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Killswitch Engage

Disarm the Descent

Following the departure of Howard Jones and subsequent reunion with original singer Jesse Leach, Disarm the Descent ends Killswitch Engage's four year absence from the studio. Fans wise enough not to expect a complete retread of the band's seminal, rawer 2002 release Alive or Just Breathing should find much to appreciate here - in fact, a more accurate appetizer for this album was Times of Grace, the 2011 side project consisting of Leach and KSE guitarist/producer/mastermind Adam Dutkiewicz. Disarm is stacked to the rafters with sharp guitar work and fist-in-the-air choruses, while the production couldn't sound any more crisp and polished. Though Leach has long been a powerful singer, his clean vocals sound almost robotic in their crystal-clear precision, obviously an aesthetic choice. A couple of duds crop up in the second half ("All We Have", "No End in Sight") and penultimate power ballad "Always" is sure to have its detractors, but nevertheless this is a solid album and a more inspired effort than 2009's Killswitch Engage. (Continuing in tradition with previous albums, the deluxe CD/DVD edition sports two additional studio tracks, a couple of live tracks and a making-of documentary.) Best cuts: "Beyond the Flames", "A Tribute to the Fallen", "Turning Point".


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