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. 

 

Review: Disillusion Effect – ‘Behold The Inevitable Beast’ [Album Stream]

Disillusion Effect was conceived from the remains of the now-defunct Morgantown, West Virginia band Diabolus, Disillusion Effect swept across the Mountain State quickly and ruthlessly following its inception in the summer of 2012, screaming, chugging, and rumbling its way through the Appalachian Mountains and beyond. The band’s first release came in form of a single with the track, “Dawn of Our Unmaking,” produced by Morgantown, W. Va., musician Aristotle Jones. The single immediately opened the eyes to fans all around the mountain state and surrounding areas. The band then moved on to record and release a self-titled EP, produced by Mark Poole of Zone 8 Recording Studios. After the release of the EP just as the band was charging forward their drummer left the band, leaving them to use programmed drums for a period of time. The band then decided to take a DIY approach on their full length album ‘Behold the Inevitable Beast’ and then send to Jay Hannon (Byzantine, Gods Below Us) at 7 Over 8 Recording Studios for mastering. The full length was released on October 1, 2015. It was around this time that guitarist and a founding member Jimmy Rhodes had to leave the band, but before leaving the band he handpicked his replacement ensuring that the band would continue on. So joins “Big” Ed Green to the fold and with him came his drummer in the band The Kafka Machine, Aubra “Adam” Cole. Now Disillusion Effect was whole once again. While we are just now unveiling to you this amazing body of work the band is already in writing and recording process for another release titled ‘Achluophobic’ which doesn’t have a release date as of yet, so get acquainted with this album while we await yet another brutal assault from these West Virginia natives. Continue reading

Review: Walking Corpse Syndrome “Human Delusion” [Video]

WCS

It’s not often you say to someone “Hey check out this brutally kick ass band from Montana.” I have been saying that about Walking Corpse Syndrome to anyone and everyone that will listen for a week. From this point forward these guys are my favorite band from Montana. The band was formed by guitarist Matthew Bile and drummer Nocktis in 2006. The guys were in a band together before and the break up of that band resulted in them going on to create this band. One thing that sets this band apart is that they use two drummers. The band is a six piece having double guitars and drums. Of course co-founder Nocktis is one of those drummers and the other is his brother Mr. Grimm. It’s rare you have two drummers, but one of the best bands to ever pull that off is none other than the legendary Melvins. Both drummers able to drum in rhythm is very difficult. Since the drummers grew up together learning drums it helps their chemistry that much more. The vocalist Leif Winterrowd helps give the band an extra boost toward legendary metal status as well. The band has been labeled as dark metal, atmospheric death metal and brutal groove and while none of those are wrong I’d honestly refer to them as New Wave of American Heavy Metal with some extra aggression. The band is about release their fourth studio album titled “Human Delusion” on September 25th. Continue reading