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Latest Episode #41


Ralph Santolla's Stench Of Redemption

● Working with Deicide
● Steve Asheim plays Tchaikovsky
● New band with Steve DiG!

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#40 - Ralph Santolla's Individual Thought Patterns

#39 - Artificial Brain & Chthe'ilist

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Must reads:    All Albums Of The Month   ●   From The Vaults!   ●  The Forums Hall Of Fame   ●   Irish Metal - Reviews Archive
Killswitch Engage | ‘Incarnate’


The question for me when it comes to slick modernity in metal is twofold.

One, is it real, or is it just a product.

Two, is it actually heavy.

KSE are one of those bands that dont seem to make too much of a fuss about themselves and who’ve been content to just plug away over the last fifteen years.

(Fifteen years? Surprisingly, yes.)

As such, they do feel real; and certain parts of this album are indeed fairly intense.

They deliver what’s come to be expected of them by now, in the form of nimble, melodic Gothenburg riffing, good double kick and plaintive vocals on top of the roaring.

After a brace of big metalcore openers, I’d contend that this album kicks off properly with the more considered ‘Cut Me Loose’.

It’s that slow number three track, and has an unexpected slip groove that comes in a beat early, keeping the tune on edge – particularly at the end when some ugly dissonant chords close it all out.

After that it’s the Trivium inspired workout de riguer in ‘Strength Of The Mind’, including a lip smacking harmonized guitar run in it that’s very cool indeed.

I’ll just say straight out that I have deep suspicions that returning vocalist Jesse Leach is using autotune on a lot of these tracks. To be honest I’d rather hear him slightly out of tune and at least being himself rather than the confected sound of the computer.

I could be wrong here, but I’d be gob smacked if this was his natural delivery.

Anyway, ‘Embrace The Journey’ has a good speedy attack, while ‘Until The Day’ goes for something quite different and a more vintage thrash feel with some Megadeth inspired chromatic builds.

This one is by far the best on the album and even has a vaguely European feel about it too.

Some of the vocals are just a bit too plaintive for my liking, a bit too… oh go on then, emo. So I could have done with less of those.

But Adam Dutkiewicz’ guitar is never less than on the money, occasionally recalling Nevermore and Jeff Loomis in it’s fluidity.

It’s slick but solid, has commendable (and extremely well performed) amounts of double kick, and a sense of identity that their peers often lack.

Trivium are probably still pipping them to the post in terms of songwriting stakes – or at least they were with ‘In Waves’, rather than ‘Silence In The Snow’ – but this is good stuff for the everyman metaller.

3.2 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 27/04/16



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