Reincarnate is more like it.
With the comeback of original vocalist Jesse Leach, Killswitch Engage have returned to their true roots. That’s not to say that the boys ever “lost their touch,” but the Killswitch most of us have grown to know and love over the previous decade involved the strong chords of Howard Jones. Come 2012, Jones departed KSE, and left the rest of the band with an unfinished album and an incomplete crew. Thanks to Leach, Disarm the Descent was able to be released, but it appears we should consider Killswitch’s latest, Incarnate, as his true comeback.
Since Disarm the Descent was Leach’s reintroduction back into the band, it was a test run of sorts, a way for him to ease himself back into his place as frontman. With Incarnate, there are few if any hiccups, with Leach’s vocal being as premium as ever. He possesses a coarser tone than Jones, so every vocal facet of Incarnate sounds slightly tougher. His screams are more guttural and his harmonies a harsher rasp, but it works with the overall more “toughXcore” appeal to the album. Lyrically, Leach seems to lean more towards the vulnerable side than he did on Disarm, and it works for him well. “Cut Me Loose” and “Just Let Go” obviously call to the struggle of distressed attachment, where we can relate to the “weight of the world on our shoulders” lyrical aspect of “It Falls on Me.”
On the sonic side of things, Incarnate brims with drummer Adam Dutkiewicz carrying out the breakdowns, as his double bass drum blasting rules over the other instrumentation. The only real time on the album where all aspects are instrumentally synced comes near the end, with “The Great Deceit.” Killswitch end the album on a high note with “Ascension,” which would likely breed a few pits opening up when played live.
Though it was a great decade with Howard Jones, Incarnate proves that Jesse Leach is right back where he belongs. Some consider Killswitch Engage to be the leading pioneers of metalcore, and whether you agree or not, it’s undeniable that they are amongst the most talented of the genre.