Killswitch Engage - As Daylight Dies (Cover Artwork)

Killswitch Engage

As Daylight Dies (2006)


Killswitch Engage emerged from the Massachusetts metalcore scene several years ago, releasing their exceptional self-titled album via Ferret Records. Afterwards, the band would go on to sign with Roadrunner Records and release the immensely popular, Alive or Just Breathing. However, after the release of their second LP, the band saw their vocalist leave the band. Filling in the void was Blood Has Been Shed vocalist Howard Jones, who delivered an almost identical shout, while improving the clean parts and allowing Killswitch to branch off into melodic areas that they couldn't venture with their previous vocalist. Jones' first album, The End of Heartache not only garnered around 400,000 sales, but was considered to be one of the best metalcore albums over the last few years and even received a Grammy nomination for the ballad title track.

Coming into As Daylight Dies, the biggest question was what the band would do with the tidal wave of success and publicity they've received since emerging at the forefront of the metalcore scene. While the band's fourth LP isn't a new venture, the album does see the guys progressing and redefining their chops even more.

The first single, "My Curse" is a good example of what to expect on the album, as the song manages to balance a mix of melodic guitar lines with southern-inspired riffing and features the traditional screamed verses and sung choruses. While the format has been done at least a million times, it's still not a flaw here, as Jones easily has one of the scene's best singing voices and the transition just feels natural with the music. The song also showcases one of the few changes on As Daylight Dies, as the southern metal-inspired riffs show up from time to time throughout the release. Songs like "Unbroken" and "This Is Absolution" pummel you with mosh-friendly breakdowns and metallic riffing, then in true Killswitch fashion, hit you in the face with sing-along choruses that are entirely catchy. "The Arms of Sorrow" has the best chance to follow up "The End of Heartache" as the big single, with the song's melodic guitar lines just as abundant as Jones' singing.

One of the best aspects of any Killswitch album is that not only are the songs excellent, but the production by guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz is so superior that every band playing this style of music would be better off if they enlisted him to produce their albums. The songs are also well-rounded off by Jones, who writes personal lyrics that are pretty notable compared to the typical fare normally featured in the genre.

While As Daylight Dies has a laundry list of positive aspects, it's still not a perfect album and suffers from several flaws. It's basically a recreation of The End of Heartache with some minor changes, yet not as strong. Additionally, it lacks any true standouts like the ones that graced Heartache. Another key problem here is that a majority of the songs sound the same, making the album become slightly tedious at some of its weaker moments.

While each of the problems here keep the album from being as good as it should have been, they still don't derail it from being a commendable album worth your time.