Killswitch Engage
As Daylight Dies


1.5
very poor

Review

by Kyle Ward STAFF
January 16th, 2008 | 84 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


It seems that Killswitch Engage has encountered a musical roadblock. You see, it’s one thing when a band makes a copy of a good album, because generally the sound which was copied is still fresh and sounds as original as it did when it was first released. In the case of bands like Opeth, they have achieved international fame with their trademark progressive death metal sound, having refined and polished it to sound fresh and new with each album that comes out. I’m not really comparing Opeth with Killswitch Engage musically, but they seem to share the tendency to recycle their sound over and over and over, while still somehow garnering hundreds of thousands of fans around the world.

However, the difference between Opeth and Killswitch Engage in this regard is the fact that, in Killswitch’s situation, the original sound which they brought over is completely and utterly flat and boring. I know that I should never compare anything, or even mention in the same sentence the names of Opeth and Killswitch Engage, because they are totally different genres and sounds. However, this Massachusetts metalcore band has shown this tendency to bring together some good guitar riffs, smooth transitioning between growled and clean vocals, pounding drums, and the occasional guitar solo or breakdown, and mash them into a giant blur of completely incoherent, boring and, quite frankly, mainstream sound.

There is really no reason why Killswitch Engage should change their sound though, right? They have their name pasted across the minds of high school kids who really want to find something “heavy”. They have released a certified-gold album with 2004’s The End Of Heartache. They have found a new sound with that album which has pretty much helped shape the American metalcore scene. So what is next for Killswitch Engage? I’ll tell you. Next, they will release a complete trash-heap of a metalcore album which tries to have an even more mainstream sound than ever before, bearing the equally mainstream-appealing name of As Daylight Dies.

Despite the stupid an unoriginal album title, the music within is simply nothing more than a half-assed attempt at another The End Of Heartache. It’s shocking that, after just two albums, Killswitch’s sound and style has become so bland, so boring, so similar. It might be because of the countless other metalcore bands which have copied Killswitch Engage, but for some reason I take a look at As Daylight Dies and see an album by some no-name metalcore act who are trying to become the next big high-school fad.

Forget any shred of originality found on The End Of Heartache. Forget the awesome, epic buildup to the title track, “The End Of Heartache”. Forget the occasional instrumental break which helps transition from one section of the album to the next. Forget anything reminiscent of what made The End Of Heartache stand out. What is found on As Daylight Dies is just plain metalcore. No frills, no innovation, no attempt to break away and rise above the sea of other shoddy, terrible metalcore bands flooding America today. As Daylight Dies gets rid of the emotion and link between a person’s state of mind and the music, making it seem more one-dimensional and forced.

The instruments are played with a fairly average technical standpoint, which shows during most of the tracks. The guitars play what seems to be something close to the same riff during more than half of the songs, often just played at different tempos. This is especially evident during the middle of the album. The riffs in “This Is Absolution”, “Unbroken”, “For You”, “Still Beats Your Name”, “Eye Of The Storm” and “Desperate Times” all suffer from what appears to be a musical writers block, because they are neither catchy nor original, often just bowing out to a riff which amounts to nothing more than an awful sequence of guitar notes played over and over again at a fast tempo before the vocals shift the focus off the guitars so the listener does not become completely disgusted by the lack of songwriting ability.

So drags on the track, with the listener often becoming thoroughly bored and sick of the song before the bridge commences. It’s almost to the point where something out of the ordinary, like an acoustic guitar, cannot save the song from its impending doom. Each song generally follows this pattern of repetitive, terrible songwriting. With the bass lost hopelessly somewhere in the abyss behind the boring and seemingly non-skillful guitar riffing, the songs drag on through the same structure.

If you want to delve into the complicated depths of As Daylight Dies, allow me to lead you on a tour of the average song which was put on this album. Be forewarned, however, you may be tempted to fall asleep before the tour is over:

Stage I- The First Riff: As we begin our tour, you are introduced to the track by a seemingly mindless guitar riff which has been copied by at least two other metalcore songs out there, so if you have listened to even a bit of metalcore the riff is pretty generic. However, on a few occasions, such as on “The Arms Of Sorrow”, “My Curse”, or “Break The Silence” the riff may be melodic or acoustic.

Stage II- The Vocals: After the first riff subsides, the vocals enter. The verses in this album are nearly all screamed at the top of vocalist Howard Jones’ lungs at a high velocity, making the song sound so heavy and “brutal”. So the verses and the riffs go on until we reach…

Stage III- Chorus Time: Ah yes, when the chorus comes in we see the more melodic side, but not necessarily the better side, of Killswitch Engage. While the clean vocals are well performed they aren’t used to their fullest potential in creating a unique and emotional atmosphere to the album, not just one single track. The only time when the clean vocals create a sense of purpose and value is in the standout track “The Arms Of Sorrow”, when the chorus actually sounds like effort was put into it.

