Killswitch Engage – Killswitch Engage

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE is back, and while their formula hasn’t changed much, the band remains consistent, because they know their sound, and they know it well.  Their 2009 self-titled Roadrunner Records release debuted on the Billboard Charts at #7, selling 58,000+ copies its first week, and marks the band’s highest charting album.  Congrats guys!  Their songwriting is still strong and though they don’t reinvent the wheel, they do know how to make the most out of their melodies to create an album worth of songs.  There are plenty of sing-a-longs, plus enough metallic kick to keep one interested.

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE still brings those catchy choruses, melodic verses, and when they get heavier, they can show an expertise in that area as well.  The vocal power Howard Jones is amazing, whether he’s screaming his guts out, or singing his heart out.  Whether or not that style is your cup of tea, you must admit he does it well, and plays it in advantage to get the most out of the band’s music.

The album opens with the brutal bursts of “Never Again” in the intro, which will hook you right away into the new KILLSWITCH ENGAGE album!  The verses gallop furiously with some great double bass drum accents, and the chorus is how you’d expect it: catchy.  The guitar solo behind a brutal rhythm is a treat for sure, and “Never Again” closes with a bang.

As the album moves on, some interesting rhythms are introduced like in “I Would Do Anything”, and some great riffing in mood setting anthem and album closer “This Is Goodbye”.  Their self-titled album also brings in some of their traditional metalcore roots with blistering tracks like “Reckoning”, while adding a little extra push.  Their power ballad streak does continue where “The Return” continues on their [The End Of Heartache -> My Curse] path.  Ultimately within their growth, the band has taken some elements of all their past work and bundled it up into one.

Generally, the guys are still playing it safe, but I suppose as metal goes sometimes, better safe than sorry.  Hopefully next time we see the band break out in some more ways, while keeping the formula they’ve created for themselves.  But for now, check out the album, for it does deserve your attention.  Since not much has changed, you might not be  completely stunned at first, but this is one you’ll have to let grow on you, for it’s the band’s songwriting that is their strength.  And if you are a die hard KILLSWITCH ENGAGE fan, you’re for sure going to love this one.


Rating: 7.5/10
Label: Roadrunner Records

By Alex Gilbert

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