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Killswitch Engage – Atonement Award winner

Killswitch Engage
Atonement
by Brad Pfundheller at 10 September 2019, 10:46 PM

New England Metal band, more specifically Boston Massachusetts; KILLSWITCH ENGAGE is here with their eighth studio album titled “Atonement”. Spanning two decades, and first formed all the way back in 1999 during the Nu-Metal scene just before it started to shift towards the more “modern Metal” we hear today. They have been credited before with helping shape the movement of the Metal genre at the turn of the century. Jesse Leach is one of the founding members but had to exit the band in 2002 shortly after the release of “Alive or Just Breathing” and was replaced by Howard Jones respectively. Ten years later in 2012, Jesse Leach is back and picks up where he left off with KILLSWITCH ENGAGE releasing two more studio albums before releasing the highly anticipated album “Atonement”.

The album kicks off with “Unleashed” and it is exactly what you would expect. Jesse Leach’s phenomenal vocal range mixed with double kick pedal drums and guitar pauses throughout rope you in with that classic “2000’s” metal sound. Howard Jones comes back to join forces with the band for the track “The Signal Fire” and it opens up with some low guttural vocals that just prepare you for what this track is going to be about. The slow clean singing behind the fast double kick pedals is instant satisfaction to your ears. It’s good to hear both of them on a track together. There’s another song on this album that features a vocalist. “The Crownless King” is featuring Thrash Metal vocalist Chuck Billy of the band TESTAMENT, and as you probably imagine; it is hard hitting and heavy throughout the entire thing.


“Take Control” opens with distorted guitars then jumps straight into the singing abilities of Jesse Leach. The track is very well crafted from its initial writing process with the band, to the mixing and mastering skills of the engineer.  “Ravenous” has a lot of low vocals and palm mutes throughout, along with a very catchy chorus and slamming verses. “Bite the Hand that Feeds” is the ending track to the album and it serves as the perfect placement for it. It shows all aspects of the band and their talents with vocals going from lows, to mids, to highs, to cleans. The guitars palm mutes and tremolo picking, and the drummer’s skills bring this whole track together as one, and it is definitely a good one.

Overall, this band is great in my opinion. I have been a fan myself since around 2003 and I do consider KILLSWITCH ENGAGE as one of my “stepping stone” bands into the metal genres that I listen to today. So I’ll always have love for them. They have a little over two decades of experience as a band, and it is no wonder they continue to push out album after album over time with fans waiting and always wanting more. If you haven’t heard of them I suggest you go out a purchase “Atonement” and listen to what you have been missing this whole time.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Unleashed
2. The Signal Fire (feat. Howard Jones)
3. Us Against the World
4. The Crownless King (feat. Chuck Billy)
5. I Am Broken Too
6. As Sure as the Sun Will Rise
7. Know Your Enemy
8. Take Control
9. Ravenous
10. I Can’t Be the Only One
11. Bite the Hand That Feeds
Lineup:
Jesse Leach - Vocals
Adam Dutkiewicz - Guitar
Joel Stroetzel - Guitar
Mike D’Antonio - Bass
Justin Foley - Drums
Record Label: Metal Blade Records
     


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