Killswitch Engage
Disarm the Descent


3.0
good

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (198 Reviews)
March 26th, 2013 | 48 replies


Release Date: 04/02/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Highly anticipated – Baby stepping - Predictability.

There’s no denying the fact that since former Killswitch Engage vocalist Jesse Leach was announced to be returning to the band’s vocal duties, that there has been a certain hype created long before the release of a new album. The main issue for comparison between records, is the fact the Leach hasn’t performed on a Killswitch Engage record since Alive Or Just Breathing and whether this new release would echo the early days of the band, or take the Howard Jones route. Weirdly enough, Disarm The Descent has taken from both eras, allowing the record to be received well enough, but each twist and turn is seen from a mile away with this hugely straight forward approach. Disarm The Descent, is far from a flop, especially in terms of commercial viability. Killswitch Engage’s 2013 record promotes the straight forward metalcore sound that the band did so well in the early days whilst retaining that melodic edge that the band found during Howard Jones’ time at the helm. For those hoping this might have turned out like another Leach project (The Hymn Of A Broken Man) chances are this album is going to leave you disappointed, because this is hardly innovating, and remains straight forward Killswitch Engage. That aside, it doesn’t mean the masses won’t enjoy it.

Disarm The Descent is a stepping stone for Killswitch Engage. Those familiar with the rest of the band’s discography will know that the band is capable of so much more. Whether it be the melodically emotive Jones era (with the likes of ‘End Of Heartache’, ‘My Curse’, ‘Save Me’ or ‘Starting Over’) or the high octane, pour heart and soul into tracks Leach tracks like ‘Numbered Days’, ‘Life To Lifeless’ or ‘In The Unblind’ , Disarm The Descent comes off flat in comparison like a warm up for something greater. Opening track ‘The Hell In Me’ may lead off in the right way, attempting to blow the listener out of the water but unfortunately the sing a long hooks and screamed verses instantly lose steam. It’s clear from the get go, that Disarm The Descent isn’t going to be that ground breaking reformation album. That’s not to say it doesn’t have its merits but the record as a whole isn’t quite as substantial as it needs to be. Disarm The Descent sounds like a band simply going through the motions after a reunion and despite the negative connotations, it’s not actually that a bad thing. Subtle difference do emerge between the two eras, highlighting that this band can pull on both the nostalgic heart strings and appeal to the band’s newer fans. ‘In Due Time’ showcases a bombastic formula, switching between the instrumental works of As Daylight Dies and echoing Jones’ vocal patterns on The End Of Heartache whilst still having that typical Alive Or Just Breathing sound.

This Massachusetts five piece haven’t exactly come too far away from their original sound, even managing to regress at points. For one reason or another, their output has always been considered solid and even the band’s less than shiny moments still manage to provide enough enjoy ability to maintain the casual listener. This album is set squarely in that mould. The guitars are as precise as ever and in typical Killswitch Engage fashion have the random, but not out of place squeals and legato leads always reading to launch into a quasi-breakdown inspired riff fest, backed by a slightly guitar hugging bass that thickens the sound but doesn’t really add anything that’s not already there. Foley’s drum work seems to be as solid as ever, but the beats and double kick runs come off as too much of the same thing especially considering that he’s been using the same runs (on and off) for three albums now, they’re repetitive and far from the exciting fresh addition it could be. Even with this in mind, those listening can’t really fault this for being typically Killswitch Engage, even if somewhat recycled on a large scale.

Overall, Disarm The Descent is a predictable affair, that’s not the excitable return for Leach it should have been. Instead of pumping a new “old” life into Killswitch Engage, Leach is left to carry the album out of mediocre metalcore and with his trademark notable energy he does, but barely. Disarm The Descent could more or less be considered a show in direction for the group. If the track ‘No End In Sight’ could be taken literally, Killswitch Engage have a fair while to go before they hang up the hook lines and always steady musicianship, no matter the vocalist. Chances are this particular record will achieve a commercial success just as much as the band’s catalogue and affirm that this five piece will achieve a constant level of success no matter who has the vocal reins. If anything has been proved from this release, it’s the fact that having Leach around changes very little, and that Disarm The Descent is but a stepping stone for something more.



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user ratings (557)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
jitteryzeitgeist (4)
One hell of a return for a band pretty much everyone left for dead....

AaronBatt (3)
Jesse Leach's return to Killswitch Engage seems to have spawned a rebirth in the band, as KSE delive...

Alex Carlson (2.5)
For a band who've proven to be more than just another metalcore face, KSE's latest doesn't make much...

Thompson D. Gerhart STAFF (3)
"All in due time."...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
March 26th 2013


50869 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sweet

Digging: Bobby Barnett - Little Wounds

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 26th 2013


7122 Comments


Not quite a snooze fest, especially considering it should have been so much more.

Emim
March 26th 2013


26666 Comments


How is Jesse's voice?

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 26th 2013


7122 Comments


Picked up some Howard tendencies, but still remains largely Jesse's. It's not weaker, but it's not better really. I feel it's just grown a bit.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2013


28785 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

rushed review is rushed

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2013


28785 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

cant wait to hear this

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 26th 2013


7122 Comments


Album Rating: 5

cant wait to hear this


um,.....

rushed review is rushed


hardly... Rushing would be writing this thing in like 15 mins, There's actually a couple of hours stretched over a week in this.





CaptainDooRight
March 26th 2013


30242 Comments


wat in the world


VanSchuldiner
March 26th 2013


659 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Damn

Toondude10
March 26th 2013


4315 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Nice review! But sounds like you're giving this a 3.5 rather than a 3, but that's probably just me. I actually really liked this one all the same.

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mindleviticus
March 26th 2013


8326 Comments


THIS IS MY CURSE

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 26th 2013


7122 Comments


Nice review! But sounds like you're giving this a 3.5 rather than a 3, but that's probably just me. I actually really liked this one all the same.


Nah, reads like a 3, because it reads like a 3, cause it's a 3

mindleviticus
March 26th 2013


8326 Comments


actually it does read like a 3.5

blacktheripper
March 26th 2013


722 Comments


gud review

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 26th 2013


7122 Comments


actually it does read like a 3.5


Look, If i had them glorious staffing powers, I'd probably 3.2 it. For all goods and purposes, it's a 3

nononsense
March 26th 2013


3427 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The band's getting old.

mindleviticus
March 26th 2013


8326 Comments


For all goods and purposes, it's a 3.5

AstroZombieDoyle
March 26th 2013


94 Comments


BAAAAD ALBUM

silentstar
March 26th 2013


2281 Comments


how does it compare to Times of Grace?

Shogun
March 26th 2013


420 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Times of Grace had much better riffs.

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