‘Incarnate’ is Killswitch settled in their new-old skin.
Label: Roadrunner Records
Released: 11th March 2016
It’s a bit weird to have to prove yourself as the new guy in the band you were the original vocalist for, but Jesse Leach has been there, done that, got the commemorative shirt. Now, he’s got nothing to prove: ‘Incarnate’ is Killswitch settled in their new-old skin, and everyone going flat out.
They admit that it took a bit of time to find their way, but opener ‘Alone I Stand’ doesn’t even hint at that, commanding within seconds as Leach almost spits a rally cry to the masses before lurching into that soaring chorus. There’s optimism in darkness, and they have a real defiance poking through, as they declare boldly “I still believe” in the frank assault of ‘Embrace the Journey…Upraised’. ‘Until the Day I Die’ and ‘The Great Deceit’ are both intricate and speedy, as ‘We Carry On’ pierces through with a dose of lyrical survival, picking up and moving forward when nothing is the same.
Some layers can feel like one on too many sprinkled on top at times, but split this into its individual parts and there’s a lot going on: guitars are interesting, drums complex, bass pounding, lots of little intricacies below their scream-soar vocal blend. Leach has a real storytelling knack even in his most aggressive moments – he’s saying something you want to listen to and pick at more with each listen. ‘Incarnate’ may have thrown up a few walls in the writing process, but they’ve evidently smashed them down and the result is massive. Heather McDaid