KILLSWITCH ENGAGE
Metalcore • United States

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Killswitch Engage is a metalcore band from Westfield, Massachusetts, United States.

Their sound mixes crushing riffs, double bass drum patterns, furious screaming-growling vocals and a dash of melodic elements. Their music is heavily influenced by the hardcore music scene. A key feature of the band's sound is the use of complex palm muting, single-note and power chord riffs featuring dual-guitar harmonies, often punctuated with pinch harmonic squeals.

Following the demise of his band Overcast in 1998, bassist Mike D'Antonio trawled the underground Massachusetts hardcore and heavy metal scene in search of a line-up for a new band. In 1999, D'Antonio met Adam Dutkiewicz and Joel Stroetzel, Aftershock's guitarists. Dutkiewicz became the drummer, while Stroetzel remained on guitar. The trio searched for a vocalist and eventually hired Jesse Leach, formerly of Corrin and Nothing Stays Gold. The now four member band took the name of "Killswitch Engage", a name proposed by
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End of HeartacheEnd of Heartache
Roadrunner Records 2004
Audio CD$3.72
$0.47 (used)
As Daylight DiesAs Daylight Dies
Roadrunner Records 2006
Audio CD$1.54
$0.91 (used)
Disarm The Descent (Special Edition CD+DVD)Disarm The Descent (Special Edition CD+DVD)
Roadrunner Records 2013
Audio CD$6.09
$5.09 (used)
Alive Or Just BreathingAlive Or Just Breathing
Roadrunner Records 2002
Audio CD$3.51
$2.75 (used)
Killswitch EngageKillswitch Engage
Roadrunner Records 2009
Audio CD$3.02
$1.93 (used)
Killswitch Engage (Reis)Killswitch Engage (Reis)
Ferret 2000
Audio CD$10.00
$0.27 (used)
Killswitch Engage: Set This World AblazeKillswitch Engage: Set This World Ablaze
Multiple Formats
Roadrunner Records 2005
DVD$7.37
$0.01 (used)
THE END OF HEARTACHE: 2CD SPECIAL EDITIONTHE END OF HEARTACHE: 2CD SPECIAL EDITION
UNIVERSAL MUSIC JAPAN
Audio CD$19.94 (used)
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KILLSWITCH ENGAGE Discography

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Killswitch Engage
Metalcore 2000
.. Album Cover 3.99 | 7 ratings
Alive or Just Breathing
Metalcore 2002
.. Album Cover 3.87 | 10 ratings
The End of Heartache
Metalcore 2004
.. Album Cover 3.52 | 10 ratings
As Daylight Dies
Metalcore 2006
.. Album Cover 4.13 | 8 ratings
Killswitch Engage (2009)
Metalcore 2009
.. Album Cover 4.51 | 3 ratings
Disarm the Descent
Metalcore 2013

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KILLSWITCH ENGAGE live albums

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
(Set This) World Ablaze
Metalcore 2005

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.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Killswitch Engage: Set This World Ablaze
Metalcore 2005

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE Reviews

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE Disarm the Descent

Album · 2013 · Metalcore
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kingcrimsonprog
Killswitch Engage are a melodic Metalcore band from Massachusettes, and Disarm The Descent is their fifth full-length studio album (sixth, if you count the band’s half-hour self-titled debut effort from 2000).

It was released in 2013, following-up 2009’s self-titled record. It was produced by the band’s guitarist, backing vocalist and former drummer Adam Dutkiewicz and mixed by Andy Sneap. Like most of the band’s releases, the artwork was handled by bassist Mike D’Antonio.

After three albums with Howard Jones in the lead vocal position, Disarm The Descent sees the return of the band’s original singer Jesse Leech, who had last held that position on 2002’s Alive Or Just Breathing album, (although he had periodically turned up in guest appearances, live shows and side projects in the intervening years)

The album opens up with blasts and angular Swedish sounding music, like some of the band’s earliest work, but soon returns to the sound that you’d expect from the band at this stage in their career. They are one of the genre’s pioneers and over their career have developed an easily identifiable signature sound, that makes a welcome return, however the band seem to have attempted to bring back a bit of the bite and edge of their early days to avoid sounding too polished and smoothed-down.

The album runs a lot of the same course that the band have covered before. Throughout the record, there are triumphant sounding lead guitar lines, flashy solos, crunchy breakdowns and a mixture of precision riffing with uplifting melodic moments. There’s the fast, spidery touches and hammering double kicks on ‘New Awakening,’ there’s a slower moody moment with ‘Always’ and there’s the aforementioned blasts and Gothenburg influences on tracks like ‘The Hell In Me’ and ‘All That We Have.’

The lead single ‘In Due Time’ is a good taster of the album as a whole. Most of the elements that the album covers are present to some degree or other within its duration and it gives you a good measure of what the band and Jesse sound like at this moment in time, which in a word would be “revitalized.”

