Disarm the Descent (Special Edition)
After the departure of singer Howard Jones, Killswitch Engage began work on its sixth studio album with founding frontman Jesse Leach, who hadn’t worked with the band since 2002’s Alive or Just Breathing. But don’t think of 2013’s Disarm the Descent as a nostalgic reunion album. The opening cut, “The Hell in Me,” is an eruption of metalcore played faster than anything heard on preceding Killswitch Engage recordings. Leach balances his throat-grating screams and shrieks with melodic and soulful crooning. When both voices are simultaneously singing ”Lead me out of the darkness,” it sounds like his inner Jekyll and Hyde are battling for his mortal soul. The standout single “In Due Time” boasts lightning-fast fretboard work by guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz, whose backing vocals blend with Leach's so closely on the melodic parts that at times a third harmonic overtone can be heard popping out of the mix. Of the four special-edition bonus tracks, “Blood Stains” is the heaviest. Both “Numbered Days” and “My Curse” showcase the band’s uncanny strength in a live setting.