REVIEW: Killswitch Engage – Atonement

REVIEW: Killswitch Engage – Atonement Writer : Dan Maynard

I'm going to start this by telling you right now, there is not one song that disappoints on this album, from start to finish, this album absolutely destroys and takes Killswitch to a new level. Right from the moment opening track 'Unleashed' kicks in, through to the final moments of closing track 'Bite The Hand That Feeds' fades out with that beautifully heavy breakdown and closes the album, just....wow.

'Atonement' is the latest and eighth studio release from Massachusetts metal legends Killswitch Engage and it is something to behold. They're back with complete utter force, there is so much power behind the opening to the album, it hits you smack bang in the face. Vocalist Jesse Leach exhales a ferocious growl over that classic signature KSE breakdown that the band do so perfectly.

It's second track 'The Signal Fire' that every Killswitch fan has waited so long for, the long awaited return of long time vocalist Howard Jones. Jones left the band in 2012 after a solid nine year run as the face of the band and a few months later original singer Jesse returned to the front lines once again. Seven years later and Howard is back for some epic guest vocals on what is easily one of the unbeatable tracks on the album. It's a wall of brutal right through, it's nostalgia central with this guy at the helm of the track.

With the brutality also comes some epic guitar harmonies and beautiful vocal melodies as always on a Killswitch album. 'I Am Broken Too' being the most notable, the first single release from the album demonstrates perfectly how KSE can switch between destruction and beauty in a single song. With that though, the melodies are few and far between, the album is rather short compared to what you'd call the norm, the tracks themselves a lot of the time not even reaching three minutes. But this isn't a bad thing, each song no matter how short is packed full of quality and masterful musicianship.

Dueling axe wielders Adam and Joel only getting more in sync with each other with every album release. The riffs on this album never stop, they never hold back, consistently flowing through the album and there's not a moment that they're not doing something brilliant. You can hear and feel bassist Mike D'Antonio's barbaric earth shattering tone carrying throughout the record. And it's hard not to notice drummer Justin Foley, his face melting double kicks and the crack of that snare drum hits you across the face like a whip. You can't deny that these four guys know how to write some of the best music to come out of the metal genre.

Pick the right moment to listen to this album, no distractions, on the best speakers you can get your hands on. Crank it. Crank it real fucking loud. You'll get to the end and I promise you, you will go straight back to 'Unleashed' and start over again. I did. Several times.

Atonement, out August 16 on Sony Music Entertainment.


Pre-order the album at JB Hi-Fi and enter to win a signed Ibanez guitar from the band!

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