Friday, January 21, 2011

Times Of Grace Captures The Hymn Of A Broken Man

Times Of GraceWhen guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz of Killswitch Engage had to face emergency back surgery or risk paralysis, some people said that the U.K. tour that he cut short would be his last. Those who did greatly underestimated the influence he would and will still have on modern metal. Dutkiewicz did too, especially with additional nerve damage in his foot.

"I thought my career as a performing artist was over," he said of the surgery. "If I can't walk on my own, I can't play."

Then, as a form of healing in the hospital, Dutkiewicz started writing music in his head. And, once he returned home, he started singing and humming fragments of material into a mini tape recorder. When the near album was complete, he called his longtime friend Jesse Leach of Seemless and The Empire Shall Fall for an unlikely reunion.

The Hymn Of A Broken Man is powerfully engaging and painfully emotive.

Although the new metalcore duo that makes up Times Of Grace is technically a debut, nothing about it sounds like a debut. The redemptive album that even Leach feels is scared is a collaboration on par with or even cut above anything they have done before.

Strength In Numbers, the straightforward rocker that was released as a single in October, is only the beginning of an impressively desperate and depressive album that manages to pull hope out of its darkest parts. Every song on the album is worth placing in heavy rotation, with only Strength In Numbers missing some emotive melodies, that places Leach back on top.

The best of the album includes the melodic metal Live In Love, the fiercely fast title track Hymn Of A Broken Man, the Southern-infused The Forgotten One, and the recasting of the metal ballad Willing. Hope Remains, Worlds Apart, and Fall From Grace are all strikingly solid among the 13-track album.

The newly released Special Edition includes a fourteenth acoustic duet that is nothing short of mesmerizing. Anyone who doesn't consider themselves a metal fan ought to give it a listen. You'll hear Dutkiewicz and Leach, instrumentally and vocally, in a much different light. There is no denying their talent includes a range beyond what fans know them for. The Special Edition also includes artistic videos with every track (but not the music videos released elsewhere).

Times Of Grace's The Hymn Of A Broken Man Rises To A 9.4 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

There is only one questionable comment (compared to scores of raves) from reviewers on iTunes and Amazon. And even that lone comment is dreadfully out of place in attributing to the album to Killswitch Engage. Apparently, he missed every indicator this is something different.

Of course, fans of Dutkiewicz and Leach's respective bands might like to know that neither has any plans of leaving their respective bands. Times Of Grace is a side project that comes with an extensive tour. They have been piecing together a band, one person at a time, since finishing their first video late last year.

The Hymn Of A Broken Man (Special Edition) is available on iTunes. On Amazon, you can download The Hymn Of A Broken Man or order the The Hymn Of A Broken Man (Special Edition) as a CD/DVD set.
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