A true pioneer of modern metalcore, Jesse Leach can sing, scream and everything in between with the best of them. While his efforts in Killswitch Engage have made him famous, the vocalist has lent his talents to a variety of other projects, particularly during his 10-year hiatus from the group. From stoner-rock crew Seemless to punk-rock outfit the Weapon, here are five of his best performances not in his main band.
Seemless – “The Wanderer”
Formed in 2002, following Leach’s departure from Killswitch, stonery hard-rock band Seemless also featured ex-Shadows Fall/Unearth drummer Derek Kerswill and ex-Overcast/Killswitch Engage guitarist Pete Cortese. For his part, Leach showcased the crooning side of his vocals, which complimented the group’s Kyuss-ian grooves perfectly, nowhere better than on this standout cut.
The Empire Shall Fall – “Lords of War”
Leach went in a way more brutal direction with the Empire Shall Fall, which formed in 2008, inspired by mostly Swedish death-metal titans including At the Gates, Meshuggah and Edge of Sanity. “Lords of War” — the second single off the band’s one and only LP, Awaken — showcases those influences ably and savagely.
Time of Grace – “Strength in Numbers”
Leach reunited creatively with Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz in the late 2000s, when the latter was recovering from back surgery and wrote a number of songs he thought would be great for the singer. The result was a more melancholic and melodic version of the sound they had pioneered together in Killswitch, as exemplified by single “Strength in Numbers.”
Time of Grace – “Live in Love”
Time of Grace’s debut LP, The Hymn of a Broken Man, is full of highlights, perhaps none stronger and more emotionally intense than the shreddy, epic “Live in Love.”
The Weapon – “At What Cost”
Leach is a punk rocker at heart, and he indulges that passion on his side project the Weapon, joined by Chris Drapeau, formerly of Japanese crossover band Aggressive Dogs. The group’s debut song, “At What Cost,” is dirty, raw and awesome, with the singer shrieking his lungs out.