Killswitch Engage's latest and highly anticipated album Atonement is being released today with Metal Blade Records. Killswitch Engage who are also celebrating their 20th anniversary this year have been on a creative roll since reuniting with original vocalist Jesse Leach in 2012. Some of the challenges the band faced while creating the album include Leach's vocal cord surgery. When the Killswitch singer discovered he needed surgery last spring to remove a polyp that developed on his vocal cords, he wondered if he would ever sing again. "That was the first thought I had," Leach told Revolver "It sounds really pessimistic but I knew it was going to happen sooner or later. Because when you come offstage spitting blood … something's going to give at some point. So I was scared, yeah. I was literally thinking to myself, Well, I guess I can go back to bartending if this doesn't work. But, thankfully, it worked."
Leach also battled writers block while making Atonement which guitarist-producer Adam Dutkiewicz helped him through."There was a really eureka moment during this where I realized I couldn't do it on my own. I was trying to present something that was polished and ready to go, and it just wasn't happening. So instead of asking for help, I kept beating myself up over it."
Killswitch Engage reunited with former Killswitch/current Light the Torch frontman Howard Jones to collaborate on the duet The Signal Fire for the album."I was always friendly with Howard. Respected him, and gave him his space after he left and all that," Dutkiewicz told Revolver. "Jesse was intimidated by filling his shoes. And I think there was just this mental hangup and awkwardness between Jesse and Howard because of that. But one day I was like, 'F**king watch this. We're all going to hang out in a room together and see what happens.' And then Jesse was like, 'Wait a minute, Howard is, like, the coolest guy in the world. Never mind.'"
Leach tells Revolver the the Atonement song he is most proud of is a personal one that touches on a subject close to his heart, mental health. As someone who has been very open about his own mental health struggles and is seen as an advocate for the issue, Leach told Revolver that he's particularly proud of Atonement's second single "I Am Broken Too." The band will be donating a portion of proceeds from the single to Hope for the Day, a non-profit that focuses on suicide prevention and mental health education.