Killswitch Engage- Incarnate
It's hard to believe that KSE is now 7 albums deep into their career. With some inner turmoil, member switches, the rise and fall of Metalcore come and gone; the band continues to be as stronger as ever with their latest release, Incarnate. While the band is not known for reinventing the wheel with every release, the band is known for putting out solid album after solid album. This album is no different.
The album starts with Alone I Stand. With a brooding intro that fades in, it attacks you with the legendary KSE mix of Metal, Hardcore, and melody. With a verse riff that is "oddly" in 9/8, the band continues to capture everything a fan of the band will love...and everything that a hater of the band will hate. The bridge of the song gets into some awesome breakdown/melodic moments that really helps the album begin to shine. Hate Be Design continues in the same vein as one of the heaviest opening riffs on the album. The verse is completely heavy and melodic with a soothing chorus. Near the end of the song is one of the band's few instances of guitar solos. Cut Me Loose starts with a tribal drum beat and ominous guitars. Oddly enough this becomes a song with minimal screamed lead vocals. This song has Top 40 radio potential all over it, especially in the chorus. The 2nd half of the song brings up a bit of a thrash riff that will bring a great circle pit live. Strength Of The Mind starts with an actually, kinda Djenty, breakdown riff before going into the KSE style Metalcore riffing. The chorus of this song is one of the highlights of the album. Perfect soothing cleans and a great message. Overall, a great song! Just Let go starts with a clean guitar riff in the vein of My Curse before kicking in the doors. While starting off slower, it quickly becomes one of the speedier songs on the album. Drummer, Justin Foley shows off his double bass blasts in the verses of this one and they are unbelievably clean. Embrace The Journey...Upraised starts off with an ultra heavy breakdown riff that is sure to get the crowd going wild live. This has the fastest verse in the album going into hyper-speed. This has a little bit of everything for everyone with it's breakdowns, speed and melodic choruses. The song fades out and leads way to Quiet Distress. The song starts with an acoustic guitar passage before going into a ballistic verse that simply destroys everything in it's path. The chorus brings way to a slower, yet uptempo moment. A great mix of thrashy and melodic. Until The Days once again brings in the Thrash mentality, specifically in the guitars. This is definitely a throwback to the beginning of the Metalcore days. A short and sweet kick in the face. This leads into It Falls On Me. A slower song for the band that is prominently beautiful in the music and clean vocals, yet, ferocious with it's growls. The atmospheric guitars really make this song one of the stand outs on the album as, to me, that was the best aspect of the band's last release, 2013's Disarm The Descent. The song quickly fades and leads way to the Thrash laded song, The Great Deceit. A very straight forward attack in the verses and one of the best choruses on the entire album. We Carry On brings in The End Of Heartache era of the band. Very slow and brooding, yet so melodic and catchy. Once again, the atmospheric guitars make an appearance in the chorus and make the song that much more special. A great slower song that is a great way to lead into the final track, Ascension. The song starts off perfect KSE form and, again, brings things back into the bands early sound of ...Alive Or Just Breathing. One big difference is in the per-chorus, it features Justin's use of Blasts (almost like a bookend to the album as the only other song to feature blasts is the opening track). The song ends on an ultra heavy breakdown riff and slowly fades away into the abyss.
There is no denying that Jesse Leach brings the inspirational moments to Killswitch Engage that helped make the band become legendary. A very positive message throughout the album, one that people with depression (like myself) can really relate to. Beyond catchy riffs, memorable melodic riffs, ultra tight musicianship from everyone involved. Incarnate is what you want, need, and crave in a KSE album.
Killswitch Engage- Incarnate is out NOW via Roadrunner Records
That Drummer Guy: Radio DJ, Interviewer, Reviewer, overall...an OK guy.