Times Of Grace – The Hymn of a Broken Man
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Remember when KILLSWITCH ENGAGE reunited with Jesse Leach? Meet TIMES OF GRACE. Whilst being laid out after emergency back surgery, Killlswitch Engage?s guitarist/producer Adam Dutkiewicz decided to start penning and recording some songs during his new found free time, and after enlisting former Killlswitch Engage vocalist Jesse Leach ? who had performed on the groups seminal ?Alive or Just Breathing album ? the seeds of Times of Grace had been heavily planted and the product was reaped with the groups debut record ?The Hymn of a Broken Man?.
First off, it would be impossible not to compare this album to Killswitch Engage?s back catalogue, but let this reviewer make this as clear as possible ? ?The Hymn of a Broken Man? is not ?Alive or Just Breathing part two? ? far from it, as it?s more diverse and melodic than anything Killswitch Engage has released before, but familiar enough to easily win over any Killswitch Engage fans. The opening track and first single ?Strength in Numbers? shows off the pure strength of Leach?s singing, with his breathtaking cleans combining both sheer power and emotion with ease. While Adam D?s own vocals aren?t fantastic, the fact that he played guitar, bass and drums on the record, not to mention produced and recorded it, is pretty damn impressive.
Of course, this would have meant nothing if the songs were subpar, but they are far from that, with the awesome ?Fight For Life?, ?Until The End of Days?, ?Live in Love? and ?Hope Remains? boasting massive choruses and instantly memorable hooks, but the surprise of the album goes to the bluesy acoustic rock of ?The Forgotten One? which boasts Leach?s best vocal performance so far.
?The Hymn of the Broken Man? is the first great album of 2011, and considering that it is far more satisfying and consistent than the two previous Killswitch Engage records, perhaps Adam D should make Times of Grace his main squeeze and keep the huge momentum rolling with more releases in the not too distant future.
Label: Roadrunner Records
By Andrew Kapper