One area in which the album really shines is in the lead guitar work. Its seems like an extra special effort has gone into making impressive sounding guitar solos, and making them in large numbers. The vocals are also noteworthy. Extra care and attention has been put into the layering and combination of differing varieties of screams, shrieks, growls, shouts and singing.

While the record still sounds unmistakably like Killswitch Engage, most of the music on the album is in the higher end of the tempo range that the band work in. Its main mode is ‘fast,’ and this combined with the studious approaches to lead guitar and vocal layering give the album its unique selling point among the rest of the band’s catalougue.

Album highlights include ‘A Tribute To The Fallen,’ ‘No End In Sight’ and ‘Time Will Not Remain.’

Overall; If you want a collection of brief, punchy, Melodic Metalcore songs then you could do worse in 2013 than checking out Disarm The Descent. Its consistent, it sounds great and it delivers exactly what you want from the band with a slight twist and the right kind of energy.

**Oh, and if you found this review by search engine, when you discover it again on Amazon it is me posting it. It hasn’t been copied and pasted off here by a stranger, I post my reviews on Amazon as ‘Gentlegiantprog “Kingcrimsonprog.”’ So please don’t unhelpful-vote it because you thought it was stolen from me.**

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE As Daylight Dies

Album · 2006 · Metalcore
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kingcrimsonprog
The Massachusetts based Killswitch Engage are one of the best loved Metalcore bands out there at the moment. Its not difficult to see why, with the gigantic riffs, the interesting lyrics and the absolutely fantastic vocals.

Howard Jones quite simply has one of the best voices in metal, an absolutely majestic singing voice and all the furious bark and shout you would expect for the heavy sections. The integration of Howard's outstanding vocals into the band's perfect light and shade formula make Killswitch Engage one of the most vital and important bands out there.

Even on first listen this album grabbed me, straight away I knew it was amazing and every time you replay it, the music washes over you from beginning to end. The band's last three albums, were genuinely brilliant and this is no exception, with a real step up in musicianship and songwriting.

The guitars have never been this fast or technical and the drums are even more powerful and authoritative than before. The band just seem to have kicked up a gear as musicians each seeming to have a more complete mastery of their instrument than on any previous album. The vocals have similarly never sounded better with the vocals on the songs `Arms of Sorrow,' and `This is Absolution,' being career highlights. This also includes Adam D's superb backing vocals which are simply incredible cementing many sections as standout moments.

The sound on the album is all incredibly good, nicely complimenting a good set of very well written songs. Standout tracks include the previously mentioned songs `The Arms of Sorrow,' and `This is Absolution,' which so perfectly encapsulate all that Killswitch do well; heavy in just the right ways, anthemic in the choruses and full of catchy staccato rhythms . Other highlights include the typically immense `Still Beats Your Name,' and the single `My Curse.'

In fact this can be said of every song on the album, the more you listen to it the more you like it, all the clever drum fills and vocal hooks make themselves known and after a few listens the album feels like a real classic. If you like Killswitch you simply will not be disappointed.

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE Killswitch Engage (2009)

Album · 2009 · Metalcore
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kingcrimsonprog
Killswitch have a formula that is refined with each album release, Their latest album takes the trademark Killswitch sound and cleans it up a bit; The songs are slicker and more professional than ever before, and while at first listen this may make you cry 'Sell Out,' you soon realize that this album is simply amazing, some of the most powerful music the band has ever produced.

Musically once you get used to the slight change in direction you will find some incredibly catchy, heavy and overall enjoyable music with opening trio of the fast and heavy 'Never Again,' the perfect single 'Reckoning,' and the classy 'Starting Over,' being three of the best Killswitch songs to date.

The whole album blazes by in a storm of speedy guitar harmonies and virtuosic Adam D solos, Incredibly tight bass and drums and some of the most haunting vocals metal music has to offer. Howard Jones has improved so greatly its unbelievable, his vocal performance on 'This is Goodbye,' is so indescribably good while songs like 'Reckoning,' and 'I Would Do Anything,' keep the previous style alive and as good as ever.

The album gets better on every listen, with new little arpeggios or drum fills revealing themselves, until the whole album is stuck in your head. If you like Killswitch Engage this album is far from a disappointment, in fact I can't imagine a better follow up to 'As Day Light Dies,' just listen to 'The Forgotten,' mix chugging riffs, uplifting guitar harmonies, catchy choruses and heavy double kick drum filled verses giving way to an awesome break down and you'll realize that just because the lyrics are a little different and the production is a little slicker, Killswitch have lost none of their edge.

In summary, Ignore the bad reviews calling this album a departure or a sell out and give it a chance, you'll be more than glad you did.

