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Killswitch Engage The End Of Heartache

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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
USER SCORE
-
Reviewed by: Adam Hellbound   //   Published: 5/7/2004

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.

Comments
Dillon_   posted 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
anonymous   posted 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
logan_   posted 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.
Nick_   posted 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
spencer_   posted 4/27/2006 3:20:41 PM
gay album,should be in a oppera

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