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Killswitch Engage (CD/DVD)

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Average Rating
(14 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • I’m not a fan of lengthy reviews so I’m just going to throw in some pros and cons about this album.

    Howard Jones displays some of his best vocals on this album
    While I love the older KSE style, the new direction is nice for a change
    It has four bonus songs (3 out of 4 being live) and a pretty enjoyable DVD

    Like some have said, there is a lack of that energy we all grew to love
    I do agree the musicians have the potential to do more.

    Overall, I think this CD is worth the money. It is another great release from KSE.

    Posted on January 7, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • this album, as said by others, is lacking some of the raw energy of previous relases. however this is balanced out by having a more refined smooth sound- more soaring, more matured lyrical content to a degree- a fuller, if not quite as steeply pitched enegry. in truth there is one thing that i’m annoyed about on this album; some of the songs have very abrupt endings where a fade or a pause at the end would seem to fit better.

    Posted on January 7, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Nearly ten years after releasing their first self-titled effort, metalcore’s most iconic and definitive band, Killswitch Engage, have arrived with another self-titled album. Not only is it their third effort with vocalist Howard Jones in tow but it is also their first to utilize the abilities of an outside producer, Brendan O’Brien, who has worked with everyone from AC/DC to The Offspring. Following up 2006’s “As Daylight Dies,” the new album has the dual task of living up to the already established, tried and true sound as well as bringing something new to the table for the fifth set of music in the band’s career.

    The opening track of the album, “Never Again,” answers the question of whether or not a big name producer and heightening success has softened Killswitch Engage’s technique with a resounding “No.” Vocalist Howard Jones still howls, croons and shrieks in the same fashion that made the band’s breakthrough album — 2004’s “The End of Heartache”– such a success, and the band still pummels on, with co-guitarists Joel Stroetzel and Adam Dutkiewicz shredding and chugging along with the crushing rhythm section of bassist Mike D’Antonio and drummer Justin Foley. Five albums in, nothing much has changed, as the marriage between melody and brutality has remained as strong as ever for this Massachusetts five-piece. In essence, this is the same Killswitch Engage we have come to know and love, with perhaps a few tinkerings that only serve to keep their reliable sound fresh and viable.

    The question over Brendan O’Brien’s influence still lingers in songs like “A Light in a Darkened World”, “Starting Over” (this album’s “Rose of Sharyn”) and “I Would Do Anything,” with slight pop flourishes peppered throughout. Thankfully, little tweaks here and there don’t change the band’s sound enough to make for sacrilege, and the album comes across less as an attempt to be Killswitch’s version of Metallica’s “The Black Album” and more like the band trying to retain their identity while expanding upon its already tried and true sound. “Reckoning” and “This Is Goodbye” (the album’s crushing closing number) serve as comfort-food for the faithful fan, while experimentation comes to fruition in one of the album’s strongest tracks, “The Return.” A slow-building, moody and textured piece, it serves as one of the few spots where the band breaks with their routine to deliver something truly outstanding. It works and it works well, but is unfortunately the only spot in the album where the band gets truly creative and steps outside of their comfort zone. More songs like this — or at least with its spirit — and the band’s fifth album would have been the better for it.

    Although the album doesn’t break much from tradition, it’s still a mostly fresh experience. The band is in top form, delivering a set of songs that will no doubt sound even better when performed live. Jones, in particular, ups the ante, giving his finest vocal performance to date, giving credibility to some of the more restrained moments of the album while holding true to the Killswitch Engage name in the album’s heavier fare. “Killswitch Engage” (or perhaps “Killswitch Engage II”) is no doubt a crowd pleaser, an album that if you’re already initiated, will nestle itself comfortably in your ear-drums. New fans could look elsewhere for a better introduction, but as far as a band on its fifth album in its ten year long career, Killswitch Engage show no sign of slowing down and it can only get better from here.

