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CD Review: Killswitch Engage – The End of Heartache

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For awhile now, people have been recommending that I check out this band called Killswitch Engage. I was like “Yeah, yeah…” and pretty much just shrugged them off. There are just so many recent metal acts that just don’t deliver, I didn’t really want to be disappointed. I heard them on the Freddy vs. Jason soundtrack, and thought it was a pretty good track, but still, it didn’t make much of an impression. Finally, I gave in and decided to check out their latest release, The End of Heartache.

I slipped it into the player, hit play, and was completely blown away. Where have I been? Why didn’t I listen sooner and pick up the album? How did these guys slip past under my radar? Questions I simply cannot answer. But, I will say that this is one incredible album, and probably one of the best metal releases of the past year.

The music is simultaneously bone crushing and melodic. There are not that many bands that can claim mastery over this style, but Killswitch Engage is one of them. They remind me a lot of Fear Factory, although not quite as industrial, yet similar in style. Leading with a two guitar attack from Adam Dutkiewicz and Joel Stroetzel, providing riffs that are as heavy as they come, yet softer melodic harmonies co-exist as well. The backbone is supplied by new drummer Justin Foley, punishing the drumkit and keeping up with the guitars. Mike D’Antonio lays down the bass groove, the glue holding it together. And on top of all that are the soaring vocals of new addition Howard Jones, who can sing and scream with the best of them. Taken together what you get is one of the best metal units around. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to “discover” them.

Even while playing it for just the first time, I found myself singing, or at least trying or humming, ahh you know what I mean, along with it. it was just so easy to get into it, the music sounded so familiar, it just slips right into place.

A few tracks stand above the rest. The first one to jump out is also the first track of the album, and a perfect example of the melodic/heavy mix. The song is “A Bid Farewell.” A few other notable tracks include “When Darkness Falls” and “World Ablaze.” I don’t want to come off as too enthusiastic, but this is am excellent metal release.

Bottomline. Any self respecting metalhead should have this album, or be in the process of acquiring a copy. Now I just need to check out their past albums. This band is poised to leap to the top of the metal heap.

Highly Recommended.

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  • Brad

    fear factory and killswitch engage are my 2 favorite bands but there styles arnt similar why do u think that?

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris

    To me they do have some similarities, they are both very distinct, but as I listened to KE, I couldn’t help but think of them as a rawer version of FF.

  • Ed

    I agree completely. Well… okay, except for the Fear Factory bit. They could possibly be similar, but do seem more opposite really. I suppose because of the vocal differences. Then again, at the moment, I only have one Fear Factory album. Archetype.

    I pretty much bought it on a whym. Definitely a lucky find.

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris

    Fear Factory is one of my all time favorite acts. I would recommend that you check out Demanufacture and Obsolete, great disks!

  • http://profiles.myspace.com/users/5817341 Tim

    I want to put the “end of a heart ache” video or “world ablaze” song from KE on my myspace page.. but i cant find the video codes anywhere for KE.. can someone let me know where i can find it please.. thanks.. e-mail me

  • Matt

    When I first heard the song “End of Heartache” I immediately thought it was Mike Patton from Faith No More.

    Don’t know who that is.. get one of their albums.. and while I don’t think the uncanny similarity is intentional it is exact.. and that is not easy.
    This is the direction that they needed to go a long time ago.

    This album could be the keystone to keep metals head above water or be the building block to go back to where real metal started. Great raw sound, heavy guitars, highly talented vocals and brutal drums.. all the things that metal started with.

  • chad

    just bought the cd. the funny thing is, i always thought i would hate them. but i heard “a bid farewell” on fuse one time and i instantly picked up the cd. that song is honestly that good. definately a pick up for any person who loves to rock out. awesome guitar lics and the singer is overall good.