Times of Grace - Hymn of a Broken Man
Record Label: Roadrunner Records
Release Date: January 11, 2011
Times of Grace is a reformation of Killswitch Engage, to a degree. Using only 2 members; original Killswitch singer Jesse Leach, and the legendary Adam Dutkiewicz, Times of Grace attempts to inject some new blood into the saturated metalcore scene, and succeed. Although this album isn’t groundbreaking material, it is some of the best in the genre.
The album begins with the single “Strength in Numbers” which plays off like you are listening to As Daylight Dies. Chugging guitars, heavy double bass, and an epic-sounding chorus ignite the track. One thing this song has that most Killswitch songs don’t is a guitar solo; effect-driven, but still impressive. “Fight For Life” begins as a droning, almost black-metal sounding track, but picks up in normal fashion with hammering double bass. This track boasts some good vocal work by Leech in the chorus as he croons “Carry me when I can’t go on, uplift my spirit so I carry on”. “Willing” is the next track, and again follows the Killswitch etiquette of song-writing; but again shows some impressive singing by Leech in the chorus; featuring some pretty good backup work by Adam D. Definitely one of those tracks that I can see a wave of people throwing their arms in the air to.
“Where the Spirit Leads Me” is a heavier track which features some great guitar work by Adam, and the normal run-of-the-mill screams by Leech. This song’s chorus is massive sounding; Leech unfortunately doesn’t take it to its full advantage. “Until the End of Days” is one of those back-and-forth songs where it jumps from soft to heavy and back again; they pull it off, but its not that impressive of a song. “Live in Love” has an introduction that screams single, but Leech’s style of singing and the weird yelling in the background throw this track under the bus. Aside from this, the chorus is quite catchy, and gives us another chance to hear that great guitar lick from the intro. After the quite pleasing and beautiful instrumental “In the Arms of Mercy” comes the title track, which has the fury of Alive or Just Breathing, with the accessibility and flair of As Daylight Dies. With a thunderous chorus that will stick as the best on the album, and the heaviest breakdown this track is the best on the album.
The next track takes us off the beaten path, with some great southern flair. “The Forgotten One” is an entirely acoustic song and features the best vocals on the album by Leech. “Hope Remains” throws us back into the heavy territory we’re accustomed to; and delivers an epic chorus, thanks to some classic drumming, and some more impressive vocals by Leech. We are given another slow track in “The End of Eternity”, nothing impressive about this one. “Worlds Apart” begins with some soaring Adam D guitar work, and features a fairly decent chorus, and then some more fantastic solo work by Dutkiewicz. The album closes with “Fall From Grace" which is written in the same vein as “The End of Eternity” and once again doesn’t grab my attention with anything glaringly good.
I LOVED Jesse when he was in KsE; Alive Or Just Breathing was one of the first heavy CDs I ever listened to. From what I've heard this new band isn't bad though it didn't really grab my attention. Also, Jesse looks kind of like a washed up old man now.