Album Review no.11: As Daylight Dies - Killswitch Engage

kempokid
This album was a request from EliHbk, thanks for the album recommendation. When going into this album, I honestly wasn't expecting much, this band just didn't seem like it would be the kind of music I would enjoy. After listening to it, I still don't think that this band is amazing, but this album is quite good. I'll be looking into the deluxe edition as part of this request.

Daylight Dies:
When this song begins, all I can think about is that THQ (or whatever it was) ad. The intro is pretty great, with spoken lyrics that actually do add something to the song, a real rarity in my opinion. If you asked me a couple of weeks ago, I would have complained about the screaming used in this album, but I have now learnt that there is such thing as screaming that is good. I do enjoy the balance between the screams and clean vocals in this song, but overall, not much else of interest was found.
7/10

This is Absolution:
This song is definitely a step up from the opener, the increased aggression makes the clean chorus even better as everything calms down in a relative sense, creating an even more memorable chorus. The riffs combined with the energy of the song, as well as the amazing chorus make it one of he better songs on the album
10/10

The Arms of Sorrow:
The intro shows the prospect of a song that is much slower than the average song by this band, and this holds up to some extent, giving you a break after the balls to the wall aggression of the previous song. Unfortunately, as well as being quite slow, the song is also unbelievably boring, with none of the instruments standing out as anything amazing and Howard Jones sounding quite similar to early M Shadows, which is never a good thing, as he sounds very whiny in this song. Other than that, nothing terrible really appears in the song, but nothing of merit appears either.
5/10

Unbroken:
This is a song that I love for the lyrics, the aggressive nature of the band really works well with a song as inspirational as this one. The screams all sound good and the clean vocals are also of a high level of quality. I really like the guitar riffs and outro in this song as well.
10/10

My Curse:
The intro is nice ad melodic, even when the main guitars jump in. The song then smoothly transitions into a really sweet riff with a nice, constant pace and a great amount of power. Once the vocals start the song is taken to a whole new level, with screams that sound genuinely filled with anger and very strong clean vocals. When listening to this one now, I can't help but scream along to "THIS IS MY CURSE!" The balance of each individual component of this song is why it's so good, as no one part of the song dominates in an irritating fashion, making a song that is truly great.
10/10

For You:
I honestly find a lot of the instrumentals in this song to be quite grating for some reason, the riffs don't feel impressive and when the guitar takes centre stage, everything about it doesn't feel right. I also really don't like the first 30 seconds, the riff is annoying and the screams feel weak and kinda stupid, especially compared to the rest of this album. After this 30 seconds, the vocals are decent, but it doesn't fix the other problems this song has
5/10

Still Beats Your Name:
This song definitely knows how to wow someone in an instant, the riffs are fast paced and awesome and the drumming is noteworthy as well The clean vocal sections are few and far between in the first half of this song, allowing these amazing riffs to continue longer than they normally would and also providing a bigger contrast to the second half, which calms things down a bit and allows the song to stay interesting. This is probably my favourite song on the album.
10/10

Eye of the Storm:
For the first time on the album,I felt as if a song would not slow down and just run at breakneck pace through its entirety, even during the clean parts the heavy riffs would remain. Just as things had the potential to become dull, the second half of the song had a very nice interlude that fleshed this song put even more. I must say though, the last 30 seconds really brought this song down, where it started to get slower, ruining the aggression of the last 3 minutes of musical greatness. I personally think that this song would have been much better if they just went at full force for the entire time, rather than slowing down.
8/10

Break the Silence:
I'm not o fan of the clean parts in this song, they feel awfully repetitive as they consist of Howard Jones singing "we must break the silence" repeatedly which I think is quite dull. The drumming is good once again. I would have given this song a lower score if it weren't for the amazing solo that was further accentuated by the couple of seconds of silence right before it.
7/10

Desperate Times:
From my limited knowledge, this is the album closer of the regular album, so I shall treat it as one. The mid paced song just doesn't suit this band at all, as everything about their sound screams that they would have the shoot first ask questions later approach where aggression and raw emotion would be favoured over the boredom that this song provides. The last minute is the biggest offender, as instead of ending the album on a powerful, thoughtful note, it ends with you wanting to fall asleep. I don't like this song in any way at all.
4/10

