Dawn of a New Day
Killswitch Engage have always been masters of the heavy/melodic balance. The End of Heartache, their 2004 masterpiece saw the band step up a notch, but it is this, their fourth album, As Daylight Dies, that sees the band truly step into the fore of the metalcore scene.
Album opener 'Daylight Dies' sets the scene, a brutal collision of melody and fast paced guitars. Finally, it seems that Killswitch Engage have captured the boundless energy and excitement that characterises their live shows in the studio. Effortlessly, the song descends into 'This is Absolution', a slightly rougher, track overall that still contains a deliciously tranquil breakdown midway. Killswitch Engage are living proof you don't have to scream all the time to sound like you're passionate about what you're singing about.
'The Arms of Sorrow' is another blinding track that showcases the band's artful blend of noise and harmony. 'My Curse', the first single to be taken from the album, is probably the equivalent of 'The End of Heartache'. Beginning slowly before the trademark Killswitch guitars kick in, paving the way for anguished vocals from Howard Jones. It's a song that shows just how diverse this band really are- for Killswitch Engage are not just another metalcore band that scream and shout. Buried deep in their riffs and devastating drumwork are real thoughts and feelings that are actually tangible. Whereas many bands could be creating music about anything, Killswitch force the listener to feel as they feel, to empathise with the band's sense of urgency.
'Still Beats Your Name' is a fast-paced track that shows off the band's ability to work at great speeds. It's certainly one of the heavier moments, Jones' voice billowing smoothly other jagged guitars and spiky drum work. The result is a highly powerful track that could easily slice your heart in two. 'Eye of the Storm' sounds vicious and lives up to its name, but on closer inspection the vocals are more proof that Killswitch Engage are able to fuse emotion with the kind of pounding, thick-set music that is destined to be adored by huge crowds.
Killswitch Engage are playing at the Brixton Academy in January, and it's about time too, for this is a band who are moving onwards and upwards. The End of Heartache saw them pack out the London Astoria and As Daylight Dies will see the band fill the Brixton Academy. Dismiss Killswitch Engage as another noisy hardcore band at your peril, for there is far, far more to the band than their killer riffs. Beneath that muscular sound lies a heart that continues to pulse life into the hardcore scene.