Engage – The End Of Heartache
The Hobo Review
Engage – The End Of Heartache
For Fans Of:
A Bid Farewell, Hope Is…
If you haven't heard of Killswitch Engage
then you must have been living under a rock for the past few years (which,
is not necessarily a bad thing). This is because during those past few
years, Killswitch have experienced a rapid and much deserved rise to fame.
After finishing a highly successful Ozzfest tour and a hectic run of assorted
other tours, the band headed back to the studio in order to write and record
the follow-up to 2002's acclaimed sophomore release, ‘Alive Or Just Breathing?'
For those of you who are unfamiliar with
the band, Killswitch are another one of those hardcore-meet-melody
acts, but - unlike most – they manage to pull it off with style, finesse
and even credibility. If you're still having trouble imagining their music
in your limited-capacity mind, think of Lamb Of God, Shadows Fall and Soilwork,
with more softer, melodic passages acting as bridges between chunky-arsed
metal riffing and catchy double-kick drumming patterns.
Since the last album, the Killswitch boys
have a few major changes. Gone now is vocalist Jesse Leech (who left the
band literally two weeks after the completion of AOJB), replaced now with
Howard Jones (formerly of Blood Has Been Shed), bringing with him Blood
Has Been Shed's ex-drummer Justin Foley.
Oddly enough, old fans couldn't have hoped
for a better result. Despite losing a major band member, Killswitch sound
tighter, harder, and more at ease than ever before. Stylistically the band
has refused to change one iota – to some minor detriment. While Killswitch
has been hailed by the majority of mainstream media as the forefront of
the ‘New Wave Of American Metal', the major drawback for playing easily
identifiable, mid-tempo metal can be heard after several spins of the disc.
How many riffs-against-double-bass can the band create without sound derivative?
How does one stop a fairly predictable structure from forcing the band
into a spiral of uncreative, sterile, indifference?
With ‘The End Of Heartache', Killswitch
have hit the metal-listening public with another solid release. While not
groundbreaking as such, the refinement of style has brought the guys another
step forward in the mainstream metal world. The single flaw on the album
however, lies in the over-use of dramatized, emotion-laden choruses. While
Dutkiewicz's production has assisted by means of layering and dynamic vocal
chords, some melodic passages come off as too emo-core for this particular
Slowly all the choruses begin to sound
exactly like the one from the track previous - and with that comes an element
of predictability that I have managed to develop certain distaste for.
From a fan's point-of-view, the band has not failed to evolve to the detriment
of their style – but from a music critic's viewpoint – taking the entire
metal scene into account – Killswitch only represent a new breed of bastardized,
At times the album cites moments of genius,
but at others the music slips into a painful cycle of mediocratic formula.
In these down periods emotion and power take a backseat to complexity and
repetition, giving an almost claustrophobic effect. Killswitch have obviously
thrust themselves into the catch 22 situation of changing-without-change
– their success to date relying so heavily on their signature entrapping
formulaic sound that will soon seal their downfall.
No doubt, fans will praise this album
as they did the last, but those who were not wooed by the catchy bursts
of melody between the grinding guitar work from the first two albums are
unlikely to change their minds.
CD Info and Links
1.A Bid Farewell
2.Take This Oath
3.When Darkness Falls
4.Rose Of Sharyn
7.The End Of Heartache
10.And Embers Rise
to samples and Purchase this CD online