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Released: Jan 18, 2011
Genre: Metalcore, heavy metal, hard rock, post-rock
Number Of Tracks: 13
You can try and write off Times of Grace's debut as another Killswitch Engage copy, but that's where you'd be wrong.
The Hymn Of A Broken Man
I'mmaBaseball, on january 21, 2011 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz has always been at the forefront of metalcore, and although he's not entirely breaking ground with his new project Times of Grace, he still proves his strength lies in hard-hitting riffs, complimented by inspiring melodies and slick production. On this record, however, he's also providing bass and drum duties, showcasing his multi-instrumental skills. His drumming shines on songs like "Live In Love" and "Hope Remains", while "Fight For Life" shows his combination of darkness and melody that always shines through. In addition, Adam shows that he's not afraid to throw in a solo here and there, such as on the record's lead single "Strength In Numbers".
One thing Killswitch Engage has had that I've always enjoyed are their clean guitar passages, and they play a vital part in shaping the mood for the listener. "Until The End Of Days" boasts an awesome clean intro, while "In The Arms Of Mercy", an instrumental interlude, provides an almost atmospheric tone throughout the song and proves to be one of the most beautiful pieces of music Adam has written in his career thus far.
Aside from "In The Arms Of Mercy", the song that really stood out for me musically on this album though was "The Forgotten One", which is all acoustic, mixing country with some flamenco and melodic passages. One thing I did notice though was that the intro of "Where The Spirit Leads Me" sounded a lot like As I Lay Dying's "Forsaken", ironically produced by Adam in the past. No matter, though; for the most part, the record shows Adam's versatility as a musician, and really speaks of his talent. // 8
Lyrics: Along with Adam Dutkiewicz for the ride is ex-Killswitch Engage singer Jesse Leach, who brings back a sense of optimism that music has been lacking for a while now. You wouldn't be able to tell with most of his vocal delivery, though. At some points on the record, Jesse sounds downright visceral in songs like "Live In Love", despite his optimistic lyrics ("Through all this condescend compassion for weakness, it takes so much more strength to be selfless and live in love."). Towards the end of "The End Of Eternity", Jesse takes on some death metal style vocals.
When he's not sounding carnal, his clean vocals are uplifting and tinged with emotion. His voice sounds vulnerable yet strong on "The Forgotten One" ("Words slowly lead me to the cracks in my disguise, my flesh a prison for the man behind these eyes. I sing the epitaph for an unnamed king, carved in this tombstone of the lost pieces of me."), and the chorus of "Fight For Life" is one of his best deliveries to date. It's not just Jesse singing though; Adam shows that he's got some pipes on him as well, whether it's songs like "Fall From Grace" or the chorus of "Hope Remains". It once again proves the versatility Adam possesses with his musicianship.
My favorite song in terms of vocals and lyrics, though, is the closer "Fall From Grace". The song is mostly sung by Adam, and the verses tell the story of a man who has lost his will to live ("At the end of your road, hanging by a thread, he'd give and he'd think for this to just go away. The scribbles on the soul thrown, I tried to hold on tightly, but it's all slipping through my fingers."). However, once the chorus comes, the subject in question turns it around on the listener and proclaims his will to live just like that ("Even through this pain, I will feel again. Even through these tears, I will love again."), with only a soulful vocal delivery guiding him through the journey. // 9
Overall Impression: Now I admit, I am a Killswitch fan, so I am aware of possible bias in grading this album. However, even if I weren't a fan, I would still have to go out on a limb and say this is an early contender for album of the year. From the heavy "The End Of Eternity" to the battle cry of "Strength In Numbers" to the intimate "The Forgotten One" and "In The Arms Of Mercy", Times of Grace have a little something for everybody.
