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Killswitch Engage: The End of Heartache

The third release from Killswitch Engage once again shows the band mixing hardcore elements (especially in the vocals) with brutally heavy, sometimes technical, metal guitar work, and, more so than in the past, some truly catchy and commercial moments as well. In doing so, I am sure many of their die-hard fans will be shouting the infamous "sellout" chants, but make no mistake about it, The End of Heartache is a kick ass CD, filled with some of the crunchiest guitar riffs you will hear on any release this year, and there are some serious blood-curdling screams and grunts from singer Howard Jones. However, this band has found a certain niche as far as coming up with hooks and melodies that really work within this brain-splintering framework.

Songs like "Take This Oath" and "Rose of Sharyn" hit the listener like a sledgehammer with layers of heavy riffs and complex lead guitar fills that would make bands like Slayer, Exodus, or Testament proud (yes, there is a strong 80's thrash feel throughout the album), but listen to the chorus' of each song and you will instantly find yourself humming them for hours after the CD has stopped. This fact is no more in evidence than on the absolute killer title track, which is by far the best track on the CD. Vocalist Jones alternates between clean & scream mode on this one, and amidst the chunky grooves and manic guitar riffs lies one addictive tune that grips you and never lets go.

Fans of technical thrash will go nuts over the raging "Breathe Life" or the mosh-pit frenzy of "World Ablaze", and guitar hounds can rest assured that their fancies will be tickled by the two brief yet compelling instrumentals "Inhale" and "And Embers Rise." Drummer Justin Foley totally lets loose on the behemoth mix of thrash and technical death- metal of "Wasted Sacrifice", while the band is at its plodding best on the doomy "Hope Is...", a song whose lyrics are anything but hopeful.

Part nu-metal, part hardcore, part thrash, part death metal...whatever. This is a hungry band that has created an enjoyable metal album that is filled with killer guitar riffs, and most importantly, memorable songs dripping with melody. Check it out, and see what the buzz is all about.

Track List
1) A Bid Farewell
2) Take This Oath
3) When Darkness Falls
4) Rose of Sharyn
5) Inhale
6) Breathe Life
7) The End of Heartache
8) Declaration
9) World Ablaze
10) And Embers Rise
11) Wasted Sacrifice
12) Hope Is...

Added: October 26th 2004
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Official Band Site
Hits: 1964
Language: english

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