AlbumsNovember 29, 201120,111 views

Killswitch Engage The End Of Heartache

01. A Bid Farewell 02. Take This Oath 03. Where Darkness Falls 04. Rose Of Sharyn 05. Inhale 06. Breathe Life 07. The End Of Heartache 08. Declaration 09. World Ablaze 10. And Embers Rise 11. Wasted Sacrifice 12. Hope Is... 13. Irreversal
2004 Roadrunner Records
Our score 6


An important release for our boys in Killswitch Engage. "The End Of Heartache" marks the debut of vocalist Howard Jones, whom most know from his other project, Connecticut tech-metalcore fourpiece Blood Has Been Shed. The change of vocalist has done little to diminish the band's fury; if anything, Jones is a welcome change. What the band lacked on their previous releases was a true core to build their songs around, and they seem to have found it in the versatility and strength of Jones's voice, which swings from a deep melodic tenor to the distinctive, throaty shout he developed while working with Blood Has Been Shed (curiously, however, most of the guttural, throat-rending growls I loved so much on BHBS's "I Dwell On Thoughts Of You" and "Novella Of Uriel" are absent). None of this is meant to disparage former vocalist Jesse Leach, but I find Jones's vocals to be, on a whole, more interesting, more listenable and more fitting for the band's sound, especially considering the changes it's gone through since "Alive Or Just Breathing." One need look no further than the track "Declaration" to see how far Killswitch has come from their roots. "Declaration," situated firmly in the middle of the album, towers over the best efforts of so many other bands that incorporate clean vocals and melodic, meaty riffs into the hardcore framework.I've always thought that Killswitch Engage's music was unique due to one overriding factor: intricate, creative melodies.Without a strong vocal performance to complement those melodies, a good song could flounder and fail. Jones delivers. The other notable thing about "The End Of Heartache," on a slightly less positive note, is that much of the riffing on the album is somewhat overblown.First single "When Darkness Falls" attempts to shimmy one or two well-written breakdowns between the endlessly repeated and quite boring chorus, and the title track dangerously skirts the edges of full-on power balladry.At times the band sounds like they're more comfortable with their material, and at others they seem at a loss for ideas.For every "Declaration" or the inventive if poorly titled "Hope Is...", which incorporates some interesting call-and-response vocals and an incredibly pretty melodic interlude, there's a "When Darkness Falls" or a total dud like "World Ablaze," which overstays its welcome after the first chorus. Bottom Line: The mix is clear, clean and roomy.The vocals are top-notch and the music is well-played.But it seems as though Killswitch have lost something critical that made the self-titled LP and "Alive Or Just Breathing" work so well.The innovation and passion of those albums seems to have dissipated slightly, although a few songs indicate that future albums might be even better than their early material. The band needs to grow more comfortable with their new singer and focus on writing songs instead of coasting on their past successes and letting the vocals carry the music along. "The End Of Heartache" is not an unqualified failure, but it's not the album it should have been.


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Captain_Comic_ 10/6/2004 8:54:01 AM

Great album.

matt_ 10/22/2004 5:56:14 PM

i love this album

xbeaux_ 1/29/2005 7:28:12 AM

i am a huge fan of kse,s older stuff. this album is a good album, not a great one. it has a few unreal tracks but every song is built around a mike patton (FNM years) chorus. howard shouldve used his deep growls to add more depth, but i still luv this album, just not asmuchas the first 2

Life to Lifeless_ 2/16/2005 7:08:35 PM

This is a great album, but nothing can compare to the masterpiece that is Alive or Just Breathing.

Enrico_ 4/23/2005 10:38:55 AM

Not the album that was expected at all. Howard is totally a let down to KSE. I miss Jesse already. Howard's lyrics for the end of heartache are unimaginitive, and don't really deliver that KSE oomf. You know how Jesse's message was all about solidarity with everyone/thing, and you felt good the message it was telling. I miss that. KSE being one of my favorite bands, but everytime I want to tell someone that I have to append "OLD" KSE. It sucks. Howard ruined my fun.

Dead Man Drowning_ 4/30/2005 11:28:53 PM

This is a great album. Don't let the fact that they're singing about love fool you. Bands should be able to sing about what they want. Howard Jones is a great vocalist. This band is one of my favorites and will always be.

MrWong_ 1/24/2006 1:08:56 PM

This album > AOJB

wicked84_ 3/14/2006 3:08:21 AM

f*cking dissapointment

spencer_ 4/27/2006 3:20:41 PM

gay album,should be in a oppera

Nick_ 9/1/2006 2:11:33 PM

amazing album....nothing about it is boring. if Howard was on "Alive or Just Breathing" it too this day would be one of te greatest metal-core albums of all time

logan_ 9/11/2006 8:38:45 AM

not even gonna read the comments this time. shut up... al of you, just shut the f*ck up.

anonymous 11/9/2006 2:25:38 PM

late on the comment here but ..... f*ck the new singer... although on there new album as daylight dies he does inprove a bit

Dillon_ 2/22/2007 6:45:18 AM

the most overrated piece of diaper shit band i've ever heard, dumbass vocalist sounds like The Crash Test Dummies singer's been listening to alot of f*ckin Slayer. Bullshit metalcore garbage, I shit on Killswitch Engay