KILLSWITCH ENGAGE – Killswitch Engage

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE - Killswitch Engage
  • 7/10
    KILLSWITCH ENGAGE - Killswitch Engage - 7/10


Roadrunner Records
Release date: June 29, 2009

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Killswitch Engage is known as one of the founders of the Metalcore genre. They have sold millions of records worldwide, and now, three years after their previous release, they are back with their fifth full-length record. The band was formed in 1998 and released their first (and self-titled) record, Killswitch Engage, in 2000. Their new album is also self-titled, and according to vocalist Howard Jones there are two reasons why they decided to call the album Killswitch Engage; they couldn’t agree on any other title and they thought a self-titled record could symbolize that they were aiming for a fresh start.

Songs like the album opener “Never Again” and “The Forgotten” are a breath of fresh air from the band. The songs are very aggressive and heavy, and filled with complex and rhythmic riffs. Not all of the songs are as in-your-face like these two. “The Return” and “A Light In A Darkened World” are good songs that combine an aggressive mood and calm, semi-acoustic parts with greatness. The album closer, “This Is Goodbye,” brings an almost epic vibe to the record and it’s definitely a worthy way to close the album. It’s by far one of the greatest tracks on this record.

While there are great songs here, there are also some real blasts from the past that aren’t as inventive as the other tracks. The song “Starting Over” is a more traditional Metalcore song, and with cheesy twin guitar harmonies, galloping guitar riffs and the traditional usage of clean vs. scream vocals it doesn’t bring anything new. The elements mentioned can be great in songs if they are used the right way, but the way they use it here is more a way of driving safe and not taking chances. The song isn’t that bad, but it’s just not as interesting because there are hundreds of songs just like this out there.

The guitar work on this release is amazing and can bring your thoughts to the music of In Flames at times. However, the drums are a bit boring. It seems drummer Justin Foley has found a formula he likes and is sticking to it. You can pretty much hear the same breaks over and over and there isn’t much variation in his style.

The album was produced by Brendan O’Brien (AC/DC, Rage Against The Machine) and co-produced by the band’s guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz. The overall production is amazing. It’s really hard-hitting with a lot of weight on the kick drum, toms and the guitars. The vocals are crystal clear and the aggressiveness of the band’s sound is done justice.

All in all, there’s a lot of good music on this release. Some of the songs are great, but for the most part the band sticks to the same patterns they’ve used for their previous albums. It’s not a great release, but it’s above average.


  • Kristian Singh-Nergård

    Kristian is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He is Metal Express Radio's Marketing and Communications Manager, and on occasions also reviewer and photographer. Based out of Oslo, Norway, Kristian is a bass player and owner of the independent record label Pug-Nose Records. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2006.

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