UnRated Magazine



Killswitch Engage - The End of Heartache | UnRated Magazine Review:
The End of Heartache [ Roadrunner Records ] Purchase Music at Amazon.com

Killswitch Engage

By Bryan Schillo

The End of Heartache Killswitch Engage is quickly rising through the modern metal ranks and establishing themselves as head of the class, the band others will try to emulate. The End of Heartache is KSE at the top of their game, musically bludgeoning and never stale. If ex-frontman, Jesse David Leach's screams were like getting a root canal with no anesthesia, new vocalist, Howard Jones's pipes are like pouring ounces of salt on open wounds. Longtime fans may have been a bit worried when they discovered Leach quit the band abruptly after the release of their Roadrunner debut, Alive or Just Breathing. Would the vocal swap affect their momentum? Looking back, one could say it was destined to happen. Jones helped elevate the band to where they needed to be. In fact, Jones penned all the lyrics on The End of Heartache. Getting things underway is "A Bid Farewell," which delivers more impact than getting blasted in the stomach with a fire hose. The pressure continues at full force until track six, "Breathe Life," but after that it's taken down a notch. From there until the final track, "Hope Is..." the record nestles in with more groove-oriented tunes, rather than the galloping, guitar onslaught of the first few songs like "When Darkness Falls" or "Rose of Sharyn." The first half is where the album really shines; all the tracks contain the magic balance of guitar rage, raw emotion and harmony KSE has become famous for. For old times' sake, Leach even appears on the record to contribute backing vocals. The production is crystal clear and top-notch. Bottom line is, if you liked Alive or Just Breathing, there's no way you won't enjoy The End of Heartache. To think just a few years back, the critics and mainstream media were touting metal in America as dead and uncool - scary thought. But now it's 2004, the music gods have answered our cries, and it couldn't have come at a better time.