It’s about time some good quality metalcore has emerged into the oversaturated metal scene. Sure there have been a handful of decent acts recently, but I just feel that the quality craftsmanship wasn’t there. Enter now TIMES OF GRACE. Featuring 2 of metalcore’s pioneers, Jesse Leech (former Killswitch Engage vocalist) and Adam Dutkiewicz (current Killswitch Engage guitarist), the chemistry of TIMES OF GRACE without a doubt clicks from the duo’s past experience together. Dutkiewicz also gets to show the world his multi instrumentalist skills, as he plays all instruments for the band. TIMES OF GRACE to simply put it sounds like Killswitch Engage (KsE) with an extra dash of soul. They seem to take bits and pieces from each respective KsE album, but it’s that aesthetic touch and atmosphere that makes TIMES OF GRACE’s debut, The Hymn Of A Broken Man, quite good, distinctively.
The Hymn Of A Broken Man starts out marching into battle with the current hit single, “Strength In Numbers”. Definitely sounds like a chapter of the Alive Or Just Breathing-era, and Leech [Jesse] is absolutely phonominal with how he expands his vocal range while at the same time, going with the flow of the rhythm. “Strength In Numbers” also has a great lyrical meaning, talking about sticking by your friends, and how strength can build in numbers. Definitely a good kickoff.
I like the heavier songs the best on The Hymn Of A Broken Man. “Where The Spirit Leads Me” is one of those heavier songs I could immediately get into. The rhythm in the intro starts slow, and builds momentum into Dutziekwitz’s metalcore riffing onslaught. “Where The Spirit Leads Me” also has quite melodic direction as a whole, and with Leech’s impressive vocal range and harmony, the song has that everlasting feel to it.
Hands down though, “Live In Love” is the best song on The Hymn Of A Broken Man. Mr. Adam D has his best performance with the way he fuses such memorable melody, a structured approach with some fretboard tapping, and of course, bringing some metal to the table! I love the way “Live In Love” takes the listener for a spin, and it definitely reminds me of the better days of KsE. Epic!
Other heavier TIMES OF GRACE songs worth note of is the title track, “The Hymn Of A Broken Man”, and “The Forgotten One”. The band really finds a way to tap into the listeners emotions, yet remain heavy enough for a KsE fan to give the nod of approval. The band also has plenty of softer songs on the album. Songs like the instrumental “In The Arms Of Mercy” gives that soft yet very atmospheric feel, and the clean guitar passages are quite good.
The Hymn Of A Broken Man is out now via our friends at Roadrunner Records, and make sure you pick up a copy. Again, I haven’t heard such a great and well thought metalcore album like this one lately. While I know Leech has had plenty of other projects since the classic Alive Or Just Breathing-era, like The Empire Shall Fall, Seemless, among other stuff, TIMES OF GRACE is Leech’s finest hour since those glory days. Leech is surely what makes this album so wonderful. Aesthetically, The Hymn Of A Broken Man is a masterful composition with its variety and structure. It’s definitely enough to tide us over while we await a new KsE album.