Killswitch Engage, ‘Atonement’ Review: Album Offers Passionate, Driving Metal

2019-08-13

Killswitch Engage – Review by Anne Erickson

Album review: Killswitch Engage shows their confidence, passion and drive on “Atonement”

Killswitch Engage is one of those rare bands that has been able to change up its sound from album to album, yet still maintain the character and vibe of their original style. From their 2000 self-titled debut to this month’s “Atonement,” the band has a knack for creating heavy metal-core anthems with dynamic vocals and chugging riffs and rhythms.

On “Atonement,” out Friday (Aug. 16), Killswitch Engage is back with flame and fire in a neatly constructed, 11-song set. “Unleashed,” the album’s opening track and lead single, begins with droning guitars and quickly explodes into a groovy metal anthem with Jesse Leach’s mix of screaming and singing and heavy instrumentals. From the start, “Unleashed” gets the record off to an exciting start and sets the listener up for the metal up ahead.

As “Atonement” unfolds, the album’s music becomes heavier and and more gutting. “The Signal Fire” is a thrash-y gem featuring a guest appearance from former Killswitch Engage and current Light The Torch vocalist Howard Jones. “Us Against the World” is also thick and meaty, with a true metal-core base and soaring chorus.

Another standout, “As Sure As the Sun Will Rise,” features a riveting mix of Adam Dutkiewicz’s sharp, glorious lead guitars and Leach’s emotive vocals in the chorus. Guitarist Joel Stroetzel, bass player Mike D’Antonio and drummer Justin Foley are also triumphant as “Atonement” continues through other big songs, such as “Know Your Enemy,” “Take Control,” “I Can’t Be the Only One” and “Bite the Hand That Feeds.”

With “Atonement,” Killswitch Engage shows their love for metal is only getting stronger as the years continue. Now, on their eighth studio album, Killswitch shows they’ve got the confidence, passion and drive that it takes to be a statesman of the genre. Ink rating: 9/10.

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