The first Times Of Grace release in 2011 was songs of healing for Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam D and his former vocalist Jesse Leach as they buried the hatchet after a rough musical separation seven-odd years previously.
The resulting album was a mixed bag of influences allowing Adam D to stretch his musical wings beyond the standard metalcore he was known for, but never too far removed as to scare away potential fans.
Ten years on and with a global pandemic to help spark embers of inspiration the two members (now since reunited in KsE) have found time to write another far reaching album that stretches even further from the kind of music they are heavily associated with.
Wanting to get away from the any preconceived notions early, The Burden of Belief opens with mellow acoustic guitars before settling into what can only be cornered into radio rock, as the vocal interplay between the two leads lends itself to Alice In Chains comparisons as Leach’s lyrics tackle his crisis of faith. Never having hidden behind his Christian beliefs in his lyrical content, here he admits to becoming more spiritual and dropping his more religious outlook on life.
It isn’t all country rock and acoustic guitars as Rescue shows. Despite all the crooning this more mellow output isn’t afraid of the comparisons to Killswitch, this comes across heavier then anything of that band’s last release while at the same time still being some of Leach’s closest-to-the-bone lyrics.
The musical journey and positive yet personal lyrics continue as the band experiment with sounds heavy and soft. Tracks like Bleed Me see Adam D take centre stage as the vocalist in a way rarely heard from him as he croons, and Leach buried deep in the mix screaming his heart out during one of the verses creating a surprisingly satisfying bi-polar approach that just works and leads in to the haunting Medusa and Currents as they groove along similar but completely musical routes. Every musical experiment that is attempted on this album comes out golden, with small parts to be discovered and rediscovered on every track.
If you set up your camp expecting to hear a Killswitch Engage album you are only in for disappointment. If you come to this 45-minute experiment in modern rock and metal mash up with an open mind and are willing to hear something that can feel familiar but also uncomfortable then this is the new sound you just may need to hear.
1. The Burden of Belief
2. Mend You
4. Far From Heavenless
5. Bleed Me
8. To Carry the Weight