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As Daylight Dies

Killswitch Engage

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Album Review

Ever since Killswitch Engage lead vocalist Howard Jones began alternating his sung voice with his screamed one, the band's depth and dimension grew exponentially. There's plenty of brutal, pummeling death metal, blastbeats and the like, but there is texture in the attack too. This is a band who has been consistent in their approach, and in delivering the goods, but As Daylight Dies is perhaps their strongest moment so far. The songs are dynamite: check the combination of texture, riffs and melody in "This Is Absolution"; by the time they get to the chorus, it's all over; an anthem. The unbridled chaos of "Unbroken" reveals that they haven't traveled far from their roots; in fact, they've dug deeper, if that's possible, despite becoming better musicians. "Eye of the Storm" is just over the top. This is the sound of both the Apocalypse and the Second Coming rolled into one. The tight, turn on a dime stops and starts in the verse and the all-out roar of the refrains and the guitar break are the stuff of heavy metal legend. If the cynics don't get it by now, they never will. For the rest, this is the album to come into the tent with. Mastodon may have convinced just about everyone with Blood Mountain, but this is a Top Five metal candidate of 2006 for sure.

Customer Reviews

Progression

As Daylight Dies is an album that anyone would conceivably believe to be the next natural progression for the band that literally INVENTED harmonic metal. Killswitch Engage opened the floodgates for a phenomenal music style, and this album shows that they still have the edge. Many bands sing when they want, and scream when they can't sing. They do it for the sole noise and effect. Killswitch is quite the opposite. Every note that Howard hits and every scream he makes is precise and necessary. When he screams, it's the time for it, and when he sings, it fits the music to the note. There is nothing out of place in this album. When it comes to the music and the rythm, the band is always on. They make music, not noise. The notes are precise with powerful guitar solos and effective backup melodies. The bass line drives in a subtle way, but complements the music so that without it, the music would not be whole. Other bands just make bass as filler, but not Killswitch. The Bass is integral to the overall formation of the music. The drumming is intense and strong, and always original. There is no "excess" in the drums, which is often the case with metal bands as they tend to have 37 cymbals and 12 floor toms just to make noise. Killswitch uses every instrument, every drum, and every percussive object and insterts the sounds into the music in such a way as to drive the music and lead, while at the same time, complementing the vocals and not taking over. One thing that makes Killswitch Engage the phenoms that they are is their ability to segue their music into their melodic choruses, and then to close them and bring them back to the song. The musical bridges are highlighted by singing, but they know when to just let go and wail on the axe and keep the vocals silent. In short, this is pure rock. Pure.

If you don't listen to Killswitch Engage, you will be "cursed"

It's funny how I was turned on to Killswitch Engage. I went to a concert to see the band Dragonforce who was opening for Killswitch. Turned out Killswitch became my main love. Howard Jones (the lead vocalist) puts on an amazing performance--his voice is powerful, convincing, and genuine. His hopeful, uplifting, and spirited lyrics fell upon my ears like a rainstorm in a desert. I was replenished by the honesty of this band who doesn't rely on the all-too-hackneyed crutches of Satanism, paganism, hatred or societal malice to bring crowds to the mosh pit like so many other metalcore bands. As I stood, helplessly captive by KE's music in the midst of a tidal wave of angsty, behemoth descendants of great viking lords of northern European origin, it was an eerie, numbing sensation that crawled over me, releasing me into the primordial soup of my soul's rebirth. The sound around me sort of faded out--this I remember distinctly--and the music entered me directly. It was sort of like being in a coastal cave and hearing the distant thundering of the ocean through the rock. That's the best I can describe it. The themes that consume the vast majority of hard rock and metal albums are usually dark, satanic, or full of despair. Killswitch Engage is one of the few hard rock bands who dares to defy convention and push the envelop, a challenge especially evident in "My Curse", my favorite track on the album, where Howard Jones elicits frighteningly anguished and heart-wrenching screams that echo of the "haunting silence", the "hunger" and "helplessness" the lyrics detail. Yet, despite all of the feelings of a soul withering and the endless ache, the love endures; it remains, and does not fade away, and THAT (not the shattering of love) is the curse he must learn to bear. This is, quite possibly, the album of the year.

My Curse

No need for a review, just buy.

Biography

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...
Full Bio

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