The Empire Shall Fall
Late last year, former Killswitch Engage frontman Jesse Leach returned with a roar as lead vocalist of the Empire Shall Fall and decimated rumors that his singing career was over due to mangled vocal cords. The quintet's Awaken fuses those bile-churning growls with some melodic moments (think Deftones), but for the most part the Empire Shall Fall's debut is an unrelenting headbanger, often addressing humanitarian and political themes in the process ("Lords of War," "These Colors Bleed," "Voices Forming Weapons"). And it's hard to believe Leach's larynx isn't shredded to bloody bits after recording "Choir of Angels." But he injects a soulful aggression across Awaken; on the excellent closing track "The Kingdom," Leach inquires, "Where's the love? Where's the unity?" before recommending we "wage war upon the heartless with the strength of love."
4. People of Color