Reject Yourself:
This song flows surprisingly well from the previous one, which is odd considering this is a B side track. My first observation is how much faster and more energetic this song is compared to most of the album, which is thankfully a trend that the other B sides follow. This song wouldn't sound out of place on A good Avenged Sevenfold album, which is a bi positive in this case. I was pleasantly surprised by the sheer quality of every part of this song.
10/10

Be One:
This song starts off as insanely as possible, with the mini face melter and the screaming in the first 10 seconds of the song. I really like all of the instrumentals from the fast drumming to the awesome riffs and solos from the guitar. The one little off part about the song is how the outro really doesn't sound like a good way to wrap up the song, as it sounds like it should continue it for a while.
9/10

Let the Bridges Burn:
I think that this is a great example of a mid paced Killswitch Engage song done right. The mid paced sections are still full of interesting instrumentals and the song sounds all over the place in the sense that it has so many different ideas crammed into it. It works well in this case because the song doesn't get dull for even half a second. I also found that 20 seconds when everything picked uptempo to extreme levels to be very funny because of how it went back into normality after only 20 seconds. This is my second favourite song on the album.
10/10

This Fire:
I find this to be another amazing song that I don't understand how it wasn't included in the main album. All of the B sides feel much more experimental and unique compared to most from the actual album. I love the spoken part around halfway through the song. Not much else to say about this gem of a song.
10/10

Holy Diver:
Oh boy, this song. I needed to listen to this one many, many times to work out what I would score it, as I experienced very different, raw emotions while listening to this cover of one of the greatest songs ever made. In the end, I decided to start off with 10 points and deduct points for things that I didn't like. First off, before saying what I didn't like about this, I'll give some compliments. I loved the clean vocals and the transformation of a simple, mid paced song into something far more powerful and aggressive. I have 3 issues with this though, my biggest issue with it is the butchering of such an amazing bridge by including screaming, why would you do that? 2 points deducted because at least it was just the bridge, which isn't the biggest or most important component of the song, even if it is iconic. My other 2 problems are so minor that I deducted 1 point between both of them. I didn't like the part where instead of "NO, NO!" being sung, it was "NO, YEAH!", minor, but still annoying. My other issue is that I found the instrumentals in the last verse to be a bit too far away from the original for comfort, all of the riffs that would belong in a minor solo are nowhere near as great as the classic riff of the original. My thoughts on this song are that parts of it are absolutely amazing, especially in terms of how the song was transformed in certain ways. That said, the song completely drops the ball in other ways which really brings down what could have been an absolutely perfect cover. The positives definitely outweigh the negatives, so the song is worth something.
7/10

4 + 2*5 + 3*7 +8 +9 +7*10 - 5*8.1 = 82/100

Final Thoughts:
There is a lot of good material in this album, but it is unfortunately dragged down by a combination of a couple of dull songs and by the band repeatedly trying to slow thongs down when they clearly do better when playing fast. If you want to pick up the album, make sure it's the deluxe edition, as this is where you find a lot of the more unique, interesting material due to the fact that they fully embrace that this band works wonders when being aggressive.

My next review, and the second one in a row will continue the trend of aggression by reviewing Vulgar Display of Power by Pantera.

Comments

Thanks, I appreciate this. People usually don't expect much, and it usually surprises them. The thing about this album is, all of the songs are the "good ones", as opposed to some much bigger bands' albums, the quality retains throughout. Every song is of higher, memorable quality, opposed to Metallica's usual album which always has a couple forgettable ones. After listening to it a few times, Howard won't annoy you as much either, but that's a lot to ask of someone. I'd just say that I would have rated Holy Diver and Arms of Sorrow higher. And I also really like Let The Bridges Burn. Thanks. If you got any suggestions for me, lemme have 'em, anyone! - EliHbk

I just love 'My curse'...Love it! - Ananya

By the way, Holy Diver and This Fire were the bonus songs. - EliHbk

P