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Disarm The Descent [VINYL]

4.6 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Vinyl (10 Jun. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Roadrunner
  • ASIN: B00CJCHJ3S
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 170,189 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Killswitch Engage are a melodic Metalcore band from Massachusettes, and Disarm The Descent is their fifth full-length studio album (sixth, if you count the band's half-hour self-titled debut effort from 2000).

It was released in 2013, following-up 2009's self-titled record. It was produced by the band's guitarist, backing vocalist and former drummer Adam Dutkiewicz and mixed by Andy Sneap. Like most of the band's releases, the artwork was handled by bassist Mike D'Antonio.

After three albums with Howard Jones in the lead vocal position, Disarm The Descent sees the return of the band's original singer Jesse Leech, who had last held that position on 2002's Alive Or Just Breathing album, (although he had periodically turned up in guest appearances, live shows and side projects in the intervening years)

The album opens up with blasts and angular Swedish sounding music, like some of the band's earliest work, but soon returns to the sound that you'd expect from the band at this stage in their career. They are one of the genre's pioneers and over their career have developed an easily identifiable signature sound, that makes a welcome return, however the band seem to have attempted to bring back a bit of the bite and edge of their early days to avoid sounding too polished and smoothed-down.

The album runs a lot of the same course that the band have covered before. Throughout the record, there are triumphant sounding lead guitar lines, flashy solos, crunchy breakdowns and a mixture of precision riffing with uplifting melodic moments.
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Format: MP3 Download
I think I know what you're thinking. I'd think it too. You probably think I am some hyper fan that is punting the album due to the presence of a strong bias in favour of the band. I won't deny that I am a fan and that I have listened to all of their albums and even Jesse's Times of Grace album. We all have subjective predilections and dispositions but like good Supreme Court judges we should be aware of our personal biases and try to factor these biases into (mostly out of) our judgments. On that note, I do think this is one of their best albums. The lyrics are inspirational and the music is, as always, technical and captivating. Sure it sounds like other Killswitch Engage albums, in the same way that Picasso paintings share similarities. You buy a bands' album because you like their style and you want to see what variations and branches they have added to their basic style and this album takes you on an eventful and exciting exploration. I am most amazed by Jesse's voice in this album. So much depth and variety! Thats what impresses me, but who is to say that you won't be entranced by something different? Go buy the album and enjoy the journey!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Killswitch Engage have always been at the top of the modern Metalcore explosion, releasing a series of intelligent sounding albums with a gradual decline in quality of the years, somewhat stagnating with the self titled release in 2009.

Now they are back, back with the original vocalist and a punchier heavier direction, but is this what was anticipated by the masses?!

Killswitch Engage have been through a few distinct changes in the past, most notably when original band vocalist Jesse Leach quit the band shortly after releasing their Roadrunner Records mainstream breakthrough album 'Alive or Just Breathing'. Arguably one of the best metalcore albums ever realeased. He was subsequently replaced by Howard Jones, who on 'The End of Heartache' proved he could more than stand up to the former glory, although not as fantastic an album as 'Alive or Just Breathing', it only fell short by a small margin. From there Killswitch engage began to refine a sound with a more commercial, dare I say radio friendly Metalcore edge "My Curse" etc. and so the gradual decline began.

So as the band hit stagnation with the self titled album, it seemed as though the years were softening the band to a degree.

Fast forward to 2013 and Jesse Leach has returned to frontline, Andy Sneap has mixed the album and all the pre-emptive tick boxes for something incredible or triumphant are ready...
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Disarm the Descent, in my opinion, is the best album Killswitch Engage have done since their 2004 album The End of Heartache, I think it's so much better than 2006's As Daylight Dies and the second self-titled album from 2009 which I felt were too soft musicwise. This album marks a welcome return of original vocalist Jesse Leach who previously provided vocals for the band's first two albums Killswitch Engage (2000) and Alive or Just Breathing (2002), and was replaced by Howard Jones for the next three albums they did before Jones left in 2012. Parts of Disarm the Descent remind me very much of their 2002 album Alive or Just Breathing which is equally good, especially A Tribute to the Fallen in which the outro on that song reminds me of the outro on Just Barely Breathing from AoJB. For me, the best tracks on Disarm the Descent are Beyond the Flames, The New Awakening, In Due Time, A Tribute to the Fallen, All We Have, Always, and Blood Stains (one of the bonus tracks on the special edition of this album), although to be fair the other tracks are pretty good as well but the ones I mentioned are my favourites.

Overall, this is a very good album in that Killswitch Engage returned to their musical roots and the album is packed with plenty of good songs. The songs they did with Jesse Leach as vocalist (including those in this album) were about unity and positivity, whereas the songs they did when Howard Jones was in the band were mostly about heartaches and relationships. Very highly recommended, along with Killswitch Engage (the first self-titled album from 2000, not the second self-titled one from 2009 which I thought was rubbish), Alive or Just Breathing (2002) and The End of Heartache (2004).
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