Review: KILLSWITCH ENGAGE – ‘Atonement’ [Song Stream]

 

If you’ve not heard of Killswitch Engage by now, number one: you are severely missing out on some of the best music out there, and number two: you definitely live under a rock. Killswitch has been releasing perfect album after album since 1999; they hail from Massachusetts. They are credited as one of the most successful bands from the New Wave of American Heavy Metal movement. They have continued to headline international tours and have massive festival appearances. “Atonement” will be their eight LP and the follow-up to the masterpiece, “Incarnate” from 2016. The aforementioned album will be their very first release via Metal Blade Records on August 16. Killswitch Engage is metalcore perfection. If it is not already obvious, KSE is one of my all time favorite bands and I may or may not have shed a tear whilst at their shows. 

As it should, “Atonement” begins with a roar- it really does! “Unleashed” is the opening track and the first single the band shared. The first thing that many Killswitch fans will recognize is how flawless singer, Jesse Leach’s vocals sound. Many know that he underwent vocal surgery last spring, and to say he’s made a recovery is an understatement. Perhaps some of his strongest recorded performances yet are found on the new album. “Unleashed” doesn’t particularly stray too far from the tried and true Killswitch Engage formula, but that’s okay because they do it so goddamn well. The song has a verse that sticks and a chorus that ends with a sick breakdown. What more could you need?

The second track is something that many KSE followers have dreamed about for years and it has finally happened. Jesse Leach and the band’s former frontman, Howard Jones (who should need no introduction at all, but it anyone was wondering, he currently fronts Light the Torch) on one song together. This, I believe, will solve all the worlds’ problems. “The Signal Fire” comes in hot, with a deathcore introduction and it’s thrashy in your face feel. The chorus is a total earworm with such conviction. Jesse and Howard together is every girls dream… or maybe it’s just mine? Regardless, these two sound perfect and this is a standout track. 

“The Crownless King,” is such a fist pumping pit starter. This one will go over extremely well live. A great mid tempo track with soaring vocals, “As Sure as the Sun Will Rise.” Of course it’s impossible to review “Atonement” without addressing the song with the first video from the record, “I Am Broken Too.” Leach has been very forthcoming with his personal struggles with mental health in past lyrics and this one is no acception. It’s stripped down and a little more simple and incredibly powerful. Killswitch Engage both on record and live, is a great balance. Songs like this one, and older tracks like “Arms of Sorrow” and “Rose of Sharyn” deal with heavy topics and then there are just some straight up bangers. The ever amusing guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz brings the comedic relief to their sets, dawning headbands that read, “TRASH” and spurting out lewd and insane remarks. Killswitch knows when it’s time to be serious and when it’s time to be Adam.  

Like every album before and like every album will be, “Atonement” is fantastic. Currently in first place for metalcore album of the year, curated by myself. It’s out August 16 on Metal Blade and currently up for preorder. A European tour is in order for the fall, but if you are in the states you can catch them (along with many others) at the first inaugural Exit 111 Festival in October, taking place in Tennessee. This record will not disappoint and if you haven’t seen Killswitch Engage live, you’re dead to me. 

 

MISS MAY I & THE WORD ALIVE Deliver Monumental Show In Chicago [Review & Photo Gallery]

On Thursday, July 11th, Miss May I, The Word Alive, Afterlife, and Thousand Below kicked off their tour in Chicago at the Bottom Lounge. The eclectic bill brought forth a solid mix of early metalcore and hard rock to the stage. Continue reading

Review: CROWN THE EMPIRE – ‘Sudden Sky’ [Official Music Videos]

With only 3 albums and 1 full EP on their name Crown The Empire quickly managed to claim theirselves a spot in the metalcore scene among bands like Memphis May Fire, Of Mice And Men and many more. And now after almost exactly 3 years since the release of ‘Retrograte’ they are ready to blow you away yet again with upcoming record ‘Sudden Sky’!

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When WAGE WAR Announces Their Upcoming Album & Tour The Pressure Is On!

Wage War fans couldn’t be happier than right at the moment they realised their favorite core act is back! With their 3th album ‘Pressure’ slowly heading our way and one of the best metalcore tours being announced right after first single ”Who I Am” dropped fans are in for a big treat!

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State of the Art: Oklahoma’s LOST EMPIRES [Tracks Streaming]

Since 2011, Lost Empires have been fusing together a new breed of metalcore straight out of Oklahoma City, OK. One could say, fantasy metalcore? A healthy blend of sharp and tight traditional riffs with a power metal element, the melody along with the synthesizers. This is really something cool.

The five piece consists of Kilby and Brad on guitars, drummer Jeremy, Luke on bass and Lawrence on vocals. “Death, the Unveiling of Eternity” EP was released in 2016. It’s like God Forbid and Blind Guardian are dating. It’s a fabulously unique metalcore EP. The standout track is undoubtedly “Standing at Death’s Door.” Song structure is interesting, catchy and elaborate. The power metal elements really stand out on this particular track. Some cleans throw in the background really compliment the growls. Another favorite, “Hameln” has the eerie synth magic happening with a really evil and driving riff over top. It’s just a solid track. Fans of mid-2000’s metalcore will certainly be interested in Lost Empires, and power metal fans that don’t mind more aggressive vocals.

The band is pretty quiet on their socials, but after a bit of poking around it seems as they are taking a break at the moment but have future plans to write new material. Their 2016 EP is available for streaming on Spotify. 

Review: MOTIONLESS IN WHITE – ‘Disguise’ [Full Album Stream]

Motionless In White has always been one of the most populair bands in their genre, from their shock value to the intense and creepy writing to their heavy breakdowns that will make you stop breathing they have never once stopped being a force not to be reckoned with and that definitely includes ‘Disguise’!

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NORTHLANE Releases Second Track Of ‘Alien’ Called ”Talking Heads”!

After giving us a very promising glimpse of ‘Alien’ with the release of ”Bloodline” Northlane made sure every doubter would be proven wrong and after ”Talking Heads” got released today I am certain that this record is going to be remembered!

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Matty (Memphis May Fire) “People Picketing Shows Like This, I Think They Are Ignorant”

Memphis May Fire formed in 2006 in Denton, Texas with an energetic metalcore sound that also delivered a positive message. The band currently consists of lead guitarist Kellen McGregor, lead vocalist Matty Mullins, bassist Cory Elder, and drummer Jake Garland. The four piece has released six studio albums and two EPs to date. Memphis May Fire has released all their records since 2011’s ‘The Hollow’ via Rise Records.  The most recent record is ‘Broken’ which released in November of 2018. ‘Broken’ was produced by Kane Churko who has worked with legendary acts like Ozzy Osbourne, Papa Roach, Five Finger Death Punch, In This Moment, and Hellyeah. The band took a step away from their metalcore sound and ‘Broken’ is much more of a straight forward rock record. In addition to the release of the album the band has also since released a cover of Linkin Park’s “Faint” in April of this year. The band has recently been on tour with Pop Evil and Messer.

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MOTIONLESS IN WHITE Releases Brand New Track ”Undead Ahead 2: The Tale Of The Midnight Ride”!

After releasing 2 bangers of songs Motionless In White is back and as great as ever. With title track ”Disguise” showing us they still hold onto their heavy roots and ”Brand New Numb” making us realise that Motionless In White is still capable of changing their sound while maintaining that classic Motionless touch. They are truly a band that never fails to deliver!

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BRING ME THE HORIZON Plays “Diamonds Aren’t Forever” In Full (First Time Since 2014) [Fan Footage]

On Wednesday, metalcore/rock giants Bring Me the Horizon performed the full “Diamonds Aren’t Forever” from ‘Suicide Season’  for the first since December 2014. The surprise took place at Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and replaced “Avalanche” in their setlist. The band has been playing it recently as a part of their “deathcore medley” along with other older songs for their longtime fans. That medley only included the beginning of the song and the first verse though. This time, the band is seen playing the entire song, and we have footage that you can check out below. Continue reading