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Lacking in almost every area. - 42%

burningsynthetic, February 27th, 2007

I am a rather large Killswitch Engage fan, but I am sort of ashamed to admit that I actually paid for this album. To begin, I must say that Adam Dutkiewicz is definitely a very exceptional producer and can get the most out of Killswitch in terms of sound. But after a good 10 minutes the songs just fail to grasp your attention like any other their previous efforts did.

The guitar work is well done and definitely shows talent, although without any memorable riffing or solos for that matter, it just doesn't mean much after you take the disk out. The obvious guitar staples are here that we all know and love, the usual furious grind throughout the verses and bridge and then to the muddy and vaguely melodic choruses. The only tracks that these can work on without being too dull are "This is Absolution" and "Desperate Times".

As usual with the new vocalist, Howard Jones, the songs have little impact lyrically yet seem to move you by sheer power of his harsh vocals and melodic chorus work. Yet even still, with all the great work put in by him the album fails to combine all musician's efforts together to make something impactual.

Their radio single "Into the Arms of Sorrow" is a bland and toned down version of what they are capable of, much like the radio edit of "The End of Heartache" was a means to try to boost album sales. Despite their best efforts at best this album can be described as watered down and purely meant for commercial means. As a fan I feel a bit alienated from the fan base as it seems that the solidarity of the first few albums was their peak.

Bottom line, if you absolutely must have this album and are a die hard fan, I beg, perhaps even plead you to reconsider after listening to even a few of the tracks. It's pretty bad when I can only count about 3 tracks out of the 11 to be anything worth writing home about.

Recommended listening:
"This Is Absolution"
"Desperate Times"
"Reject Yourself"