Killswitch Engage has always occupied a weird space for me. On the one hand, they craft some really intricate guitar riffs and can generally write really hooky melodies that easily worm their way into your brain. On the other hand, they are primarily one of those early aught American metalcore bands that has always been just a little hit and miss with me. Generally, metalcore bands just don’t offer anything substantive in my opinion. However, Killswitch is one of the metalcore bands whose albums I have found myself enjoying in the past. So, in a way, I guess take this review with a bit of salt. If metalcore be your thing, then this album is probably going to do wonders for you.
So, the last two Killswitch albums saw the return of original vocalist Jesse Leach and I think both of those albums have probably been my favorite period for this band. So, my hopes for this new album were favorable. However, I can’t say that the band has really capitalized on their past momentum on this latest album. First, the album just feels breezy. I’m not entirely sure how long it is, but it’s one of those albums that just flies by and seems to end shortly after you first put it on. Second of all, Killswitch has always had a bit of an emo-type streak in their sound, especially when it comes to lyrical content and the clean choruses that most of their songs contain. This latest album really plays up this emo feel in songs like I Am Broken Too and I Can’t Be The Only One. Granted, compared to non-metal music, this album is still heavy as fuck. But, in the metal world, some of the passages in these songs just sound more like something you would hear in the indie pop world than from a metal band. And, at the end of the day, that’s really the conundrum that this band presents for me. Cool riffs. Heavy guitars. Nice gutturals. But, the weak choruses and lyrics just sort of lose me and temper any true enthusiasm I feel for this album.
3 flip flops out of 5