A decade since their blistering debut release, ‘Hymn Of A Broken Man’, Times Of Grace have returned with sophomore release, ‘Songs Of Loss And Separation’. Taking a more bleak and reserved approach than its predecessor, the record sees the group edge away from their main output and venture into different soundscapes.
Taking a detour from the get go, ‘The Burden Of Belief’ sees a departure from the usual output of Adam Dutkiewicz and Jesse Leach (who are both also members of Killswitch Engage) as sparse and somber melodies provide a subtle backdrop for Leach‘s vocals. Pulling focus onto the simplicity of the arrangement and the strength of the lyrics, ‘The Burden Of Belief’ is a slow burning yet mesmerising introduction to the record.
Continuing to explore shimmering melodies and favouring cleaner vocal choices, ‘Mend You’ steers the record towards hard rock with a soaring chorus offsetting the relaxed verses. Concluding on a dual vocal led coda and a short but simple chugging groove, ‘Mend You’ begins the push the record towards the heavier the side of the spectrum.
As found on ‘Rescue’, ‘Medusa’, and ‘Currents’, the group deliver slabs on thick and crushing metalcore, albeit with a more experimental edge. Whilst the members of Times Of Grace are well versed in metalcore, deviating from the main formula and injecting a variety of additional influences into the aforementioned tracks helps set them apart.
As the record plays through, the strongest tracks are those that are the most unexpected as both ‘Far From Heavenless’ and ‘Bleed Me’ prove to highlights. With the latter delving into melodic metalcore, post-grunge, spoken word, and one of Leach‘s most varied performances, ‘Far From Heavenless’ ensures the record doesn’t repeat itself. The same can also be said for follow-up track, ‘Bleed Me’ as the group immerse themselves in atmospherics, swinging melodies, and wide choruses to create a song that pushes past any expectations.
Closing with the introspective ‘Forever’, the band again choose to focus on slow finger-picking and the stark lyricism that has driven the record. Bookending ‘Songs Of Loss And Separation’ with two tracks that are a far cry from the snapping metalcore found on their debut release highlights how far Times Of Grace have pushed themselves to create a record that moves out of the shadow of its creators.