Alcatraz Line up: 2023
Founded in 1999, this American metalcore band played a pivotal role in the surge of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal. KSE’s music exhibits all the genre traits you’d expect: they mix growls, clean vocals and screams while the choruses are often clean-sung and anthemic. The frequent breakdowns, power chords and rapid-fire drum patterns: it’s all there. Contrary to other metalcore bands, though, KSE’s love of thrash and melodic death metal has them crossing traditional genre boundaries. Original singer Jesse Leach’s return to the fold after a ten year hiatus clearly gave Killswitch Engage a boost as illustrated by the ferocity of 2016’s ‘Incarnate’. ‘Atonement’ (2019) finds KSE in excellent form with Leach’s powerful harsh and engaging clean vocals, heart-wrenching melodies, typically groovy metalcore riffs and massive guitar duels reminiscent of such extreme metal acts as At the Gates.