“I’d rather burn out than fade away” are lyrics from ‘A New Awakening’, track 3 from Killswitch Engage‘s new album, ‘Disarm The Descent’. These words however seem rather fitting when you consider that this is the band’s first studio album since being reunited with ex-lead singer, Jesse Leach. His withdrawal from the scene over 10 years ago was because he had indeed burnt out, destroyed himself and, despite fading away since ‘Alive Or Just Breathing’, Jesse is back now to pick up where he left off.
For non-fans of KSE, the return of Jesse Leach is a lot like if the late Bon Scott rejoined AC/DC. KSE albums pre-2002 are classics, but so are the albums that followed with now ex-frontman, Howard Jones. Fans of the band are divided as to which era is best; ‘The End Of Heartache’ and ‘As Daylight Dies’ are both superb Howard era albums that have become staples of the live show, but it was to an extent that songs from ‘Alive Or Just Breathing’ were ignored. It’s a refreshing approach then that Jesse has taken by saying that he’s happy to perform songs from KSE‘s entire career.
From the first notes of album opener ‘The Hell In Me’, you know that shit’s about to go down. All instruments pound out at once and only abate for a token sing along chorus that instantly becomes a KSE classic. It’s the same for ‘All We Have’; ferociousness by all parties that is broken up by choruses that you wouldn’t be ashamed to play to your mother. Jesse‘s voice is less booming than Howard‘s, but it somehow exudes more passion. This is a guy who’s audibly chuffed to be back in a band with his mates.
‘In Due Time’ was our first taster of new KSE back in February and we were clearly spoiled, because it’s the best cut from ‘Disarm The Descent’. It wouldn’t have been out of place on ‘AOJB’ and neither would ‘The Turning Point’, the new ‘My Last Serenade’. The bonus tracks showcase some live tracks, featuring ‘My Curse’ with Jesse on vocals, and he seems totally at home.
Jesse Leach rejoining Killswitch Engage is a lot like getting back with your ex after a long period of time. Let’s hope then that they don’t end up wanting to kill each other.
Written by MG Savage
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.