Album in Review: Killswitch Engage – Atonement
Band: Killswitch Engage
# of Songs: 11 (wished there were more)
Released: June 25th, 2019
Jesse Leach – lead vocals
Adam Dutkiewicz – guitar, backing vocals
Joel Stroetzel – guitar, backing vocals
Mike D’Antonio – bass guitar
Justin Foley – drums
First Things First
Let’s get this out of the way; there are two major topics that are being discussed about this band. One of them will go on forever as with any band that has had different vocalists.
- The topic of Jesse vs. Howard. I personally have always been more of a Jesse fan over Howard simply because I love this band live and I have always loved the passion that Jesse has live. I also get chills when he does his screams with the passion he has. Howard was and is amazing in his own right, especially at writing and performing some amazing songs that pull you in and his cleans are just beautiful. But they have Jesse back and have for a while now so get over it and enjoy it or don’t.
- There are many that are saying that they have produced another solid album yet have also remade the same album over the last three. I will say that I completely disagree here because to me, yes Killswitch obviously has a sound and we expect that sound when we hear new music. Those who are saying that it’s the same album over and over are the same people that would bitch if it sounded completely different.
Keeping in mind that there are 5 members in this band and not just the vocalist that everyone wants to talk about in many bands. These guys put together a great album and knowing how much Adam D. has to do with writing, production and pushing everyone. I commend these guys for sticking together all these years. You can hear every members input.
Justin (Drums) does some amazing work and really gives the kick (haha) to so many of these songs and also holds back and lets the songs breath when they need to. He gives each song what it needs without overdoing it.
Mike (Bass) I think has defiantly made himself more present and heard in this album than he did in “Incarnate” and I’m for one very happy about it. His bass in “Bite The Hand That Feeds” is amazing and to me is the heart of that song. Also happens to be my favorite son on the album. He has always been a bass player I have enjoyed watching play live and got to see him pretty recently at the intimate show at “The Space Las Vega.”
Adam (Guitar, Backing Vocals and Production) always has so much influence over what we ultimately hear on these albums and I admire how much commitment he has. I have listened to interviews where the other members talk about how much he pushes each of them to get the best out of them, almost to the breaking point. There are not a lot of guitar solos on this album, so when you do get to hear them you really appreciate them and their placement.
Joel (Guitar, Backing Vocals) is always heard and steadfast, his rhythm work is as solid as always and really gives these songs so much passion on this album. The guitar work in “The Crownless King” is ridiculous and one of my favorite songs on the album.
Jesse (Vocals) lyrics are always passionate and positive. I personally find him to be one of the metal vocalists that has so much love and passion to spread, weather its about his own struggles or those of others. I think he really dug deep in lyrically and physically on this album. He overcame a lot with his vocal surgery and had a serious fear of not being able to continue and also some own mental struggles. I think those same struggles are what lead to this being one of his more personal albums and I for one feel it and got to see it live.
Overall Thoughts – 4.5/5.0
They have given me, as a listener, from the beginning everything I would want from them except I wish there were maybe 2 or 3 more songs. I usually rate an album based on if I can just hit play and not have to skip any songs. As well as if I can look at the track listing after listening for a while and if a certain song does not stand out. So first, I did not need to skip a single song on this album and I have listened to it multiple times. Second, I would say that the only song that didn’t really keep my attention as much as all of the others was probably “Us Against The World.” Now I am not saying that this is a bad song in any way, it’s just to me compared to the rest of the album it seemed to be the one that did not give me the same feeling I got from everything else and was a bit on the lighter side for me; even compared to “I Am Broken Too.” Overall I cannot think of a single song on this album that I do not enjoy. They always put out solid albums and this is in my top 3 from them.
This whole album just gives me the feeling that I can take on any challenge that comes my way. As if it is behind me propelling me forward saying “you got this.”