Stage IV- Bridge/Wind-Down: After a few choruses and a few verses, we have the bridge and, ultimately, the end of the song. After getting relatively nowhere in the song, either in musical terms or lyrical terms, the bridge either brings a breakdown or a guitar solo which ultimately wraps up the song. No breakdowns or solos stand out in particular, which makes the endings of the songs so amazingly forgettable.

While it is hard to describe the sounds of a typical song on As Daylight Dies, you will know how boring and completely average this album is. But what makes it below average is the terrible songwriting, the bizarre and illogical song placement, the seemingly irrational and run-of-the-mill lyrical content. With so many metalcore acts coming out of the United States today, it takes a hell of a lot more than this to be known as a high-class act among the imitators. Killswitch did show some potential with The End Of Heartache, but they completely and utterly destroy anything they had going with their latest album As Daylight Dies. If you are looking for an original and enjoyable take on metalcore, avoid Killswitch Engage's As Daylight Dies like the plague.

Recommended Tracks
- Arms Of Sorrow
- Break The Silence



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user ratings (2194)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Brett Tharp (4.5)
    Possibly Killswitch Engage's best moments, yet overshadowed by what came before....

    ZomarK (3.5)
    The Makings of a great album cut short by some repetition, but doesnt damper the album muc...

    fXpT (4)
    Killswitch Engage brings along some good music with there Bonus Tracks to As Daylight Dies...

    z67 (4.5)
    Killswitch is back and as good as they ever were as they deliver another stellar album. A...

  • Mike Stagno EMERITUS (3.5)
    ...

    Ed Watson (2.5)
    Average musicians playing average songs on an average album....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2008


16467 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Bring on the KSE fanboys!!!

Seriously, I liked The End Of Heartache... but this is a sorry excuse for a metalcore album.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2008


17944 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not true metal 1/5

Zoo
January 16th 2008


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

As another who detests the popularity of this album, thank you.

Check your email, by the way. I think there's something in there you'll be excited about.

Commortus
January 16th 2008


237 Comments


My Curse is on GHIII.
How long till daylight dies

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2008


16467 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

not true metal 1/5


Ummmm no. Like I stated I really liked The End Of Heartache, which is basically the same thing as this. As Daylight Dies simply The End Of Heartache without the originality. I never stated this isn't "True" metal, it is just mainstream metalcore.This Message Edited On 01.16.08

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2008


17944 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

exactly the same as TEOH but different 1/5

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2008


16467 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

This simply just didn't have that "wow factor" which TEOH had.

jrowa001
January 16th 2008


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

i hate this album, and i agree with you one many levels except that i hate all of KSE's albums

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2008


16467 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I see what you're saying, but it is very hard not to compare albums when I've seen what this band can so with a bit of inspiration.

LifeInABox
January 16th 2008


3709 Comments


End concept is kind of gay.

ColdDamnation
January 16th 2008


159 Comments


deffinitely not a 1.5, that is a biased rating. the music itself is played very well, earning it an automatic 3...anything beyond that, in my opinion, is your own hankering for metalcore. good or bad.

as long as I compare this to End of Heartache, this will suck asss however...I agree with you that the music does seem kind of stagnant...not bad, just not inspired.

BallsToTheWall
January 16th 2008


44805 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review but disagree, KSE fanboy. TEOHA is better for sure but this has it's moments. Actually, I haven't listened to this album since my graduation, I need to whip this out, Break This Silence, This Is Absolution, Through The Eye Of The Storm, and Reject Yourself rule.

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss

masscows
January 16th 2008


2236 Comments


or even mention in the same sentence the names, of Opeth and Killswitch Engage
remove comma
good review and I pretty much agree.This Message Edited On 01.16.08

LifeInABox
January 16th 2008


3709 Comments


*Break The Silence

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2008


16467 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Break The Silence is probably the other track I would recommend along with The Arms Of Sorrow.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2008


17944 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cut my life into pieces

this is my last resort

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2008


16467 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Looking at my recent ratings I see.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2008


17944 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i enjoy some papa roach now and again not gonna lye

BallsToTheWall
January 16th 2008


44805 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Who dosen't? Infest has its moments in Angels Insects, and Blood Brother as well as Last Resort which never tires over the years.

masscows
January 16th 2008


2236 Comments


lol



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