Killswitch Engage - The End of Heartache

Written by Big Smile Staff

Posted Apr 22, 2007, by Big Hoss.

Killswitch Engage has become a major contributor to the Metalcore genre with their hit "Alive or Just Breathing?". After losing their vocalist Jesse Leach after their first major release, the band picked up vocalist Howard Jones from 'Blood Has Been Shed'.

Band Line-up:
Howard Jones- Vocalist
Adam D.- Guitar and Back-up Vocalist
Justin Foley- Drums
Mike D'Atonio- Bass
Joel Stroetzel- Guitar

Is the new CD good?

"The End of Heartache" continues where "Alive or Just Breathing?" left off, with emotional Hardcore lyrics and amazing instrumentals from the band.

The one problem with "The End of Heartache" is that it doesn't set itself apart from other Metalcore acts like As I Lay Dying. Seeing as how there is an oversaturation of this genre, it tends to lose its steam rather quickly.

I will now do a rundown of the songs you'll hear on "The End of Heartache" as well as grade:

1. "A Bid Farewell" Rating: 4/5- Wow, what a way to kick off an album! "A Bid Farewell" begins with an almost tribal beat for about ten seconds when Howard does his famous scream. The bass and guitars tumble and snarl all the way in the chorus "I will bid farewell, sever the ties" with an epical feel to it. The drummer never releases you with a beat that makes you headbang until the end of the song.

2. "Take This Oath" Rating: 3.5/5- A little drum fill gives way to Howard yelling and screaming his way to the pre-chorus "Open your eyes, seek the divine, open your eyes". Adam and Joel's guitar crunches and whips all the way through. Mike's bass and Justin's drum compliments the guitars very well. The verse of this songs sounds awkward, feeling poorly written.

3. "When Darkness Falls" Rating: 4.5/5- The song that was featured on the Freddy vs. Jason soundtrack is here and with a better feel than the one on the soundtrack. Howard's vocals are outstanding on the chorus "When darkness falls, we are reborn, a dream since the fall of man". Beautiful riffs from Joel and Adam yet again prove this band is one to be reckoned with. The song finishes off and leads into the first single...

4. "Rose of Sharyn" Rating: 4.5/5- The song starts off with Howard wishing he could somehow control meet his lost love, Sharyn: "What would I give to behold, the smile, the face of love". A fantastic song that shows Killswitch Engage has a heart. A beautiful breakdown makes this song shine with "It won't be long, we'll meet again, your memory is everlasting, it won't be long, we'll meet again, my love for you is never passing."

5. "Inhale" Rating: 4/5- An instrumental that allows you a minute to catch your breathe after being smacked around by the last four songs.

6. "Breathe Life" Rating: 3.5/5- A song whose verse is weak, despite its emotionally charged beginning. Again, the chorus brings forth an epical feel "Breathe life, for you are not alone, breathe life, inside your heart of stone". Adam provides a mini solo, which unfortunately, fails to impress.

7. "The End of Heartache" Rating: 4.5/5- One of my favorite songs on this album begins with a message "Seek me, call me, I'll be waiting" which unloads double bass and a crunchy little guitar riff. Howard combines both heartfelt singing and emotional screams on the chorus "Seek me, for comfort, call me, for solace I'll be waiting, until the end of my broken heart"

8. "Declaration" Rating: 3/5- A song that lacks in the verse department and never really held onto me until, you guessed it, the chorus: "Only through dedication will I destroy any preconception"

9. "World Ablaze" Rating: 3.5/5- The awesome vocals keep me interested enough to give this song a 3.5 rating, the verse sounds weird, almost like it's too forced. The ending is a slow drum/guitar riff with "Set this world ablaze, let it all fall!"

10. "And Embers Rise" Rating: 4/5- Another instrumental to prelude the next song, great soothing guitar parts.

11. "Wasted Sacrifice" Rating: 4/5- The verse in this is hard-nosed and combined with chugging guitars and pounding drums, gives this song a great feel to it. The chorus of "There is, no forever, just today" reminds us that we should not waste our lives, since there is no forever.

12. "Hope Is..." Rating: 4/5- A hearty fill of consistant double bass kicks off this anthem of unity. Howard does his job and allows us to headbang with every word he screams. "Weep no more, we will prevail, greive no more, we will prevail". This is a no holds-barred closer, an epic for the ages.

As you can tell, Killswitch Engage enhanced the choruses at the expense of the verses. Does it work? Yes and no. Regardless, this CD definitely packs a punch any fan of Metalcore is sure to enjoy.



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