Killswitch Engage “Atonement”

Let’s get right to the kill shot. You want to know about THAT song. The one that Howard Jones sings on, The Signal Fire. Let me tell you this once. It’s absolutely and unequivocally everything you hoped it would be. Hell, this whole album is everything you hoped a new Killswitch Engage album would be.

There are choruses to scream out. There are dual solos that bring tears to eyes. There are crushing riffs and breakdowns. It truly does bring life to the lifeless.

It doesn’t stop there though. You’ve also got Testament’s Chuck Billy tearing out his throat on this album with the searing hot track The Crownless King. This is a wonderful album.

You would’ve already heard album opener Unleashed and I’m Broken Too, deep in lyrical despair only matched by the power of Adam Dutkiewicz and Joel Stroetzel riffing bombardment.

I’m not going to pull any punches here. The last album Incarnate was missing that something that always makes Killswitch Engage a cut above the rest. They have brought it back and poured it all throughout this album, soaking it in mosh pit sweat.

Jesse Leach sounds better than ever before, the rhythm section of Mike D’Antonio and Justin Foley are as solid as an oak tree. The lyrical content, while deep and dark, is beautifully uplifting, as a cry to overcome whatever hurdles you have.

Know Your Enemy nods to the past with a lick reminiscent of classic Pantera. It is best played with the volume turned up to 11. If you can go higher, do it. Shake the room. Annoy your neighbours. Have the police beating down your door. It’s worth it.

Talking of beating down the door, Bite The Hand That Feeds pounds away demanding to be let in, which at that point it will trash your house as you happily join in on the chaos.

The bottom end in Ravenous is brutal, the care free riffing, the melodies. The quiet acoustic moment before the dynamic kick in the balls thereafter. It’s all here and it’s gloriously loud.

Killswitch Engage have always been an emotionally open band and I Can’t Be The Only One is a perfectly crafted piece art. Combining those dual riffs with guttural vocals, by the time the melodic solo is wailed, you’re lost deep in another time and space.

In closing your honour, this is the best album in KSE Mark 3’s short history. It’s arguably the most complete of their whole career. And THAT song is just a dream come true.

Album Review By Iain McCallum

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