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Metalcore titans Killswitch Engage rip through House of Blues show

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Killswitch Engage flew through an aggressive set at House of Blues Saturday night.
Photo: Bill Hughes
Three and a half stars

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE June 22, House of Blues

If there are any Killswitch Engage fans who are upset about the band’s replacement of longtime singer Howard Jones with the man he once replaced, Jesse Leach, then none of them were at the band’s packed House of Blues show on Saturday night. The metalcore titans tore through 17 songs in just under 70 minutes, a little less than half of them drawn from the Jones era, and fans sang along loudly to all of them. With the vocals a little low in the mix, Leach was often drowned out by the crowd, and especially on the Jones tracks, he seemed happy to let the fans take over.

And that was perfectly fine. Leach is a solid metal singer, but he’s less of a distinctive vocalist than Jones, who was especially missed on soul-baring songs like “Rose of Sharyn” and “The End of Heartache.” Hearing the fans belt out lyrics that meant something to them was probably the most gratifying way to experience those songs. The rest of the band sounded as strong as ever, delivering both classic songs and selections from recent album Disarm the Descent with equal ferocity. Guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz was his typical goofy self, referring to Descent as “a concept record about the fattest tits in the entire universe” and lobbing T-shirts into the audience with a badminton racket, but he also broke out some blistering solos. Killswitch may have been at its best with Jones on the mic, but it’s still pretty damn good without him.

Set list:

“The New Awakening”

“A Bid Farewell”

“Fixation on the Darkness”

“The Hell in Me”

“Life to Lifeless”

“No End in Sight”

“Take This Oath”

“The Arms of Sorrow”

“Beyond the Flames”

“This Is Absolution”

“All We Have”

“Rose of Sharyn”

“Numbered Days”

“In Due Time”

“My Curse”

“The End of Heartache”

“My Last Serenade”

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