Times Of Grace "The Hymn Of A Broken Man" Review — 5 out of 5 Stars
Mon, 03 Jan 2011 10:21:48
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Killswitch Engage's Alive Or Just Breathing remains a turning point for heavy music. It signaled a new dawn for the genre, paving the way for its modern torchbearers—Avenged Sevenfold, Lamb of God, All That Remains, Shadows Fall, and more—to rise from the OZZfest second stage to the pop culture main stage. Alive Or Just Breathing gave the world a fresh take on heavy metal that combined extreme virtuosity, hardcore ethics, and philosophical, poetic lyrics. The partnership between musical mad scientist Adam Dutkiewicz and singer Jesse Leach was the foundation for the album and so much more. Fast forward nine years, Adam D. and Jesse have come together once again for Times Of Grace's debut album, The Hymn of a Broken Man, and nothing has changed. In fact, The Hymn of a Broken Man could very well be a touchstone for metal's evolution in the same manner.
The Hymn of a Broken Man functions as a heavy, heartfelt journey through pain. Conceived primarily in 2007 while Adam was laid up in the hospital from severe back problems, The Hymn of a Broken Man simultaneously soars and scorches. With a military-style drum beat and staccato riff, "Strength In Numbers" curls and careens from Adam's airtight playing into Jesse's poignant singing. A harmony arises alongside a searing lead line, burning brilliantly and brutally all at once. "Fight For Life" stands out as a somber battle of wills, blazing right into the thrash-ed out charge of "Willing."
Album standout, "Until The End of Days," is an apocalyptic elegy that morphs from a gorgeously haunting clean intro into a bludgeoning verse. As Leach repeatedly asks, "What have I become?" there's a searing sensitivity that envelopes the cacophonous distortion surrounding his voice. "In The Arms Of Mercy" is a crisp instrumental segue that sees acoustic guitars shining over the production's dark cackle. It also brilliantly sets the stage for the record's explosive title track to blast through all senses.
The trip culminates on "Fall From Grace." It's a heavier than heaven send off that shows just how dynamic Times Of Grace can be. From the pointed explorations of darkness to the incendiary metallic incisions, The Hymn Of A Broken Man has all the trappings of a classic metal album. Blending a Nine Inch Nails-esque quiet darkness and an epic orchestration a la Metallica, Times Of Grace are the future. Let another new age begin.
Are you excited for The Hymn of a Broken Man?
Check out our exclusive interview with Adam Dutkiewicz here!