11 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

When Jesse Leach uncorks his first full-bodied roar on “Unleashed,” the leadoff track on Killswitch Engage’s eighth album, you can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief. The singer’s first real test since undergoing throat surgery in 2018, Atonement is a bracing tour de force for one of metalcore’s most durable and influential acts. Huge riffs buttress soaring choruses on the uplifting “Us Against the World,” the muscular rocker “I Can’t Be the Only One,” and the confessional “I Am Broken Too,” a reflective acknowledgment of Leach’s struggles with depression and a showcase for his polished croon. Supplemented by a few pinch hitters (Testament’s Chuck Billy lends his growl to “The Crownless King,” while former KsE vocalist Howard Jones trades verses with Leach on “The Signal Fire”) and the barrage of sound from guitarists Adam Dutkiewicz and Joel Stroetzel, Atonement somehow feels like a glorious return to form for a band that never lost its edge.

EDITORS’ NOTES

When Jesse Leach uncorks his first full-bodied roar on “Unleashed,” the leadoff track on Killswitch Engage’s eighth album, you can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief. The singer’s first real test since undergoing throat surgery in 2018, Atonement is a bracing tour de force for one of metalcore’s most durable and influential acts. Huge riffs buttress soaring choruses on the uplifting “Us Against the World,” the muscular rocker “I Can’t Be the Only One,” and the confessional “I Am Broken Too,” a reflective acknowledgment of Leach’s struggles with depression and a showcase for his polished croon. Supplemented by a few pinch hitters (Testament’s Chuck Billy lends his growl to “The Crownless King,” while former KsE vocalist Howard Jones trades verses with Leach on “The Signal Fire”) and the barrage of sound from guitarists Adam Dutkiewicz and Joel Stroetzel, Atonement somehow feels like a glorious return to form for a band that never lost its edge.

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