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Killswitch Engage (Special Edition)

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Album Review

A classic case of hindsight being 20/20, Killswitch Engage's eponymous debut is now viewed as a significant touchstone in the emergence of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal, but it had only a limited impact upon the insular Northeastern hardcore scene when it was released through Ferret Records in 2000 (and that was mostly because its musicians had previously been involved with influential underground bands like Overcast and Aftershock). One listen is all that's required to understand why. Like many of their peers at the time, the musicians in Killswitch Engage were boldly testing the spartan limitations of hardcore songwriting — coming out of their inherited hardcore shell, if you will — by introducing heretical elements from heavy metal, elements which most genre purists would consider anathema. These included all manner of deathly Cookie Monster grunts and shrieks, fusillades of fast-picked notes, and intricate minor-key melodies, plus all manner of technical instrumental showboating (histrionic solos, double kick-drum blastbeats, unorthodox time signatures, etc.), which lifted album standouts like "Irreversal," "In the Unblind," and particularly "Temple from the Within" and "Vide Infra" beyond their more simplistic, hardcore-loyal counterparts. In fact, it wasn't at all surprising when these last two songs were re-recorded for the band's breakthrough second album, Alive or Just Breathing, by which time Killswitch Engage had symbolically swallowed the proverbial heavy metal bullet by signing with stalwart metal label Roadrunner. Compared to that sophomore effort, this eponymous first salvo can't help but sound formative, but it still contains plenty of exciting material for KE diehards, while embodying the curious conundrum of a transitory feel, despite there not being anything, technically speaking, for it to transition from! Told you it was a conundrum!

Customer Reviews

xD !!! this album ROCKS.

Sweet, sweet, SWEEEEEET. new album is sweeeeet BUY IT, unless you hate screaming and metal.

Another Great Album

This is yet another great piece of metalcore history. KSE seem to be able to keep pumping out records and each one being equally strong from start to finish. I will admit that at first I did not like Howard on vocals i found his voice seemed to be out of sync with the band (although it was great for the Holy Diver cover but the remake of fixation on the darkness was horrid i like the original version better) But this album has totally revamped my opinion . Aside fro another stellar performance by the rest of the band who always seems to be right on the money. Howard's voice (to me at least) is beginning to be much more reminiscent of former vocalist Jesse Leach, which for many of the fans who lost interest in 2002 when he left the band, is a great thing.Overall it's worth the purchase and the added live tracks on this special addition are like having ice cream for dessert when you've just had cookies for dinner

KsE at their finest IMO

Just because some of their songs are softer then their past tunes, doesn't mean they're not metal. Metal isn't defined by screaming, or outrageously loud and in-accurate instruments. Softer songs are some of the best metal tunes I've heard. Please listen to it first if you plan on bashing them before-hand. Amazing album.


Formed: 1999 in Boston, MA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The four bandmembers who came together and created Killswitch Engage already had strong fan followings. Mike D'Antonio (bass) was formerly the leader and principal songwriter of Overcast, the legendary underground metal group. When Overcast split in 1998, D'Antonio sought for a year to find the right combination of players to fuse hardcore and metal with melody. During the summer of 1999, D'Antonio connected with Adam Dutkiewicz, who was the drummer for Aftershock, and Joel Stroetzel, Aftershock's...
Full bio
Killswitch Engage (Special Edition), Killswitch Engage
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Customer Ratings


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