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KSE's Worst Offering to Date - 30%

Dystopia1980, May 25th, 2007

Killswitch Engage have always held a special place in my heart, being as they were one of the first bands that helped me transition out of my Nu-Metal phase in the early 2000's.

With that said, as much as I wanted to like "As Daylight Dies," I could not find any positives about the music contained within. There really isn't anything offered here that wasn't done better on "Alive or Just Breathing."

Since the departure of Jesse Leach and addition of Howard Jones back in 2002, KSE have progressively watered down their sound for mass appeal. 2004's "The End of Heartache" had a clear shift toward mainstream and "emo" rock in lyrical content and sound, and now "As Daylight Dies" takes that same formula and shifts it further into radio-rock territory.

Every track on this album is completely formulaic and predictable. Intro - verse - soaring chorus - verse - ad nauseum. Howard's screaming seems to have gotten weaker, and his singing sounds even more over-the-top emotional than it was on the previous album. The riffing is standard metalcore, nothing too complex or creative. If you've been following metalcore at all for the last few years you will have heard pretty much every riff on this album.

During the explosion of metalcore sometime around 2002-2003, KSE's "Alive or Just Breathing" was a blueprint that dozens of bands used to create their sound. Years later, this sound is tired and stagnant. With so many bands now sounding like a carbon copy of KSE, this latest offering has about as much impact as a pebble dropping into the ocean.

There is no innovation on this album, no experimentation, no new ideas; simply the same recycled metalcore-by-numbers formula that has been beaten to death the past 5 years.

The funny thing about it all is that this latest album is KSE's most successful album yet in terms of sales. I guess if album sales were the primary goal, then KSE gets a gold star, but from a musical standpoint, I'd say the band has lost their integrity. It seems blatantly obvious to me that they are currently cashing in on the wave of emo/metalcore popularity, and really do not care about making good music.