Its finally here, the long awaited reunion of Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewitz and former KsE vocalist Jesse Leach! Since Jesse’s departure we have been waiting for these two to come together again and here is this collaboration in the form of new band Times Of Grace. Written entirely by Adam D, Times Of Grace is not so far away from KsE to alienate fans yet different enough to be something entirely new and fresh. Written during the time of Adam’s emergency back surgery, at a time where he was unsure as to whether he would be able to walk again let alone play again the lyrical content is unsurprisingly darker for the most part than that of most KsE albums, although maintaining some hope at the end of the tunnel. Album opener Strength in Numbers (and the first song revealed) is a trademark ‘call to arms’ song fans of KsE will be familiar with, although sonically different from Adam’s other band.
The pattern for most of the album is very sombre but never to the point of depression and giving up. Adam D showcasing his vocal skills on backing and even some leads at points, whilst Jesse Leach shows to the world once again how strong and underrated a contemporary metal singer he is. Varying from powerful guttural screams on the likes of Until The End Of Days (possibly the darkest song on the album) to impressive clean singing, being able to portray hope in the albums uplifting moments and even fragility in more sombre parts. Album highlight The Forgotten One is an acoustic ballad (something that fans of these two may not be entirely useful) which captures perfectly the down but not out feel of the entire album, and the best example of both members’ vocal talents, both giving perfect performances. If there is a flaw on this almost perfect album it is perhaps that the songs don’t entirely flow completely with each other, the songs could follow on better with each other, but in this case this is not a serious flaw.
This album was made by a man who was at a hugely low point in his life, and is the perfect album for when facing hardship in life, fitting in with the darkness in our lifetimes but giving the motivation to not give in and to fight on. An incredible album from two of contemporary metal’s stars, this album was entirely worth the wait.
Listen to: Strength In Numbers, The Forgotten One, Hope Remains