For as long as I’ve been into metal, there have always been key acts that I always find myself coming back to in some form or another whether it be diving further into the styles those original influences came from or sticking with the bands after all these years. As one of the first works of anything related to metal that I really latched onto, it was Times of Grace’s debut album that set me down the path of music that I still find myself in, and it’s been a long ten years as we waited for a sophomore album. Finally, the wait is over and it’s hard to argue with the results.
It’s always hard to be patient to eagerly wait for new material from a band you’ve always been partial with when you know it’s a side project for some of the biggest musicians in their sound with even just the mention of that side project being named maybe once every year. That was the struggle with Times of Grace as it featured members from Killswitch Engage, but it’s after a very long ten years that we’re finally gifted a new album that could very well be one of the best instances of the events from the past two years being reflected in any single piece of music of which there will soon surely be thousands. It’s here with the aptly titled “Songs of Loss and Separation”, though, that we not only get a worthy successor to the band’s marvelous debut, but a true landmark for the style in recent years with very few being able to deliver anything close to these ten tracks. There’s so much emotion and weight sown into these songs of the same kind that many of us have felt in some capacity as we were stuck inside our houses and isolated both physically as well as mentally, sending many of us into a dark state of mind that many still find themselves trapped in. Times of Grace tackles this harsh reality head-on to pull the suffering out of the darkness with a striking performance that’s as varied as it is compelling with every possible inch of “Songs of Loss and Separation” being all but intoxicating for those able to lose themselves in this liberating performance.
Music will always be a boon for being able to deliver material that we can relate to in many instances for one reason or another with works like this having an aura that feels akin to salvation, and Times of Grace is now two for two when it comes to not only doing that concept justice but doing it far better than many of their contemporaries. The ongoing events will continue to impact us on many different levels for years to come, but it’s with the shining light that is “Songs of Loss and Separation” that we can find solidarity and maybe even some sliver of salvation.
LISTEN to “Songs of Loss and Separation” via YouTube here.
LIKE Times of Grace on Facebook here.