Killswitch Engage is my favorite band at this moment. I own all their albums, but this one takes the cake in my opinion. I really like how Howard can scream high and low and melodically, yet still maintain his nice singing voice. This is shown in most of the songs on this album. I don’t think there is any song I skip while listening to this CD. I really like “Eye of the Storm,” “My Curse,” “Daylight Dies” and “Unbroken.” These 4 songs really stand out and show Killswitch’s true talent. They write good lyrics and, again, Howard’s voice is what makes these songs great. I gave it 4.5 stars because there was just something it was lacking, I was left wanting more from the album. If you like this album, you should definately check out their other albums, esepcially Alive Or Just Breathing, which has my favorite song, My Last Serenade on it. The End of Heartache is another great album by them, with songs such as “Rose of Sharyn,” “Breathe Life,” “The End of Heartache” and “When Darkness Falls.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
Killswitch Engage fist came to my attention as part of the soundtrack to a video game; believe it or not. I was playing the PS2 game “Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel” with my girlfriend, and I kept noticing the incredibly heavy riffs in the background music during boss fights…after finishing the game, I learned from the credits that Killswitch Engage were one of the bands involved in the soundtrack for the game. I picked up “Alive or Just Breathing”, and the rest is history for me; they have become one of my favorites in today’s burgeoning metal scene.
With the resurgence of metal’s popularity these days, there are many different styles or sub-genres, Killswitch have been defined as one of the important “metalcore” bands. It’s interesting for me to see how much hairsplitting is done with the younger, new metal fans, since I have been a metalhead (and metal guitar player) since the early ’80s. As far as I can tell, being metalcore means that you have heavy riffs, both death metal-style growling vocals and clean, anthemic choruses, and lots of “breakdowns”, where the song shifts into a slow, heavy riff (by the way, it’s called a bridge, dudes)- and if that defines a style, than Killswitch are surely the apotheosis of metalcore.
Definitions aside, Killswitch play tight, ultra-heavy metal riffs that shake the walls- and the almighty riff is what metal is all about. The alternating vocal style is effective and actually adds a lot to the dynamics of the music; I have really grown to appreciate it, and both are very well done- the death metal growl sounds ferocious, and the clean (sometimes harmonized) vocals sound absolutely epic. What I have enjoyed about this album even more is the addition of a more progressive playing style, both from a drumming/time-signature standpoint and from the added guitar complexity of this release when compared to the band’s previous efforts. Even better than I had hoped for…not a change in style for this band in any way shape or form; just a distillation of the band’s strengths. Recommended for any metal fan.
I bought the last release (The End Of Heartache) after seeing the video of the title track on Headbanger’s Ball. Howard Jone’s screaming, pinched harmonic squeals, pummeling guitar riffs, breakdowns, and slow and heavy rhythms were commmon throughout the album. Overall, I thought Heartache was a decent if not stellar effort from the band…
That brings me to their latest effort, As Daylight Dies. While there are some stand out tracks like “Daylight Dies”, “This Is Absolution”, “The Arms Of Sorrow”, and “Desperate Times”, the rest of the album reminds me of Heartache. Not that it’s a bad thing, mind you. I actually think it’s another decent effort which I’m sure I’ll listen to again and again. It’s just that maybe I was expecting a little more in terms of growth and direction. So, if you expecting Daylight to be another Heartache, then this album’s for you. In any case, Daylight is fine for what it is.
Killswitch Engage has always incorporated melodic death into their music, but on their latest release, the melodic death really dominates. here and there there are metalcore breakdowns. they still rock though. I disagree with the one who says metalcore is about ex-girlfriends. I own several metalcore CD’s and not one of them mentions relationships gone bad. somebody better reread the lyrics on all their CD’s. other metalcore bands to consider are Himsa, Zao, Demon Hunter, Still Remains, the Showdown, A Life Once Lost, Underoath, As I Lay Dying, Underoath, Watch Them Die, Hedfirst, Cataract, and Winter Solstice.
Killswitch has come along way since their first album. This album is bar far the greatest achievement to date. First of all, this album’s lyrical content is a much more earnest and thought provoking then the other three albums. Songs like “Reject Yourself”, “Break The Silence”, and “The Arms Of Sorrow”, portray a reflective and contemplative view on war; as well as the horrible atrocities that have been eminent in the world.
As Daylight Dies also holds some of the hardest hitting, riff driven rock anthems to date. Songs like “For You”, “Still Beats Your Name”, “As Daylight Dies”, and “This Fire Burns” drive this point home, with heavy laden drums, resonant bass, and earsplitting guitar riffs. “For You” might be one of the most well-rounded songs on the album, every part of the song shows the unique talents of the band.
Finally, when most people decide whether or not they like a band in this genre they usually discuss whether or not the screaming or groan is necessary or annoying. However, on As Daylight Dies and The End Of Heartache Howard Jones vocals are non-the-less incendiary; his tone is a welcome change from the shreiks of bands like As I Lay Dying and Atreyu. His groans and screams tie together so well with the instrumentals that it never becomes dull or too abrasive. But what stands out the most is his versatility, one verse he will be in your face and in total control of his screaming, while in most chorus’ he comes out with this epic singing that is totally unexpected.
Here’s how the album breaks down (Best out of 10):
1. Daylight Dies – 8.5 – Great intro, but feels like an intro or even an outro more than a complete song.
2. This Is Absolution – 9 – This song should have opened the album, great chorus, and great use of acoustic guitars.
3. The Arms of Sorrow – 9.5 – Probably the albums saddest song, but very well written and the production is top-notch as well as with the rest of the album. The chorus is quite tear-jerking, but transitions perfectly into the bridge.
4. Unbroken – 8.5 – One of the albums hardest hitting tracks, at points it may seem like the most lack-luster and repetitive song on the album, but that isn’t really saying much, considering this is KSE’s best album by far.
5. My Curse – 10 – Beautiful song, through all it’s clean instrumentals, to it’s earsplitting riffs, this song has everything you need.
6. For You – 10 – In contrast to My Curse, this may be the definitive KSE’s piece, has everything this band has to offer in one tightly composed song. (((GIVE IT MORE THAN A COUPLE LISTENS)))
7. Still Beats Your Name – 9.5 – Hard hitting, riff-driven… but also one of the most beautiful chorus’ and bridges KSE has to offer.
8. Eye of the Storm – 9.5 – Some what predictable, but non-the-less heartpounding and amazing riffs.
9. Break the Silence – 9.5 – One of the best tracks on the album, but it might have the greatest and most thought-provoking chorus’ in the KSE catalog.
10. Desperate Times – 8 – Might be the albums dullest tracks, but is a great song to check out once and a while when the rest of the album has been listened to too much.
11. Reject Yourself – 10 – B-E-A-utiful, great way to close the album, tie-ing with “For You” this might be the best, most definitive, and purely intimate songs Killswitch has ever made.