In 2013 Killswitch Engage surprised their long-time fan-base by reintroducing Jesse Leach as their lead vocalist. Leach had previously been the band's singer for their first two albums from 1999-2002. His replacement, Howard Jones, left the band in early 2012, and a short search for a replacement ended when Leach expressed interest in returning to the band.
With their reunion with Leach now solidified Killswitch proceeded to complete their latest full-length album Disarm the Descent. To what degree the direction of this album was influenced by the events involving their change in lead singers I can't be sure. Regardless, this album sounds like the band has made an honest effort to recapture the intensity of their early days while maintaining just enough of their melodic side to retain the classic Killswitch Engage sound.
This album is packed with memorable riffs and a killer intensity. While their last album with Jones might have had an overall push for a more mainstream sound, this album veers back into the waters of hardcore a little bit. Long-time KsE fans will be pleasantly surprised by Leach's familiar voice, but he has honed the melodic side of his voice over the years as well. Songs like 'A Tribute to the Fallen' and 'Always' have prominent melodic elements that the Howard Jones-era fans will still appreciate. Meanwhile songs like 'All We Have' and 'The Call' are perhaps the heaviest songs they've written since Leach's last album with the band, Alive or Just Breathing.
Overall I find Disarm the Descent to be a huge success. The band sounds like they've never missed a beat with Leach. This album is heavy, but the songs are so enjoyable I rank it right up with The End of Heartache or As Daylight Dies as far as personal favorites go. At what is probably a key stage in this band's career, they could not have put forth a more solid effort than this. Add this album to your collection. It's worth every penny!
Recommended tracks from Disarm the Descent:
-The Hell in Me
-Beyond The Flames
-The New Awakening (Great guitar solo on this song. I always wish Killswitch would play more lead guitar solos.)
-In Due Time
-You Don't Bleed for Me
-Always (The softest song on this otherwise heavy album. Perhaps their best ballad since 'My Curse')