KILLSWITCH ENGAGE are one of the few really positive appearances in last years’ modern Metal. The second album “Alive Or Just Breathing” from 2002 already hit the scene like a bomb. These days the band is there again with their new vocalist Howard Jones (came for Jesse Leach) to hit us with a true killer album.
The new masterpiece is called “The End Of Heartache“ and offers an excellent mix of modern Metal and Hardcore. On killer songs like “A Bid Farewell”, “Rose Of Sharyn” or “Breathe Life” clenched anger, sadness and wonderful guitar melodies collide in a way that just makes your flesh creep. New fronter Howard Jones isn’t second at all to his predecessor in terms of intensity. During the verses he roars and shrieks out his anger hardcore-like just to change to emotional clean vocals in the choruses. This vocal roller coaster ride alone already makes the record a power package full of moods. Joining this is the very varied guitar work of Joel Stroetzel and Adam Dutkjewicz as well as the infernally grooving rhythm section Mike D’Antonio (bass) and Justin Foley (drums) who make the total work a real highlight. KILLSWITCH ENGAGE manage to blend classic Metal elements and modern tunes perfectly and to express the exact emotions described in the lyrics through their music. All this is accompanied by a mightily blistering sound that sounds neither over-produced nor too polished. Among the twelve tracks there’s not a single flop to be found but several killers. Besides the already above-mentioned songs it’s especially “Declaration” and “Inhale”, that is quite harshly straight forward after a calm intro, which appealed to me. But like I said, the rest isn’t bad as well.
For me, “The End Of Heartache“ is one of the biggest surprises in 2004 up till now. I wouldn’t have thought that KILLSWITCH ENGAGE were able to become that much better. The record is definitely getting a place in my personal top ten towards the end of the year. Every banger who likes the modern sharp school and is open for a wide spectrum should get “The End…”. No matter if Thrasher, Melodic Deather, Nu Metal hopper or Hardcorer, this has to be bought! However I advise yesterdayers against this hammer! Your head would explode!
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