Killswitch Engage
Disarm the Descent


4.0
excellent

Review

by jitteryzeitgeist USER (36 Reviews)
August 6th, 2014 | 28 replies


Release Date: 04/02/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One hell of a return for a band pretty much everyone left for dead.

Disarm the Descent is the culmination of this often wayward metalcore pioneer act, not to mention the apogee. Let me just start with that little bit.

Throughout the years, few bands have been as maligned, celebrated, and just plain given up on as Killswitch Engage. They hit the metal world right at the turn of the millennium (smack dab in the middle of the nu-metal peak) and caused quite a stir. Then their initial vocalist (Jesse Leach) left the band, which caused a hell of a divide when replaced by the much more operatic Howard Jones. As the albums passed on, Killswitch Engage ended up leaning towards a highly polished and melodic sound with their so-called "reboot", the second eponymous album released a few years ago. Spoiler alert: It was bad.

Why the history lesson? Because Disarm the Descent is Killswitch Engage... all the ups and downs and ugliness and beauty and everything they've ever done, reprocessed and delivered as what is ostensibly the follow-up to their breakthrough Alive or Just Breathing from 2002. It marks the return of Jesse Leach as Howard Jones had to leave the band due to medical reasons. And with the return of Jesse came another unexpected gift: Their balls.

No, seriously. After the absolute trainwreck of Killswich Engage II, the last thing I expected from this band was the ability to deliver a good, old fashioned metalcore boot to the face. From jump street we get the blast beats, thrashy riffs, screeches, and fantastic hooks this band was destined to make their trademark before they went headfirst into power ballad territory. Now, the biggest thing for fans of the band is simply Jesse's singing, and I have to conclude that while Howard is by far the better singer of the two, Jesse is the better singer for this band. He has an ethereal timbre and a palpable sense of desperation that brings the rest of the band into focus, whereas with Howard the rest of the band was simply supporting that mans absolutely incredible pipes.

Starting things off right, "The Hell in Me" is a modernized "Last Serenade", complete with the slow-down chorus and catchy vocal hook. "In Due Time" starts off with a slithering, nasty riff that shows the band may have been listening to a little Vulgar Display of Power before recording, and brings it all together with some tasteful melodicism that wouldn't be out of place in any of the Howard Jones albums. "Turning Point" has a galloping, cyclical double bass kick riff that hits you square in the gut. "Time Will Not Remain" is just a great album closer, full of energy and guaranteed to bring out the circle pits.

There are other great songs on here, though a few of them could probably have been trimmed ("All That We Have" and "Beyond the Flames" don't... do it for me). Overall, this album has withstood multiple listens and still continues to deliver the goods. It's more cohesive and better written than Jesse's last album (again... in 2002) and even slightly better than The End of Heartache as a whole.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
titanslayer
August 6th 2014


1896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Let me just start with that little bit"
You could probably omit this from your summary.
"Their balls."
you don't have to capitalize "Their"
"All That We Have" and "Beyond the Flames" don't... do it for me"
I'm not sure how but there's probably a better way of saying this then just inserting it into that sentence with parenthesizes.
All and all its a good review man

Gameofmetal
August 6th 2014


1991 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. Disagree a bit on the album. This was less than what I hoped for. I never was huge on Jesse. He sounds dece here. Did like their second self titled but I recognize that it was weak. This is punishing but gets really boring to me. They aren't a thrash or death metal band, they need a change of pace and every song seems to just run at top speed. A ballad or slower melodic track would've added much more.

jitteryzeitgeist
August 6th 2014


98 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They do have slower and less thrashy bits. "You Don't Bleed For Me" is a catchy, chiming tune that doesn't really hit it full on and "Always" is a pretty great anthem near the end.

That being said, I can understand. The dynamics were a little flat. That's why it's a 4 and not say a 4.5.

nononsense
August 6th 2014


3409 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Eh, End of Heartache was is their magnum opus. This album is good, but it just doesn't do it for me like EoH did.

nononsense
August 6th 2014


3409 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I need to change my old rating, I enjoy this a lot better now.

Gameofmetal
August 6th 2014


1991 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Btw I checked out the deluxe editions two bonus tracks. The first of the two is easily the catchiest thing on the album. Why do bands do that?

Gameofmetal
August 6th 2014


1991 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I listened to Always again and dug it. Wonder how I missed it before.

jitteryzeitgeist
August 6th 2014


98 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah man "Always" is p great.

I always liked the grittier version of KSE, but I can definitely see someone digging EoH more because it's almost like a different band.

titanslayer
August 6th 2014


1896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Alive or just breathing is #1

jitteryzeitgeist
August 6th 2014


98 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

AOJB is a little... slipshod. I mean, it's got great tunes, but it's all over the place. It doesn't feel cohesive to me, and really amateurish, but exceptional in conveying pure emotion.

DtD feels solid and weighty in its execution, especially with songs like "The Call" that just make me want to break shit even a year or so after its release.

I'm just happy KSE found a way to not release another Journey-like garbage power metal album like KSEII.

jitteryzeitgeist
August 6th 2014


98 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

People need to pump out some reviews. I've got The Living Infinite and Nothing More in the pipe and I'm not tryin to pollute the front page.

jitteryzeitgeist
August 6th 2014


98 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

People need to pump out some reviews. I've got The Living Infinite and Nothing More in the pipe and I'm not tryin to pollute the front page.

Gameofmetal
August 6th 2014


1991 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I swear I must be the only person in the world that likes As Daylight Dies more than The End of Heartache....or anything else KSE

jitteryzeitgeist
August 6th 2014


98 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, you probably are, hah.

Gameofmetal
August 6th 2014


1991 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ah well. ADD is my jam. First KSE, first metalcore, first music with screaming. It's a lot of things to me.

JesusMilosovic
August 6th 2014


372 Comments


Lol how in the world do you think AOJB isn't cohesive? The lyrical themes in each song match up, and every song flows into the next. It's all thrash-y metalcore. Stupid statement from another stupid user.

Gameofmetal
August 6th 2014


1991 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Das mean. AOJB isn't as good as people say it is imo. Still love it tho

jitteryzeitgeist
August 6th 2014


98 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Are you describing yourself Jesus?

Because "stupid statement from a stupid user" sounds like what you just said.

You can flow compositions into each other all you want, but when your final mix doesn't even match up between songs then there is a technical problem with the record. AOJB is a great album, but I'm not gonna listen to someone who sits here and bitches because someone disagrees with them for actual reasons and not just for a teenage pissing contest.

JesusMilosovic
August 6th 2014


372 Comments


There's a difference between "technical" problems and an album not being cohesive An album that iisn't cohesive means the sound or lyrical themes are all over the place. You're complaining about a production issue. This issue is justified considering the band didn't have a large budget for AOJB.

So therefore, yes, you're a fucking moron.

Diamondize
August 6th 2014


1367 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fun album



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