The Bonus Track 'In A Dead World,' is fantastic, generally heavier than the rest of the album and pretty complex too, I'm surprised it was cut as its definitely one of the best songs on this CD. The Live songs are worth a listen or two but aren't exactly essential. The Bonus DVD is a complete waste of money however, a few half-hearted interviews aboard a tour bus, with no footage of the band writing or recording the album, very disappointing given the high quality of their (Set This) World Ablaze documentary.

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE The End of Heartache

Album · 2004 · Metalcore
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Kingcrimsonprog
Well it’s been nine years since Howard joined Killswitch Engage, and seven years since 2004′s ‘End Of Heartache,’ so all the initial feelings of the lineup change can be laid to rest and we can all look back with fresh eyes at an absolute genre classic. Great music, great vocals and great production, The End Of Heartache has it all.

Chugging riffs, uplifting guitar harmonies, catchy choruses and heavy double kick drum filled verses have always been the Killswitch sound, but that style sounds particularly fresh and inventive here. The music is so well written, thoughtful and just plain good that it’s not hard to see why the bands are so successful. The production is also amazing, which is especially impressive when you think that it was self produced, with guitarist Adam D handling a lot of the responsibilities in the studio.

We all remember what an upset was created back when Howard joined the band but newcomers will likely wonder what all the fuss was about, with a singer this talented it’s really difficult to find fault. Howard Jones quite simply has one of the best voices in metal, an absolutely majestic singing voice and all the furious bark and shout you would expect for the heavy sections. The integration of Howard’s outstanding vocals into the band’s perfect light and shade formula make Killswitch Engage one of the most vital and important bands out there. Sure, the vocal style isn’t identical to Alive or Just Breathing and you may notice a slight change in how things are done however, you still get Adam D’s excellent backing vocals so the change is not as extreme as it could have been. Former vocalist, Jesse Leach, even appears on `Take This Oath,’ delivering both a message of `no hard feelings,’ and a fantastic vocal performance.

Adam and Joel have a really enjoyable style of playing that mixes Fear Factory influenced playing with twin guitar harmonies in a very particular fashion that not many bands can successfully replicate; heavy, full of catchy staccato rhythms and laced in melody and emotion. The album contains a lot of the finest work Killswitch have ever done and of course the concert favourite singles `End of Heartache’ and `Rose Of Sharyn.’

Standout tracks include the previously mentioned song `Take This Oath,’ the very enjoyable `A Bid Farewell,’ which so perfectly encapsulate that Killswitch style and the really heavy yet typically melodic `When Darkness Falls.’

The End Of Heartache is a undeniably classic album, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE Alive or Just Breathing

Album · 2002 · Metalcore
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Kingcrimsonprog
When you look back at 2002's Alive Or Just Breathing it's difficult to believe just how well this seminal and genre defining album has aged. Even now the music is just so fresh and exciting, who can listen to the crushing `Self Revolution,' without judging it an absolute genre classic ? Great music, great vocals and great production, the song is absolutely huge in every way, from the battery of the kick drum patterns to the very heavy riffs then the emotional impact of the well thought out and interesting lyrics. The whole album is so clever, balancing between light and shade in a way that no other band even gets close to.

Chugging riffs, uplifting guitar harmonies, catchy choruses and heavy double kick drum filled verses have always been the Killswitch sound, but this album is heavier and harsher than the bands later work, with songs like `Just Barely Breathing,' and especially `To The Sons Of Man,' having a much more aggressive and brasher sound than you may be expecting . The music is so well written, thoughtful and just plain good that it's not hard to see why the band eventually became so successful.

The production is also amazing, the guitar sound is gigantic and the kick drum beaters absolutely pound your speakers, which is especially impressive when you think that it was self produced, with current guitarist (then drummer) Adam D handling a lot of the responsibilities in the studio as well as musically.

Adam is responsible for touches of piano, the superb heavy hitting and kick pedal abusing drum performance as well as a number of guitar riffs that would hint at his future position. On top of all that you still get Adam D's excellent backing vocals which are so good they always become a real highlight of any Killswitch song.

Pete Cortese, Adam Dutkiewicz and Joel Stroezel have a distinctive playing style which mixes Fear Factory influenced staccato rhythms with quick twin guitar harmonies in a very particular fashion that is laced with both melody and agression. The album contains a lot of the finest work Killswitch have ever done, which still grace Killswitch concerts to this day such as the singles `Fixation of Darkness' and `My Last Serenade.'

Standout tracks include the brilliant fan favourite `Life To Lifeless,' the unique and ever enjoyable opener `Numbered Days' and the previously mentioned ` Just Barely Breathing,' which remains to this day one of the heaviest songs in the Killswitch catalougue.

Alive Or Just Breathing is a undeniably classic album, and I can't recommend it highly enough.

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