effect in the music. Choruses are completely forgettable because of how the vocal melodies crash into the riffs, and since Times of Grace have a dynamic/tempo problem with their songwriting, the pacing and the amount of time each song takes to reach these choruses is questionable and often monotonous. This lends the album to being one jagged and tedious listen, song after song, with highlights being few and far in between.

Metalcore elites may shoot me, but The Hymn of a Broken Man sounds exactly like what Killswitch Engage’s Daylight Dies would have been like if it had actually failed in 2006. The rising above oneself to reach a higher ground topic sounds worn out on this album, especially since the subject matter here is beat into the listener song after song in a way that completely misses the point and is unsuccessful, thanks to boring instrumentals and head-scratchingly forgettable choruses. This album may be enough to get Duktiewicz back up and on his feet, and thank God for that, but to be honest it's likely that The Hymn of a Broken Man will put the rest of us to bed in exchange: it's just that boring.



Recent reviews by this author
There Will Be Fireworks The Dark, Dark BrightBring Me the Horizon Sempiternal
As I Lay Dying AwakenedTim Hecker Harmony in Ultraviolet
Thousand Foot Krutch The End Is Where We BeginOwen I do perceive.
user ratings (445)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
peartnoy (4.5)
I hope that Jesse Leach rejoining Killswitch Engage doesn't mean the end of Times of Grace....

Understanding In a Crash (4)
Two men that contributed into making one of the most memorable metal core albums ever come back 8 ye...

Sanctum (3.5)
Times of Grace delivers what many metalcore bands have been fumbling around for: an album with purpo...

Jeremy Bentham (4)
Although its not Alive or Just Breathing part 2, Times of Grace have delivered an exceptional debut ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Fugue
January 14th 2011


7354 Comments


My friend has been hyping this album to oblivion, nice to see it score so highly.

Ponton
Emeritus
January 14th 2011


5820 Comments


userbase loves this apparently

so try it out, as i tend to be negative anyway

Digging: Gates - Bloom and Breathe

Inveigh
January 14th 2011


25209 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

awesome review, these are my feelings on this album exactly. this was such a chore to get through, even though there were a few cool moments.

and yeah I liked Daylight Dies too, actually even more than TEoH. this is just completely boring though.

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

Fugue
January 14th 2011


7354 Comments


But Jared you're so convincing.

Ponton
Emeritus
January 14th 2011


5820 Comments


Awesome Inveigh, and thanks

Yeah, I prefer Daylight move than any Killswitch album

Anyway, preparing for angry fans that are about to enter the thread..

Inveigh
January 14th 2011


25209 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I still prefer AoJB to Daylight, but those are definitely the top 2 for me

Motiv3
January 14th 2011


8945 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Ill check this out at some point, sweet review Jared.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 14th 2011


7321 Comments


Anyway, preparing for angry fans that are about to enter the thread..

They can't neg you now bro ;)

TheFantasticDangler
January 14th 2011


1174 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Really doesn't deserve this low of a rating. I agree with pretty much all of your points, but I'd say the pure emotion alone that Leach displays in this makes it a 3.

Digging: Rishloo - Living as Ghosts with Buildings as Teeth

BassDemon333
January 14th 2011


3415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Good review, wish the damn stream was up so I could post mine. I don't find this album terrible though. Sure, at some points I could see how its odd to some, but its much better than anything Killswitch has done recently. Plus Jesse is awesome.

HenchmanOfSanta
January 14th 2011


1926 Comments


Wow a Killswitch Engage side project sucks? How utterly shocking.

sexpoi
January 14th 2011


599 Comments


i liked the review but from i've heard from the album, this pretty much sounds like what killswitch would have been like if jesse stayed in the band. and i personally think it's better. leach is a way better vocalist than the guy they have now imo

BassDemon333
January 14th 2011


3415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

He is. Howard is alright but I always liked Jesse more.

Motiv3
January 14th 2011


8945 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Jesse is the better vocalist, but so far im finding this album very average.

ShinXetsu
January 14th 2011


605 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review, you back up your points very well. I however, enjoy this album a lot, if anything just for the performance Leach shows here.

leonwashington
January 14th 2011


42 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i loved "Animal I Have Become" so i'm excited for this

Inveigh
January 14th 2011


25209 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

let's not kid ourselves about who the more talented KsE vocalist is -- the answer is definitely Howard.


omgraptors
January 14th 2011


819 Comments


I am really digging Willing right now.

Inveigh
January 14th 2011


25209 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

well, Lilbean, I don't mean to be rude, but your issue may be that you're trying to create a metalcore album in the year 2011.

people forget that this genre's almost as old as nu metal

Ponton
Emeritus
January 14th 2011


5820 Comments


This question is for Jared or anybody that can explain the dynamic and tempo problems of this album. My band is actually trying to create a good metalcore styled album and I read a lot of these reviews so I know what to do and not do.



See a lot of metalcore albums actually don't have the problem that this one does

if you're going to make an ultra melodic one, like this, try to make it flow well. that's it. just do that.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy