Twenty-twelve was a year of “hell-freezingover-not-going-to-happen” band moments. One of those moments was Jesse Leach, original singer of Killswitch Engage, back behind the mic and the holder of the pen. Disarm The Descent is his first record back since Killswitch Engage’s breakthrough album Alive or Just Breathing. (This is the band’s first record in five years.) As much as I loved now-previous singer Howard Jones on vocals, Leach is the true voice in the band.
His lyrics are the most honest and real. Killswitch Engage has band members that are believers, and Leach’s lyrics are very faith-based and they’re on full display in Disarm and Alive or Just Breathing. That title alone screams biblical meaning behind it. Disarm The Descent is just the same. Lyrically, Jesse talks about the struggle of life: “Releasing our inhibitions and answering the call.” Musically, Disarm has something for everyone: hardcore breakdowns, trash hardcore crossover riffage, metalhead solos, brutal and beautiful vocals – and that’s all on one track.
The record actually has more underground music elements than popular ones. It has the feeling that they are having fun with the band again – another honeymoon, if you will. They are writing music that inspires them and you can see it in the music video for “In Due Time.” The guys are smiling and having a good time,enjoying making music and being in each others’ company. (It does help that Leach and guitarist/producer Adam Dutkiewitcz got back in bed together to create a new musical endeavor under the band name Times of Grace.) The Hymn of a Broken Man, Times of Grace’s release, is more of a radio metal record, a stark contrast to Killswitch’s most recent Disarm The Descent. Disarm adds more pioneering metal, hardcore, thrash, and punk elements to the record. If you are a long-time Killswitch fan, you will love this record. It’s something new that doesn’t follow the formula of the music out there now. Get this record and jam hard.