Music Monday: Killswitch Engage “Atonement”

Atonement
“Atonement” is the 8th studio album from Killswitch Engage

I first became a fan of Killswitch Engage with the song “When Darkness Falls” which was on the album “The End of Heartache” from 2004. Soon after, lead vocalist would have his take on the song “Fixation On The Darkness” which was originally sung by original vocalist Jesse Leach. I was hooked at this point and embraced the band, seeing them live with Howard on vocals. Then in 2012 Howard left for health reasons, opening the door for Jesse to return to the band.

Now this being the 3rd album with Jesse’s return, this band has proven they are at the top of their game and have made what I would call one of their best albums.

Track List

  1. “Unleashed”
  2. “The Signal Fire” (featuring Howard Jones)
  3. “Us Against the World”
  4. “The Crownless King” (featuring Chuck Billy)
  5. “I Am Broken Too”
  6. “As Sure as the Sun Will Rise”
  7. “Know Your Enemy”
  8. “Take Control”
  9. “Ravenous”
  10. “I Can’t Be the Only One”
  11. “Bite the Hand That Feeds”

So Much Better

Over three years ago, I reviewed the previous Killswitch album “Incarnate” which I mentioned that I felt it fell a bit short of the album previous to it “Disarm The Descent”. “Atonement” is so much better than “Incarnate” which is not to diminish it’s strength, but there is a lot of focus on this new album in the songs, the lyrics and the overall togetherness of the band members hitting all the right notes.

After a good 12 listens of tracking the album from start to finish, “The Signal Fire” is easily my favorite song on this album. It helps by having former lead singer Howard Jones signing background vocals, which adds a layer of greatness, not to mention the relationship that Jesse and Howard share, with not a single hint of rivalry. The fast speed of the guitars and drums make this song so strong, and ends with a standalone vocal “The Signal Fire Is Alive”.

A very close second is “I Am Broken Too” which is a Jesse penned song describing his struggles with depression and anxiety. I’ll admit that this song speaks to me on that same struggles I deal with, mostly with anxiety.

The other 9 songs are just as strong with the melodic metalcore sound this band has mastered over the course of their career. “Unleashed” starts off the album with that guitar strum and then with the Jesse vocals hitting with that loud scream and deep vocal range he brings to this band. Adam Dutkiewicz guitar playing defines the sound template that all of the songs here on this album contain.

If you liked the previous Killswitch albums with Jesse as lead singer, you will instantly embrace this new album. If you are a Howard Jones fan like I am, there is nothing lost here for you. The bit of Howard’s vocal on “The Signal Fire” and the rest of the band on the remaining 10 songs will have you liking this album after a few listens. Let me know below in the comments if you have heard the new album yet.

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