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Returning frontman helped Killswitch Engage find conceptual path on new album

@graffonmusic, Facebook.com/Gary Graff on Music

Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013

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Killswitch Engage's new album "Disarm the Descent" didn't start life as a concept album. But guitarist and producer Adam Dutkiewicz doesn't mind that it went in that direction.

And Dutkiewicz credits that to frontman Jesse Leach, who returned to the group after a decade-long absence.

"There's a lot of stuff on the record that's kind of looking at the world, looking at other people's situations from the outside instead of being completely about himself or the things he's going through," Dutkiewicz, 36, explains. "There's a lot of dark stuff on the record as well. I know Jesse gets the rep for being very positive all the time, but some of the unhappy stuff get on this record, too.

"But I think you do still find the positive that comes through the bad stuff (in these songs). It's just a lot about going through struggles and trying to be positive through a lot of bad stuff, and they all work together in that way."

Leach's return caught some KSE fans by surprise, since he'd left the group acrimoniously, telling his bandmates via email shortly after getting married. But Dutkiewicz reunited with Leach in the side project Times Of Grace and was confident that bygones would be bygones -- as evidenced by the album's No. 7 debut on the Billboard Top 200 and No. 1 entries on the Hard Rock and Rock Albums charts.

"I did several tours with him in Times Of Grace, and it was evident to me that all the old issues were gone," the guitarist recalls. "He was taking care of things on the road, maintaining his throat, dealing with all the issues he'd had before that -- including if he even wanted to be a musician or not.

"I felt he was the man for the job and we gave him the (song) demos and he brought a lot of great ideas to the table. It's great to have him back."

Killswitch Engage, Lamb of God, Testament and Huntress perform Tuesday, Oct. 29, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $39.50 and $29.50. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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