Times of Grace

The Hymn of a Broken Man

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This isn't a band, it's a project, a collaboration between Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz and former Killswitch vocalist Jesse Leach. And, truth be told, if the average listener were told The Hymn of a Broken Man contained leftover songs from Leach's tenure with Killswitch, it wouldn't seem all that implausible. Anyone who thought, especially given that their band shares its name with an album by Bay Area art-doom metallers Neurosis, that Times of Grace was going to represent some radical departure is bound to be disappointed. Anybody who comes to it expecting melodic metal with hardcore crunch, occasional bits of post-rock guitar, and angsty yet ultimately life-affirming lyrics, on the other hand, will be pleased. Track titles like "Fight for Life," "Live in Love," and "Hope Remains" tell the story; this is one of those albums meant to inspire mopey teenagers to pump their fists and get through one more traumatic day of high school. It's not as dismissible as that may make it sound, though. The songs are mostly built on a foundation of better than decent riffs, and Leach has a really good hard rock/metal voice, something he proved not only during his tenure with Killswitch but also with his underrated post-KSE band Seemless. So while this disc is clearly aimed at Killswitch fans, anybody with an appreciation for modern metal and hard rock generally could find much to like here.

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