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Killswitch Engage - Killswitch Engage Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 4
Musicianship 5
Lyrics 4
Production 7
Creativity 3
Lasting Value 3
Reviewer Tilt 4
Final Verdict: 43%
Member Ratings
Vocals 7.25
Musicianship 8.2
Lyrics 7.05
Production 8.25
Creativity 5.95
Lasting Value 6.25
Reviewer Tilt 7.6
Average: 72%
Inside AP.net

Killswitch Engage - Killswitch Engage

Reviewed by: encmetalhead (07/28/09)
Killswitch Engage - Killswitch Engage
Record Label: Roadrunner Records
Release Date: June 30, 2009

Despite the success of Westfield, Massachusetts band Killswitch Engage, their listeners still stand divided in their opinion of the band. On one hand, you have the people that have never liked the band, while on the other, there are the people that worship the ground they walk on. You have the Jessie Leach followers who love the first two albums, and then you have the Howard Jones followers who love the newer albums, not to mention the battle between the true metalcore albums and the more mainstream albums. For those who do not know who Killswitch Engage is, they are the American mainstream metal frontrunners. Their debut was a self-titled full-length album that now seems to be erased from their record books. In 2002, Leach and the band hit the ground running with their sophomore effort, Alive or Just Breathing. They lost Leach and recruited Jones before they recorded their third album, The End of Heartache. That album went gold and its follow up, As Daylight Dies, was near-Gold. Their newest album, which is also self-titled, debuted at number seven on the Billboard charts after just one week, whereas As Daylight Dies only peaked at thirty-two.

This all points to Howard Jones being the catalyst of their success and the love/hate relationship that the fans have with the band now. Even with the introduction of an outside voice to sit alongside Adam Dutkiewicz in the producer’s chairs, it seems the band has started to fall into a rut of making the same album over and over again. For instance, on the new album, songs like “Starting Over” and “Reckoning” could easily fit into the theme of As Daylight Dies. Jones’ voice has always sounded a bit out of place in a band like this, as is evident with their cover of Dio’s “Holy Diver.” You can also hear this on the opening track, “Never Again,” when he tries to introduce a new vocal style, and still fails to deliver. This leads me to believe that Jones can only shine when he is singing for the majority of the track, i.e. the singles that are heard on active/modern rock stations. I will, however, give credit to Jones for trying to mix it up and come up with a fresh sound, but it just doesn’t succeed in the final product.

The vocals are not the only things that are stale on the album. Justin Foley on drums, Joel Stroetzel on guitar, and Dutkiewicz on the other guitar all seem to be recycling their parts now. On top of that, none of the parts standout on their own to help any track sound different from the rest of modern day Killswitch Engage. Foley’s drumming on the album is simple, yet mundane. Some music calls for simple drumming and it works, as long as it is exciting or compelling, but with Foley, it feels as if we have heard it all before, be it on As Daylight Dies or with another band. There is one bright spot for the guitars, however, at the beginning of “Take Me Away,” where the energetic riffs work with the somewhat simple rhythm to form a solid hook.

To sum it up, this is As Daylight Dies’ little brother. It tries and succeeds a bit in copying the previous album, but also tries to change things around to create a wider appeal. This album is not bad, so to say; it’s just not original in one bit. It all comes down to what Killswitch Engage clique you are in; new fans will love this, while the older fans will denounce it and claim the band is past its prime. While I will agree that the band is past its prime, their singles are still good enough for the radio listeners. This album may just go gold, but will the band reach a next album without a major lineup change? I hope that they will shake it up a bit. Maybe Dutkiewicz will become a full-time producer and they will recruit some fresh blood into the band. As for that, we will just have to wait and see.

