Killswitch Engage – Atonement


One of the biggest bands of what the press calls metalcore is here with their 8th studio recording. This is a band I haven´t paid attention to since the time around their second album “Alive Or Just Breathing”.  It might go under the list of “too many bands to listen to and not that much time.
This kind of metalcore suits me more than for example Thy Art Is Murder which I reviewed some time ago. Bare in mind I dislike the label metalcore so I try not to mention it too much.

The album starts out with the perfectly titled “Unleashed” which is aggressive and melodic,  catchy for the masses. It´s not impossible that the band should be able to be “top bill band”on future festivals.
I´ve learnt that it is an angst filled album where frontman Jesse Leach  spills his inner demons out on the table for everyone to take part of. “Unleashed” is the first but not last instant rock radio(not Swedish rock radio though) hit song probably. Second song “The signal fire” features a guest vocal appearance by former singer Howard Jones. Maybe because of him this is a more brutal song. Almost modern death metal vibes through the song except the chorus. Lyrically “Us against The world” could be a propaganda song for any metalhead around the world today.
In through the studio door enters the mighty Chuck Billy of Testament and delivers the song “The Crownless King”. Here the band  are proving once again that they can handle the heavier part without slipping through the dangerous quicksand of what metalcore is supposed to sound like. Chuck just sounding like Chuck Billy makes the song stronger too.
“I Am Broken Too” is another track ready for the worlds rock/metal radio stations and maybe arenas.  And once again, after a full force metal track, they step back to their roots. This is even close to a Linkin Park track!

“As Sure As the Sun Will Rise” and “Know Your Enemy” is two furious and great songs. A gold star to the two guitarists Joel Stretzl and Adam Dutkiewicz is what comes out of those songs. Jesse  is really challenging his voice to the max on the latter.  On “Take Control” the singer uses his power of being a recording artist with thousands of fans and followers to address his struggles and encouraging others in the same situation to seek help and support. A brave move.

And here it is. Since I started reviewing records for Stargazed Magazine , I  discovered it more than I might have thought of before but there is always that one track that is a passage to the next. “Ravenous” is this albums “passing through song”.
Second to last song “I Can´t Be the Only One” is just like “Take Control” so obviously written about the singers  struggles. “Bite the Hand That Feeds” end the record and is a typical metalcore track. Did they really lose their inspiration during the last few songs?

Band: Killswitch Engage
Title: Atonement
Date of release: 19-08-16
Label: Metal Blade
Rate: 6/10
Stand out track: “Crownless King”

Peter Andersson Öhrn

Peter Andersson Öhrn