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Disarm the Descent (Special Edition)

Killswitch Engage

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Album Review

Though their (second) self-titled album found Killswitch Engage reintroducing themselves as a more accessible, albeit still plenty frenzied, metalcore band, their sixth album, Disarm the Descent, feels as though they're reintroducing themselves not to the audience, but to one another. Returning to the band after the departure of Howard Jones in 2012, original vocalist Jesse Leach finds himself once again picking up vocals duties after parting ways with the group in 2002. Though Leach was a part of the band during their formative years, over a decade has passed since then, and while the performances by all parties involved here are certainly solid ones, they don't quite capture the raw power of their earlier work. In the time since Leach left the fold, Killswitch Engage have matured into a tighter, more refined band than they were for Alive or Just Breathing, and while Leach has certainly grown as a singer in the intervening years, the album doesn't quite recapture that sense of catharsis the band possessed back then. This isn't to say that the album is bad — in fact, it's quite solidly constructed, an almost watertight specimen of technical acumen — but that fans expecting this album to be a full-on time machine back to 2002 might be a bit disappointed. What the album might lack in muscle, however, it makes up for in speed, often feeling like a throwback to the days of thrash's blistering technicality, but where past album rampaged, this one merely races. At the end of the day, defining the exact shade of Disarm the Descent's melodic aggression might be splitting hairs, the most important thing for Killswitch fans is that while the band might be adjusting after a shake-up like losing a singer, they've still managed to create another riff-fest that, while not a throwback to their older sound, has them continuing down their current path without much trouble. [A Special Edition CD/DVD was also released.]

Customer Reviews

Jesse is Back

For all of you praising Howard. Listen to Alive or Just Breathing... and actually read the lyrics and feel the lyrics and you will see what kind of band Killswitch Engage truly was. Howard stepped in and took the band in a completely different direction, a mainstream direction, which ruined the quality of the music. Howard first said when he joined the band he was worried because he was into a heavier sound than they had, but then he took basically everything that was heavy about Killswitch Engage and threw it out the door. Focusing his lyrics on love and heartbreak with catch phrases for feeding to the corny mainstream. Yes he is a very talented vocalist, but was never cut out to fill Jesse's shoes. The band should have been renamed at the time.

Now also on top of all of this, Jesse and the rest of the band share a lot more chemistry and when you see them live with Jesse you are blown away everytime. I seen one of the first shows Jesse returned for at Tresspass America tour and I can tell you his voice is better than ever. He covered the only few songs of Howard's I have respect for and completely outshined Howard in every way. He even covered Holy Diver as the close to the set and it was again another excellent vocal performance.

Yes for those of you Howard fans you probably won't like the original KsE line-up, but that is because you fell in love with a different band which should have went under a different name. Yes, Howard and Jesse have similar voices to an extent but they were nowhere near each other in writing style so like I said plenty of times already the band should have been renamed when Jesse was replaced.


Howard voice is so much better then Jess. Jess is a good singer/scream but he doesn't have the power Howard has.

In Due Time...

What a great track to release early. Pretty stoked for the rest of the Album. Jess has a different feel than Howard, but it's a good thing… A great thing! Been following this band since it's beginning and I'm happy to see Jess back at the helm.


Formed: 1999 in Boston, MA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The four bandmembers who came together and created Killswitch Engage already had strong fan followings. Mike D'Antonio (bass) was formerly the leader and principal songwriter of Overcast, the legendary underground metal group. When Overcast split in 1998, D'Antonio sought for a year to find the right combination of players to fuse hardcore and metal with melody. During the summer of 1999, D'Antonio connected with Adam Dutkiewicz, who was the drummer for Aftershock, and Joel...
Full Bio

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