Recommended If You LikeHoward Jones' Killswitch Engage, mainstream metal, modern/active rock radio stations


www.myspace.com/killswitchengage
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 15.
01:29 PM on 08/07/09
#2
encmetalhead
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[Reviewer Note]
On a five point scale: 2.5/5
04:34 PM on 08/07/09
#3
Dymytry Vance
Fuck Relient K!
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I hate this band. This album is not worth my time. I suggest running far away because there are many other metal bands that are a billion times better.
07:42 AM on 08/08/09
#4
xlife2lifelessx
Whalestep?
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To think i used to love this band
01:05 PM on 08/10/09
#5
MBIIdollaBill
die young and save yourself
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this band is still fucking awesome, its like the reviewer said, they fell into a rut. As Daylight Dies and End of Heartache are definitely better albums, and the first 2 with Jesse Leech aren't horrible either. I think kse can step up their game and come back.
05:13 PM on 08/12/09
#6
jm-in-ottawa
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Alive or just breathing > everything else.

Im gonna go see them in September but only because two better metal bands in Protest the Hero & Between the Buried and Me are opening.
02:47 PM on 11/02/09
#7
nastydevil12
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As Daylight Dies was a much better album.
07:03 PM on 11/09/09
#8
MBIIdollaBill
die young and save yourself
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As Daylight Dies was a much better album.
End of Heartache is probably their best work, and Daylight is either very close or just as good.
02:37 AM on 02/16/10
#9
xjdizzle
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This album is good .Just because your one of those idiots who think everything that gains mainsream atteintion or radio play isnt good music.Well lemme tell ya these guys are exactly where they want to be and madea name for themselves.
07:50 AM on 02/22/10
MBIIdollaBill
die young and save yourself
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This album is good .Just because your one of those idiots who think everything that gains mainsream atteintion or radio play isnt good music.Well lemme tell ya these guys are exactly where they want to be and madea name for themselves.
Nobody thinks that, retard. They were well known before this album. Its just not as good as their previous 2.
11:20 PM on 02/22/10
xjdizzle
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Nobody thinks that, retard. They were well known before this album. Its just not as good as their previous 2.

Yeah ok.... is thats why they get haters saying they turned into a Pop rock metal band smartass..I'm not saying everyone does but people have..
It's still a good record regardless wether it got more mainstream attention or not..
07:49 PM on 02/25/10
MBIIdollaBill
die young and save yourself
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Yeah ok.... is thats why they get haters saying they turned into a Pop rock metal band smartass..I'm not saying everyone does but people have..
It's still a good record regardless wether it got more mainstream attention or not..
Regardless of mainstream attention or not, its not as strong an album as their previous two. And i don't believe this got that much mainstream attention anyways. Everyone and his 3-year-old sister is too busy listening to Justin Bieber.
09:44 AM on 07/20/10
StayBrutal19
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I used to listen to this band more, but ive just become uninterested, this album was good, but not good enough to keep me listening for a long time
08:18 PM on 10/02/10
Th3Massacur3
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Ok. I dont like many songs on this album. This does not stand up to the three that came before by any means: Daylight, TEOH, AOJB. But you, sorry to say, have no idea what your talking about on many different subjects. You say this record debuted higher than ADD because it appealed to a larger mainstream audience. Is that why ADD sold 60,000 copies 1st week and this sold 58,000 but the fall in record sales caused this to debut higher. And comparing this album to ADD. This one and ADD have NOTHING in common. There are no tracks that resemble Daylight Dies, Eye of the Storm, This is Absolution, Break the Silence, etc. You say that Starting Over and Reckoning could be put into a ADD theme when ADD had a much more positive and hopeful lyrical approach when those songs are dark and gloomy and the instruments dont have the same tone to them. You cut down Reckoning and Never Again (the best tracks along with The Forgotten) where Jones shows not only his powerful screaming voice but his ability to sing as well. And what about Jones voice sounding odd in KsE. He stands atop the metalcore community along with Tim Lambesis, Jesse Leach, Phil Labonte, Brian Fair etc. I dont mind you saying this is a bad album for them cuz it is but make sure you know your information before you embarass yourself.
06:30 AM on 05/27/11
ParkwayOwns
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Well...it's definitely not the best Killswitch album. Alive or Just Breathing was a game changer, then they went with just flat out good music. This album is alright in comparison, and some great songs, and some that are just blah...
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