TIMES OF GRACE, featuring Adam Dutkiewicz and Jesse Leach of KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, will release its second album “Songs Of Loss And Separation”, on July 16 via the band’s own imprint label, Wicked Good Records, distributed by ADA worldwide. The official music video for the song “Rescue” can be seen below.
Leach says: “This is a more uptempo and full-on positive song in comparison to the rest of this diverse, heartfelt, painful and deep album.
“I haven’t been more excited for anything in my career. Like it, hate it, love it, it’s truly a labor of deep love and catharsis. Proud of this song as it is truly a raw and honest song about finding new love.
“Love isn’t always easy or simple, but if it is real, it is always worth the effort and dedication. This song is about finding a shelter from the storm, that light in the darkness and the will and strength to keep on moving forward.”
TIMES OF GRACE‘s debut album, “The Hymn Of A Broken Man”, arrived in 2011, nearly a decade after Leach‘s exit from KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, the pivotal New Wave Of American Heavy Metal band the duo co-founded with friends in 1999. The first music from TIMES OF GRACE materialized during Dutkiewicz‘s arduous recovery from near-crippling back surgery. A collection of songs the multi-instrumentalist and producer knew would suit his once and future bandmate. The first album earned acclaim from BBC Music, The Aquarian and Rock Sound. It willfully upended expectations, with flourishes of shoegaze and ambiance in its songs.
Now, ten years after TIMES OF GRACE first surfaced comes the follow-up.
Comfortably stretched beyond the parameters of what came before, without sacrificing an ounce of integrity, TIMES OF GRACE weave between pensive, heavy, midtempo rock, riffs, and atmosphere.
“Songs Of Loss And Separation” benefits wildly from the powerhouse performance of ex-ENVY ON THE COAST drummer Dan Gluszak, who toured behind the first album and is now an official member of the band. A handful of years in the making, “Songs Of Loss And Separation” mixes stark confessions of struggle with narrative storytelling. The music is just as expansive, with Adam handling lead vocals on several songs and Jesse experimenting with a lower vocal range reminiscent of post-punk and goth.
“Making this album was a way to get out some twisted stuff that’s been going on in our lives,” explains Dutkiewicz, who once again handled all of the instrumentation and production. “The record is not very optimistic. If you’re looking for that uplifting album to pull you out of something, this isn’t it.”
Leach concurs: “I love melancholic music. It tends to be therapeutic for a lot of people, myself included. It’s odd and almost kind of spooky that we both had to go through a dark time to create another record. It’s like this project can’t form unless hardships are going on in our lives.”
The pair’s vocal interplay makes for a rich, dense, and enthralling concoction, powering through various trips through dark nights of the soul and mind-expanding excursions into the wild.
“Adam is in the driver’s seat 100%,” Leach clarifies. “But he values my opinion, so it makes for an excellent working relationship. I’m here to help when he needs me. He wrote stuff that was darker, slower; music that takes its time to unravel. The way he wrote allowed me to think differently. It started out as an unconscious thing and then something we talked about openly. ‘Let’s make sure that this record doesn’t sound like KILLSWITCH and that it stands apart from the first TIMES OF GRACE album.”
“The Burden Of Belief” is a darkly melodic slow burn. “Mend You” bends but never breaks. “Bleed Me”, evoking the heartache of reaching out from across the ocean only to hit a voicemail greeting on the other end, conjures the pathos of grunge. A poetic flirtation with death, “Forever” (which concludes the proceedings) is a third-person story about a toxic relationship, hauntingly told from the abusive partner’s perspective. “Medusa” will chill the bones of fans who are fond of metal’s sludgy side, with psychedelic shades. “Rescue” offers one of only a few hints of redemption.
“There are some topics on this record that Jesse and I had never thought about doing before,” Adam adds. “It felt weird to make but really good. ‘Songs Of Loss And Separation’. That’s what they are.”
“When we made that first TIMES OF GRACE record, I was a wounded animal. I was suicidal,” Jesse confesses. “I was in a not-so-great relationship. The unraveling of my marriage, finding the courage and confidence to love again, happened during this album process. Not just to love other people and find a new relationship, but to love me, which is a longtime struggle. I didn’t realize how much of a battle it was until I got on the other side. I think that was a massive awakening for me. It was a process of probably the lowest I’ve ever gone mentally and then very quickly finding my wings.”
Like the darkest work of ALICE IN CHAINS, TOOL or even THE CURE, the sprawling second album from TIMES OF GRACE channels a dissonant, menacing, and unrelenting depression. It’s a diverse but singular statement, like “Disintegration” or “Dirt”, without sounding specifically like any other band. Haunting romanticism and deep spiritual yearning collide in beautiful melancholy. “Songs Of Loss and Separation”, drenched in insistent bluesiness, bleeds distortion, and emotion like a nerve exposed.
“Songs Of Loss And Separation” track listing:
01. The Burden Of Belief
02. Mend You
04. Far From Heavenless
05. Bleed Me
08. To Carry The Weight
Photo credit: Hristo Shindov