Killswitch Engage
Killswitch Engage II


2.5
average

Review

by Thompson D. Gerhart STAFF
July 5th, 2009 | 15 replies | 6,442 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A flub, pure and simple. Let's hope Killswitch Engage re-evaluate their "new direction" and choose to go back in the "old direction."

Consider the past albums released by Killswitch and there was almost always something innovative, or, at the very least, intriguing about their releases. Alive or Just Breathing had the spectacular contrast of the crushingly heavy with the light, almost crystaline riffs contained in songs like "My Last Serenade" or "Inhale." The End of Heartache seemed to have the perfect blend of screams and cleans, heaviness and melodic sections through and through. As Daylight Dies tread a bit in the wrong direction with a reduction in the harsh portions of the music and a rise in the number of clean and melodic sections. Looking back, we should have taken this as the sign that Killswitch Engage were moving into the territory of mainstream metal.

Their fourth release, a second self-titled album seems to follow a precedent set by their first self-titled album, a lack of Adam D. While on their first self-titled release, Adam D. performed on the drums rather than the guitars, this time his presence is lacking in the backing vocals department. On their first release, his absence on guitars made a marked difference between it and the rest of the discography. Throughout this album, it seems there is not a single song where the previously common vocal overlap of Howard Jones and Adam D. graces the listener's ear, and it makes a very negative impact upon the record.

While the paradigm shift in the sound of the album, perhaps a shift even incorporating the mistake of reducing Adam's vocal passages, seems to be planned and the stand out failure of the album, there a few more issues.

The album starts rather strong, with the opening track, "Never Again" entering with a sound similar to (no, wait, almost exactly the same as) a slowed down version of the intro to "World Ablaze." It is simultaneously in this fact that the first half of the album draws its strength and its weakness. It draws its strength from being music cut from the same cloth, from being recognizable and, dare I say, decent to good.

However, it draws its weakness in that it is the head of the snake eating its tail. Killswitch Engage are recycling the same material that encompassed the majority of their last two studio albums. Again, this is sans Adam's vocals - making their impression of themselves decidedly worse.

Following "Reckoning" the album seems to become hit or miss with, well, not even the tracks, but more the specific musical tidbits within them. From the start of a song, you may be cringing or getting into the groove, when the track will re-polarize itself in the other direction, either giving you false hope that the track could be good or crushing your already established hope that the track was good. The track will then continue to swap between crushing and raising your hopes, leaving you feeling dirty and craving an ear canal bath.

Overall Killswitch Engage still have the chops to put out a good to great album, but that this is not that album. The band really needs to re-evaluate their past music and its merits, and reconsider the supposed new path that they have embarked on musically.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2009



1981 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Rated 2.5, but after reviewing, I almost want to rate a 2, but I just don't feel the album is that bad. 2-2.5 feels accurate, though.

Digging: Rx Bandits - Gemini, Her Majesty

ZomarK
July 5th 2009



49 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

its hard for me to rate this album...i like it, but its just SOO similar to everything else they`ve done which bugs me. I would rate it a 3 i guess, cuz there are some catchy tunes on here, but it all sounds alike.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
July 5th 2009



7314 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review. I only listened to about half of this cos it sounded horrible.

iamthesword
July 5th 2009



31 Comments


The End of Heartache seemed to have the perfect blend of screams


Fairly poor ones at that. :/

Killswitch Engage are recycling the same material that encompassed the majority of their last two studio albums.


I'm not surprised. :/ Will probably take some time before I check this out, if I ever do.

Good work with the review, though it could do with a bit more length.

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
July 5th 2009



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

good review. horrible cd

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2009



1981 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

its hard for me to rate this album...i like it, but its just SOO similar to everything else they`ve done which bugs me. I would rate it a 3 i guess, cuz there are some catchy tunes on here, but it all sounds alike.


Had it at a 3 upon first listen, opinion then proceeded to degrade. I don't think the degradation's even done.

Fixed some lousy sentence structures now that I've been away from the computer long enough to re-read and catch the few poor/repetitive word choices which were previously included.

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2009



1981 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I find it pretty funny that the ratings for this album are practically in a Gaussian distribution,
too.

jacks592
July 5th 2009



108 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

they put Reckoning out for a free download, and i loved it, and then had high expectations for this album. but i was pretty disappointed. 2.5

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2009



1981 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

WTF is a flub?


http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/flub

Xenorazr
July 6th 2009



345 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

I agree, for me this is their first truly lousy album (As Daylight Dies at least had a charm to go with the music and had a bit of bark), I'm hoping we see something at least a bit more along the lines of The End of Heartache for whatever they release next.

Zip
July 6th 2009



5312 Comments


This review is pointless. ^you have a really awesome name.

DinosaurJones
July 8th 2009



490 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

First off, It's "Serenade," not "Seranade"

Aside from that I mostly agree. The album ranges from "Decent" to "Meh," giving it an overall feel of "average."

Which merits it as a 2.5

Woooo.

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2009



1981 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

You would catch that, wouldn't you? Well, for being the only typo in the entire review and for being a review written entirely in the Sputnik text editor, that's not that bad.

Burnyourface
October 12th 2010



223 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I agree with this review, all these clean chorus's come off as really forced, when you have plenty of ideas for great vocal melodies, like on Alive or Just Breathing, hell yea throw them in there. but if you hit the wall creatively on the clean stuff, which killswitch clearly has, why not just put out a super ballsy record with one GOOD clean chorus instead of 10 lame ones?

CWBrown
March 6th 2014



8 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Definitely not a good album but it seems worse because it IS KILLSWITCH.



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