Best of 2016 Playlist

April 8, 2016

Killswitch Engage - "Incarnate" Review

Why fix what's not broken? Killswitch Engage seem to have written and recorded their 7th album with that mindset. The band have returned from the studio with this killer album, the follow up to the masterpiece that is "Disarm the Descent". About 3 years later, and they're back with "Incarnate" (not to be confused with "Reincarnate" Motionless in White's 2014 album). 

To buy the album on iTunes, click this (link). 

*This is a relatively quick review, that we may expand upon in the future. But for now, we just wanted to get what we had out there for your reading pleasure*

You expect a lot from a band as experienced and well versed as Killswitch Engage. They are one of the many bands who ushered in the new wave of American heavy metal at the turn of the millennium. While their sound may sound tried and overused, the band shouldn't be held to the same standard as other metalcore bands. Killswitch doesn't need to reinvent the wheel, because they already did when they broke out onto the music scene. And now everyone's doing what they're doing. Blasting heavy verses full of grit and grime. But Killswitch Engage did it first. 

The entire album is chalk full of killer guitar riffs from Adam Dutklewicz and Joel Stroetzel. They keep the pace of each song moving right along, and blazing ahead with tight rhythms and soaring melodies. Helping the guitars keep pace, drummer Justin Foley powers through song after song with intense drum beats. 

Bassist Mike D'Antonio should never be overlooked. His bass riffs and licks (as with most metal bands) can get lost in the mix at times, but when they come through they shine. Adding a raw, textured edge to the record, it gives KSE brand metal a good dose of industrial at times. And every member's part comes together perfectly with the others. 

This is also second album for vocalist Jesse Leach since his return to the band in 2012, he's not shy about expressing himself. His voice varies from vocal chord shredding screams to woeful cries. He comes into his own, unlike previous album where he found some middle ground between his vocals, and Howard Jones. But here, it's 100% Jesse throughout. Passionate and so emotive, it's incredible the depth he can put to his voice. 

Now we could spend an eternity going over every track. But there is one song we feel we should give a the spotlight to for a second. The album's second single, "Hate by Design". It is a must have for any metalcore playlist. From the song's guitar solo, to the intense chorus, this is song begs to be screamed/sung at the top of your lungs. Everything about it is near perfect. The song could very well bridge the gape between metalcore and mainstream metal, as it has its classic KSE moments, and then more accessible moments that could potentially appeal to radio listener. 

We could go on and on, but we'll end things with this note. It's hard to write 7 albums of music that progresses with time, and skill. Killswitch Engage have seemingly done the impossible, keeping fans engaged in their music, while not succumbing to the traps of other bands their age. Something we'll call "metal-mindset". Sure they throw in the open note breakdowns and do the whole "palm-muted, chugged" verse bit from time to time. But the positives greatly outweigh the negatives. But you be the judge, go listen to the album. A must have album for fans of metalcore, period. 

Favorite Tracks - 
Hard as it is to pick favorites, we're going with "Hate by Design", "Strength of Mind", and "The Great Deceit" (arguably one of the band's best songs to date)

Rating - (8.5 to 9/10)