    The Special Edition/Digipak features four additional tracks as well as a bonus DVD. Three of the four tracks are live — “Rose of Sharyn,” “My Curse” and the band’s brilliant cover of Dio’s “Holy Diver” — and capture the band at their best — in a live setting. “In a Dead World,” meanwhile, fits nicely along with the other eleven tracks that make up the album. The DVD is about a half an hour long, and covers the band’s stint on The Warped Tour as well as the making of the album and the album’s artwork. It also features some humorous interviews, and coupled with the live tracks, makes this package worth seeking out.

    Posted on January 7, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Killswitch Engage in my opinion aren’t the best Rock Band today, but they are good @ what they do!! I was introduced to KSE, like most of us, thru the heavily circulated video of “My Last Serenade”. The album AOJB, @ that time, was like a light @ the end of the tunnel when the music scene seemed to be exhausted and no one had anything new to offer! The word was around about this band, friends telling friends and sharing mp3s and what not.. Every Couple of years there are a handful of bands that manage to shake things up and bring something fresh to the table.. AOJB with Jesse Leach was fresh, everyone loved it. Soon after, TEOH with Howard Jones was different, but again fresh, because of a different vocalist.. Jesse Leach was missed, many hardcore fans didn’t digest this well, but the result.. People loved it because Howard Jones lived up to it, and far surpassed peoples expectations.. but hey, even fresh gets stale yea.. So I’ll come to my review of KSE’s second Self Titled album. This album isn’t half bad actually, it retains the quality of sound and style KSE have come to be known for, a major plus point would be that its more technical compared to their last album ADD, which i feel was just a continuation of TEOH and had very little to offer. Musically this album is less dynamic than previous ones, almost mellow I’d say. Could be because of the different producer this time around! I am however disappointed that none of the songs here leave a ringing in your head long after you’ve listened to it. for eg. like.. All songs off AOJB, “Rose of Sharyn” & “The End of Heartache” from TEOH, or even “Break the Silence” from ADD. It’s really strange for a Band like KSE, who are known for their Dynamic Range and powerful Live Shows! If the keenest of listeners would analyze this, they could all agree, that with Jesse Leach it was never about Dynamics, it was more about the Edge that his vocals gave to the sound of the Band, Clearly visible all over AOJB! Not the case with Howard Jones. His vocals definitely have a wider range, and give the band a “Bigger” sound, ergo, the Dynamic! Whatever the case though, both vocalists are good in their own right. In closing the only thing I’d say would be that this album will definitely pull in younger, newer fans, but for the older fans, this could be a let down! A Solid 3.5 Star rating from me would be just about right for now! Because if you’re reading this, you already know what this band is capable of! Cheers ;o)

    Posted on January 7, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • It’s been three years since As Daylight Dies was released (the longest time spent between Killswitch Engage albums), and while it wasn’t as polished as The End Of Heartache or Alive Or Just Breathing, it’s been played as relentlessly as their other cd’s. I know a lot of people are looking at the name of the album and going, “but we already have one self-titled KSE.” The first one was more of an EP as it has songs which were later re-recorded, and I’m glad they were because while it may not have been a bad one, it didn’t sound great. The band hired rock producer Brendan O’Brien (Mastodon, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Rage Against The Machine, etc.) to produce the album with Adam Dutkiewicz taking the co-producer’s chair for a change. I read that it was uncomfortable working in a studio in Atlanta instead of Massachusetts. The results pretty much speak for themselves. All I can tell you is if you haven’t heard it yet, in most places it’s pretty heavy, there’s definitely a lot of melody, but the lyrics are also a little darker this time. It still sounds like Killswitch Engage. Anybody that disliked As Daylight Dies probably will be disappointed. If you can’t decide which version to get, shell out a few extra dollars for the special edition. The four bonus tracks make it worth buying. The bonus dvd is kinda funny to watch, it’s basically 30 minutes of behind the scenes and interviews. Some “making of” studio footage would have been cool though, maybe even some live footage. Check it out.

    Posted on January 6, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now