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Killswitch Engage - As Daylight Dies Review

by Dan Upton

When it comes to the big players in metalcore "the new wave of American heavy metal," I was a little indifferent to Killswitch Engage. Sure, I have their breakthrough disc Alive or Just Breathing on my shelf, and I've listened to "My Last Serenade" more times than I care to count, but I was always more into Shadows Fall and, to a lesser extent, Lamb of God. That said, As Daylight Dies might convert me to listening to Killswitch more often.

The disc starts off with "Daylight Dies," a slow-burning buildup into what turns into alternating between a galloping chug and a catchy grooving riff. Howard Jones, of course, runs the gamut on the track (and the rest of the CD) between his melodic vocals, hardcore shouts, and the growled vocals. Guitarists Adam Dutkiewicz and Joel Stroetzel serve up riffs aplenty on the disc ranging from the mostly functional on "This is Absolution" to fast and catchy on tracks like "Eye of the Storm" and "Break The Silence." Are metal purists going to say "Oh, they just ripped off In Flames for that song?" Okay, maybe, but they still sound good. And for fans of previous tracks like "My Last Serenade," there's this disc's ballad in "The Arms of Sorrow."

Back in November, Howard Jones commented that metalcore was dead or at least on its way out. If that's the case, I think this disc shows them moving in a direction to avoid the death of the genre. Don't get me wrong, there's still plenty of the metalcore hallmarks, but there also seems to be a move toward dropping the -core part. Personally, I'd prefer it if they would go almost totally clean on the vocals, even on the heaviest songs, because I just like his voice better like that, but maybe that's just me. At any rate, the end result is a disc full of heavy yet melodic songs that should please current KSE fans and might draw back some people disenfranchised with the genre as well.

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Killswitch Engage - As Daylight Dies


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