You can try and write off Times of Grace's debut as another Killswitch Engage copy, but that's where you'd be wrong. It's the album that Killswitch should have put out in 2009, it's the album that is uplifting and inspiring in every sense of the word, and it's the ultimate triumph of two former bandmates that have persevered through the toughest of trials to put out their emotions for the world to see. And for that, they should be commended. // 8
The Hymn Of A Broken Man
lmpguitarist, on january 21, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: First, I wanna point out the date. I'm reviewing this album on January 16th. I actually got the CD yesterday. The CD doesn't drop until this coming Tuesday. However, I did not illegally download this you cheapskates! I somehow received my preorder ahead of time, so I figured I'd get the first review in... Now for the cd:
If you like Killswitch or similar bands (All That Remains perhaps?) then you already have probably gotten this or are planning on it. If you like any Jesse Leach fronted bands, same deal. If you fall into either of those brackets, you won't be dissapointed. It is what's expected. Good Adam D riffage? Check. Double Bass? Check. Catchy choruses? Check. This album is actually a bit more on the singing side vs. screaming.
Musically, this is Adam and Jesse's most diverse offering. While it includes stereotypical metalcore-esque elements (which let me point out, it is metalcore at its finest) this album is also graced (no pun intended) with some acoustic, atmospheric, moody moments, such as the cowboy-styled "The Forgotten One" or the verses of songs like "Until the End of Days."
Vocally, this album is heavily leaning towards the singing side of the spectrum, which is an impressive feat for a modern metal album. While Adam might be bangin out some heavy riffs, Jesse still finds a way to create an infectious melody over it. This is also great, as it is metal music that you can get your mom to listen to, but still rock out to with the dudes. I strongly hope that this will help bring metal music to the mainstream, and I could totally see this album doing it...but maybe I'm a dreamer.
My only musical complaint is on some songs (specifically, "The End of Eternity") it can bounce from an atmospheric section to a slow, aggravated heavy section. While these parts allow for a break and a slow down on the album, they can sometimes get obnoxious. This is a matter of personal opinion though.
End result: if you typically like the work of Adam D, Jesse Leach, or metalcore in general, you'll like it. Even if you don't, check it out, cuz you might still like it. // 10
Lyrics: If you've ever heard Jesse Leach, you know what you're getting. As usual, he continues the socially and religiously aware lyrics that he founded in Killswitch. He is skillfully able to invoke thought into the human condition without sounding preachy or taking a side towards any specific religion or social opinion. I'm definitely a fan. People need music with a message, and this is is a great way to start. // 10
Overall Impression: Win. Metalcore is clearly on the way out, but this is a great last farewell to the genre. While it is technically a metalcore album, it is so much more, and if this is where the movement is heading, I have no complaints.
Strength in numbers
Fight for life
Where the spirit leads me
Live in love
Hymn of a broken man
The forgotten one
If this album was stolen, I'd go out and buy not one but multiple more copies! I might buy another just to support the band. This is THE album of 2011. Jump on the bandwagon now before all your friends do. // 10
The Hymn Of A Broken Man
Guitarjoeyp, on august 08, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album is the result of two absolute legends and geniuses; current and former members of Killswitch Engage, Adam D and Jesse Leach. The album combines powerful guitar riffs, big anthemic choruses and incredible inspiring vocals. It's certainly hard to get enough listens! // 10
Lyrics: Many peoples' favourite Killswitch lead vocalist and Adam D's lyrics are powerful and meaningful. The lyrics clearly have huge meaning to both members. They can be interpreted in many ways, as with many of Killswitch Engage lyrics, but the singers clearly have a strong faith and put their souls into these songs. Leach and Dutkiewicz both alternate with lead vocals and harmonies, which makes a nice combination. // 10
Overall Impression: This album, in my opinion seems the most personal project Adam D and Jesse Leach have produced and all of the songs have so much meaning and power. "The End Of Eternity" is different from all other work the pair have produced and also other key tracks include "Willing", "Live In Love" and "Hope Remains".
There's not really anything to hate about this album, there's tonnes of variety and singable lyrics. Lets hope they keep them coming! If your a fan of Killswitch and these two legends then this album is a must have and I'd definitely have to buy it again if I lost it! // 10