Killswitch Engage
As Daylight Dies


4.5
superb

Review

by Gameofmetal STAFF
October 8th, 2014 | 36 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Possibly Killswitch Engage's best moments, yet overshadowed by what came before.

Killswitch Engage is a fantastic example of what we call a “household” name when it comes to metalcore. As one of the innovators of the early 2000’s melodic death metal influenced brand of metalcore, up there with other genre staples All That Remains and Shadows Fall, it’s hard to argue that they don’t deserve the sentiment. 2002’s Alive Or Just Breathing put them on the map, and 2004’s The End Of Heartache even more so, despite the departure of original vocalist Jesse Leach just before. It was the addition of new vocalist Howard Jones that revitalized the band at the time and allowed them to obtain a Grammy nomination the following year. Enter 2006 and the band seemed poised to push even further with As Daylight Dies, their fourth full length record. Killswitch Engage refuse to disappoint.

After the eschewing of some of their hardcore punk roots in favor of a more refined melodic metal heavy sound on The End Of Heartache received such a great reception, the band clearly realized that it was smart to stick with that formula. While there isn’t a drastic change in sound, KSE refined and honed the tricks and trade they began and forged it into an iron hard piece of music, all the while keeping it fresh and interesting. Every member of the band sounds more confident in their respective roles. The guitars sound tight and crunchy whether delivering punishing chugged riffs and breakdowns, or soaring harmonies and melodic choruses. The rhythmic backbone is rock hard, with a thick low end bass and fluid, yet rather understated, drum work propelling the record. Howard Jones, while not taking any hard right turns with his vocals, sounds better than ever. His screams are vicious and the clean vocals, strengthened with his signature rich bass tone, soar to even greater heights. In the end As Daylight Dies showcases KSE as a more self-assured and well-oiled machine.

The album kicks off with the title track, which builds ominously with staticy feedback and underlying guitars riffs. A dark spoken word piece ratchets up the tension for the first riff to pound in the listeners ear. The first track proves to be one of the most aggressive on the album, a fitting choice as it catches the listener’s attention from the get go and holds it long enough for the first chorus to ensnare them further. Despite this first burst of crushing material, the next couple of tracks showcase the melodic sensibilities of the band. “This Is Absolution” employs gorgeous clean guitar sections, and “The Arms Of Sorrow” is a near radio ready single, with mostly clean vocals, despite the presence of some heavy riffing. “My Curse” is a touch more aggressive than “The Arms Of Sorrow”, but remains one of the biggest radio hits for the band. The melodically explosive bridge pushes it to extraordinary heights. Further highlights include “Break The Silence” a longer and faster track, with mountains of great lead guitar work, and “Desperate Times”, one of the biggest changes of pace as it’s slow melancholy song with a lot of built up tension across its length.

The negatives are few and far between for Killswitch Engage. Breakdowns, one of the biggest factors holding down the many young bands coming after Killswitch, are surprisingly not an issue here. While due in no small part to the fact that the trademark passages hadn’t been so oversaturated as of yet, nonetheless the mosh inducers found here are used fairly sparingly and to great effect. Detractors of the band could say that the bass tracks do little to stand out aside from filling out the lower frequencies and song structures are fairly predictable. Killswitch employs the classic verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge structure, but the components are filled out and executed well enough that it isn’t a much of an issue. Occasional clean guitar passages and well executed bridges keep songs exciting. The bass is a tad inaudible, but with how thick the overall low end sounds, it’s hard to find too much fault in it. The production for the album is one of the best in the genre. All the instruments sound crisp and clear without sounding overly processed.

As Daylight Dies is arguably one of Killswitch Engage's best moments, yet one of their more underrated releases. The issue is understandable coming off of the coattails of their previous groundbreaking releases, but I consider this a worthy addition to anyone’s collection. Any fan of metalcore and melodic metal in general should find plenty to love here.



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user ratings (2646)
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other reviews of this album
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  • fXpT (4)
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    Killswitch is back and as good as they ever were as they deliver another stellar album. A...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2014


10574 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A redo of my first review. Hopefully it strikes everyone a lot better. I'm very very attached to this album as it was my first KSE, first metalcore, first metal with screaming. So the rating is a touch personal, but it's my opinion. Feedback, as always is appreciated.

Intothepit
October 8th 2014


3437 Comments


It's overshadowed by what came before because it doesn't measure up. Simple as that.

Intothepit
October 8th 2014


3437 Comments


Whoops double post

BMDrummer
October 8th 2014


14514 Comments


THIS IS MY CURSE

Ecnalzen
October 8th 2014


8334 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This was probably my first metalcore album, too. I still like it pretty well.

ExplosiveOranges
October 8th 2014


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"The End Of Heartache even more so, despite the departure of original vocalist Jesse Leach just beforehand"



Reads kinda awkwardly. I'd go with "just before" or "beforehand".



"Killswitch Engage completely failed to disappoint."



Again, odd word choice. Try "Killswitch Engage refused to disappoint" instead. And also, use italics in bbcode for the album titles.



To be entirely honest, I feel like you could combine the first two paragraphs entirely to make a longer paragraph, as it's kinda odd how you transition from how they were getting better in 2006 to the way Howard impacted the band's sound in 2004. Add the more specific parts of his vocals into the body paragraphs. Sorry if I come off as kinda asshole-ish, but I feel like this review could read a lot better if you worked on those parts.

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2014


10574 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I guess it's just the whole "what we experienced first sticks with us more" thing. I just don't enjoy the previous albums as much because this is what I listened to before. Most other fans of the band don't share that with me.

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2014


10574 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ok I'll do some editing Explosive. Thanks.

ExplosiveOranges
October 8th 2014


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No problem. Although I obviously disagree, you do back up your points well and have some really good ideas in the review. You just gotta make them flow a little better is all.

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2014


10574 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Dammit I put the band name in italics instead of album titles. I'll fix that.





Btw while I'm at it should the band name be in italics or bold? or just like normal?

ExplosiveOranges
October 8th 2014


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Band name should be normal, unless this is 2005 and you feel the need to bold every other word and write a shitty track-by-track review.

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2014


10574 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Alright I think I'm good for the most part. Fixed everything except combining the first two paragraphs which I'm not sure about yet.

ExplosiveOranges
October 8th 2014


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

In the end, it's up to you. Personally, I really think the review's flow could work out for the better if you managed to break up and divide pieces of the second paragraph into other parts of the review, but if you like it as is, then so be it.

Snake.
October 8th 2014


21662 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

nah

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2014


10574 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

When I get some time later, I'll take another look and see if there's anything I want to change. For now it's good enough to leave. Thanks again for the input.

ExplosiveOranges
October 8th 2014


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Dammit Snake

Snake.
October 8th 2014


21662 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i wasnt disagreeing with you for the record

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2014


10574 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

No one care enough to rate it?

Snake.
October 8th 2014


21662 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

happy now?

Lethean
October 8th 2014


1487 Comments


smoi



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