Killswitch Engage – Disarm The Descent (Album review)


Let’s just start this off by saying that I was (and still am) a big fan of Howard Jones’ vocal skills. I mean, the guy’s voice is fucking incredible. But sadly, due to health issues resulting from type 2 diabetes, Howard had to step down after 9 years of serving as Killswitch Engage’s awesome frontman.

Disarm The Descent is Killswitch Engage’s 6th studio album, following their second self-titled album back in 2009, featuring Jesse Leach, their original vocalist, as the new-old frontman for the band.

The main difference between this album and any other Killswitch Engage album (apart from the first two) is the vocals. Personally, it took me a good couple of listens for Jesse Leach’s voice to grow on me, but eventually I realized that it’s quite impressive, and fits the music perfectly. Leach has it all locked down; soaring screams, gritty-in your face-angry heavy metal singing, and beautiful clean passages that go hand in hand with the music. And if you’ve enjoyed all three styles of his singing, then you’ll definitely enjoy the immense layering work that’s been done, combining those styles to create depth and variety that make the songs even more impressive.

Tight, rhythmic riffage has been a staple of Killswitch Engage’s sound for years now, and the album delivers exactly that, and it’s quite evident on one of my favorite tracks ‘The Turning Point’. All of the rhythm work is accompanied by excellent drum beats (notably Justin Foley’s blast beats) and is perfected by Mike D’antonio’s heavy bass tone.

And for the hardcore Killswitch Engage fans out there: Yes, there are a lot of squeals and pinch harmonics in there to satisfy your auditory needs.

As for the quality, basically, there’s this massive wall of sound that would make your ears bleed gravy the second you listen to any of the songs.

The sound is rich and full, and the songs are packed with Killswitch Engage’s signature melodic, catchy choruses, and a few epic solos here and there just to spice things up.

The songs range from hard and heavy like ‘Slave To The Machine’ and ‘New Awakening’, to a more relaxed style like ‘Always’, so the album offers a nice mixture of feels, or to be more precise…

All dem feels.

As a whole, Disarm The Descent is an amazing album, I highly recommend it, and now that Jesse Leach is back in the game, there’s no telling where Killswitch Engage is going next. Pretty exciting shit, I must say.

I’ll leave you guys with another favorite of mine off the album, hope you enjoy it!

(Review written by: Raymond William)

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