Times of Grace
The Hymn of a Broken Man


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jeremy Bentham USER (65 Reviews)
January 14th, 2011 | 33 replies | 8,849 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Although its not Alive or Just Breathing part 2, Times of Grace have delivered an exceptional debut effort that shows much potential.

9 of 9 thought this review was well written

There are a lot of times in music where we come across surprising collaborations. We receive news that 2 or more artists that made wonders for music are getting back together and writing new material and we all get absolutely ecstatic. We've seen this a lot recently and the collaboration between Jesse Leach and Adam Dutkiewicz is one of them and one that excited me greatly. We all know the story of Killswitch Engage by now, and we know that Alive or Just Breathing is one of the greatest metalcore albums of all time and was a milestone in their career that they will never be able to live up to. Given these facts, its almost impossible to go into this record expecting some moments that sound like Alive or Just Breathing (and there are), but there are also moments that set this project apart from anything either of the two musicians have done before.

Despite the major similarities between the two bands, The Hymn of a Broken Man shouldn’t be compared to a Killswitch record but rather as its own entity. Times of Grace are not Killswitch Engage, and this album isn’t exactly Alive or Just Breathing part 2 (even though that record's 2 chief songwriters are present here). What makes this project so different and special when compared to Killswitch besides experimentation is that Adam and Jesse share the vocals throughout the 13 tracks, and they blend together quite beautifully. Dutkiewicz has provided backing vocals on every Killswitch release, but here he actually takes the center stage with providing lead vocals on some tracks. When he does, on tracks like “Until The End of Days” and “The Forgotten One”, the results are incredible. He really does a great job as a vocalist, and Times of Grace allows him to show off more of his talent. Jesse Leach, as always, does not disappoint with his performance. His vocals have improved significantly since 2002 and it shows in the superb clean singing and his signature roar that we all miss in Killswitch. The title track and “The End of Eternity” are both monster tracks that demonstrate Jesse's improved vocals and Dutkiewicz' superb musicianship.

Musically, the album is fantastic. Dutkiewicz is known for his fresh, crisp production sound. As both a producer and multi-instrumentalist, he is all over this record. The guitar work is what you would expect from him, and he is still keeping those leads tasteful and the riffs heavy yet melodic as ever. The bass work is actually prominent in some points (see the intro to “Fight For Life”) but its still not living up to its full potential, which is not really a suprise here. The drumming is also excellent, Dutkiewicz provides great fills and twists behind the kit that drive the music forward and proves to be a master at all of the instruments present on the record.

As a lyricist, Jesse Leach has always written about spiritual aspects of life and his own struggles. This was seen on Alive or Just Breathing and in his recent band The Empire Shall Fall. He continues that trend of spiritual lyrics and song titles with Times of Grace. The entire album seems to be about loss and learning from that loss and carrying on in life stronger than before. Its apparent that Leach is passionate about this style of writing and all of the songs sound heartfelt and true. Dutkiewicz and Leach put a lot of effort into this record, and it certainly shows.

In the end, what we are given by Times of Grace is an exceptional and promising debut effort. We would expect such an album from two of the original and main songwriters of Killswitch Engage, and we can only hope for an even better effort next time around. The only thing that might turn some people off is that the tracks might not have much variation apart from “The Forgotten One”, but I found that to be expected from these guys at least for now. The Hymn of a Broken Man is a fresh and well done debut album, and its honestly damn good to see these two making music together again.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
BassDemon333
January 14th 2011



3350 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

The stream is officially up now - http://www.artistdirect.com/entertainment-news/article/artistdirect-com-exclusively-streaming-times-of-grace-s-the-hymn-of-a-broken-man/8442302

Ponton
Emeritus
January 14th 2011



5784 Comments


good counter review bro, disagree obviously but nice

Relinquished
January 14th 2011



24428 Comments


adam d. wrote almost all the lyrics for this album, so basically this is his work with jesse singing in it

DoubtGin
January 14th 2011



6748 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

eww

BassDemon333
January 14th 2011



3350 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Jesse wrote all of the lyrics, Adam D. provided additional vocals and the music to this album.

Relinquished
January 14th 2011



24428 Comments


I wouldn't know, but I got my info from the videos I seen and what I read

Deathcar
January 14th 2011



1534 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm basically in between the two reviews, no it's not the most original or groundbreaking album, but the clean vocals are pretty damn sweet and it's a nice, unchallenging listen...will be good for blasting in the car and singing along to. Both reviews are good though.

BassDemon333
January 14th 2011



3350 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Well, from what I read in interviews, Adam said he contacted Jesse to pen the lyrics and do the vocals because he didn't think he was all that skilled in that department and focused more on the music. Although he does take lead vocals on occasion with this album, obviously.

Scoot
January 14th 2011



17681 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

solid album.

Digging: Unjust - Glow

Strider
January 14th 2011



4598 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've been waiting for this, I'll check it out

FilthyBorgir
January 14th 2011



1334 Comments


Not gonna lie, awesome album

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
January 14th 2011



7970 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It is nice to know Jesse Leach hasn't lost anything. He is as good as ever.

Defeater
January 15th 2011



5782 Comments


Do they sound anything like Neurosis? I'm guessing that's where they got their name.

SteelErectedb4you8er
January 15th 2011



2613 Comments


After the first listen, there are a few tracks that really caught my attention, but I found myself kind of losing focus after several songs. I am a big fan of Jesse Leach's vocals and his performance is really strong, but I feel like the songwriting could have been more unified in a number of songs. I kind of see where Observer is going with this album in his review, but you know, who knows...maybe I will listen to it again and find it more interesting. The two singles and The Forgotten Ones are the songs that stick out to me the most.

FictionalFlames
January 15th 2011



1516 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I enjoyed this album, it was actually awesome. (pos)

BassDemon333
January 15th 2011



3350 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks. Glad to see there are some people who do enjoy this.

keyserfunk
January 15th 2011



280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

just got the cd in the mail -- really enjoying it

TheFantasticDangler
January 16th 2011



1149 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

The ending to Live in Love makes me want to love someone.

Yazz_Flute
January 16th 2011



18764 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

First impressions this was a 2.5 but the second half of the album is really damn strong compared to the first half.

Digging: Cormorant - Dwellings

omgraptors
January 16th 2011



813 Comments


Adam D is a great talented musician, but I'm afraid he can't write whole albums on his own.He has created some really cool landmark metalcore sounds but the composition of his songs compared Daylight is way weaker. Vocal-wise it is a whole nother story. I just focus on them and thats why a like the album so much.

Strong vocal performances on recycled Daylight Dies - this sums the album pretty good.



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