After ten long years, we finally have the follow-up to The Hymn of a Broken Man.The duo counterparts of Killswitch Engage, Jesse Leach and Adam Dutkiewicz, put forth an emotional album that spoke to the natural transgression of the band. Let me preface this by saying that their debut album was flawless from start to finish. Everything about that record resonated with me and always brings back fond memories of that time. With that said, it’s nearly impossible for them to top that record. However, Songs of Loss and Separation contains all the special elements from the first record, but also adds enough new flair to garner its own voice and presence.
The debut’s theme of loss, despair, and depravity is also ingrained on this album, hence the album title, Songs of Loss and Separation. Leach’s dispiriting lyrics are found on every song, but are also paired with hope and assurance of healing. The theme of recovering from your emotional pitfalls and finding the strength to move on is something embedded in every track. Not only are the lyrics written with poetic elegance but they are delivered with such heartfelt veracity that bridge the artist with the audience.
Along with Leach’s performance, Adam D’s voice is monumental in making Times of Grace special. Not only is he known for writing, producing and engineering KSE albums, but he has a fantastic voice. Due to the nature of the band, Adam’s voice is sparingly used on the KSE records, most notably on “Rose Of Sharyn,”“This Is Absolution,” and “My Curse.” Times of Grace is where Adam shines and easily demonstrates how great his vocals are. “Bleed Me” is an ideal illustration of the allure his voice embodies with this band. Not to mention, both Leach and his vocals work so well in unison delivering the pain behind the song. On a side note, the intro to “Bleed Me” definitely has me humming Nirvana’s “Something In The Way” right after. Frankly, I wish there were more of Adam’s vocals on this record. For the next album, I’d love it if he took on 50% of the vocal duties similar to Daron Malakian on System of a Down’s 2005 Mezmerize and Hypnotize.
Overall, this album might not be on par with their debut record but it still has its own distinct sound that embodies the Times of Grace sentiment. From being a decade apart, the duo delivered an astute follow-up record that shows the legitimate natural progression of their unfeigned creativity. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another ten years for their third installment.
Pick up your copy of Songs of Loss and Separation here!