This is Westfield, Massachusetts metalcore band Killswitch Engage.
The group is credited as being one of the pioneers of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal bands that came out in mid 90’s through the 2000’s. Exemplified by finding the middle ground between the punk aggression of hardcore and the technical mastery of more classic metal bands, the sound often features big, chunky core breakdowns broke apart by blazing riffage and screaming guitar solos.
The timing of Killswitch Engage put them right at the forefront of the movement, coming of age with fellow NWOAHM bands like Shadows Fall, Unearth, Lamb of God, and Mastodon.
Longtime Killswitch fans might notice the return of original singer Jesse Leach (center in above pic).
Leach recorded on the first two Killswitch Engage albums, had some personal issues and promptly bailed as the band was reaching the pinnacle of its career. Vocalist Howard Jones (no, not the wuss with the keyboard, a different Howard Jones) joined the band and was featured on the next three albums and propelled the band to new heights.
At the 2005 Roadrunner Records anniversary concert, Leach made amends with his band and even appeared on stage alongside Jones for a version of ‘My Last Serenade”.
Apparently the band clicked and opted for the return of their original singer.
Officially rejoined in 2012, Leach made his return proper on the 2013 Killswitch Engage release, ‘Disarm the Dissent’.
The band is currently gearing up for the release of their seventh full length album, “Incarnate” which comes out March of 2016.
Singer Jesse Leach comments about the new record: “I think it initially started out that I had an idea of what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go lyrically. I had a moment where I questioned stuff. I questioned myself as a writer, I questioned if what I was doing was the best it could be, and the answer was no, so I kind of spiraled myself into depression, almost purposely. I purposely put myself into a dark place and started thinking about the bigger questions of life, and from there I started to write stuff I never thought I’d write before and came to self-realizations about how I was raised and what I believe and don’t believe. I’m in a good place now, but I question a lot of what I was raised with and I question a lot of my beliefs. All this stuff that surround how I was brought up, I realized some of that stuff I was just believing because I was taught it and I didn’t really accept it as true. The way the state of the world is now and the way the American media has been aiming towards… between police brutality and gay rights, all these things that just upset me and anger me, I realized that the organization of religion and the organization of politics, I don’t want anything to do with that anymore. Who we are as humans is so much greater than these confines that this particular systematic way of thinking puts on us. I think I liberated myself through a pretty heavy depression, but it was an artistic depression. I almost don’t want to use depression; it was just a dark place. I didn’t go quite down into the rabbit hole like I have before in the past, but enough so it affected my wife and she was worried about me. But, to me, it was like I needed to do it. I’d wake up in the morning and have extremely strong coffee and go out into the wilderness and spend all day just by myself and contemplate life and contemplate God. These heavy questions and I wanted to tackle that on this record, and I think that I did.”
The first single, ‘Just Let Go’ has been released for consumption.
The opening salvo ‘Alone I Stand’ from the new “Incarnate” album…
If this is a newer band to your ears, here are some choice tracks that put these guys on the map.
‘The Arms of Sorrow’
‘In Due Time’