Rating:
9.0
Killswitch Engage - Alive Or Just Breathing
27 May 2002


Disc I
01. Numbered Days
02. Self Revolution
03. Fixation On The Darkness
04. My Last Serenade
05. Life To Lifeless
06. Just Barely Breathing
07. To The Sons Of Man
08. Temple From The Within [Re-Recorded]
09. The Element Of One
10. Vide Infra [Re-Recorded]
11. Without A Name
12. Rise Inside
13. In The Unblind [Japanese bonus]

Disc II [25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition] [Re-release bonus]
01. In The Unblind
02. When The Balance Is Broken
03. Untitled And Unloved [Instrumental]
04. Numbered Days [Demo]
05. Transfiguration (AKA Fixation On The Darkness) [Demo]
06. Just Barely Breathing [Demo]
07. Fixation On The Darkness [Howard version]
08. AOJB Studio Outtakes
09. My Last Serenade [Video]
10. Fixation On The Darkness [Video]
11. Life To Lifeless [Live Video]


Killswitch Engage belongs to this wave of young bands that don't play in one definite style. You can call them nu-death, but it would not be fair enough. Maybe melodic nu-thrash would be closer to reality. This American band takes its inspiration everywhere, and succeeds in extracting the best essence of all metal styles. Mix grated hardcore vocals, headbanging nu-metal riffs (I can't help becoming crazy on "Numbered Days"), thrash tracks' structure and melodic death fury, shake it all and you get Killswitch Engage.
Even if violence is the main word here, what immediately comes out of this album is its melodic side. Most of the songs have melodic passages going on with a clear voice, as on the single "My last serenade". Listen to the end of "Just barely breathing" or to the instrumental "Without a name" and you will understand these guys are as easy in calm moments as in violent ones. This is confirmed by the vocals: when the singer screams, he REALLY screams (sometimes like Anders Friden from In Flames, sometimes like Max Cavalera), but he is also able to sing with a clear voice. He expresses the two sides of this album: on the one hand unleashed and hateful aggressivity, as if the whole world was against him and on the other hand the beauty of peace and quietness.The singer left the band after this album, so wait and see...
This raw power, this pure energy that give this album its identity are strengthend and emphasized by the very good work of the production. Every instrument has the perfect sound, and I'm not able to find the words to describe vocals. This band has everything to become cult. If you are able to stay still and calm when hearing "Numbered Days" (my favourite...), then you should go for Britney Spears, because you're not a metalhead... "The time approaches" they say... Right. Their time is coming.

Highlights: Numbered Days, My Last Serenade, Just Barely Breathing


Band profile: Killswitch Engage
Album: Alive Or Just Breathing


 


written by Deadsoulman | 19.09.2003



Comments

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Mordack - 22.09.2006 at 04:35  
Great album.
Dangerboner - 22.09.2006 at 07:21  
I liked them back in the day, but I recently listened to this album and I didn't get much from it. It's easily their best though. One of the songs on this cd is exceptionally brutal....track 6 I think.
AngelOfDisease - 10.03.2009 at 00:11  
Written by Dangerboner on 22.09.2006 at 07:21

I liked them back in the day, but I recently listened to this album and I didn't get much from it. It's easily their best though. One of the songs on this cd is exceptionally brutal....track 6 I think.

yeap song 6 is the best here.
Uirapuru - 28.05.2009 at 12:19  
Written by AngelOfDisease on 10.03.2009 at 00:11

Written by Dangerboner on 22.09.2006 at 07:21

I liked them back in the day, but I recently listened to this album and I didn't get much from it. It's easily their best though. One of the songs on this cd is exceptionally brutal....track 6 I think.

yeap song 6 is the best here.


I'm with you guys. ''Just Barely Breathing'' is by far the best song in this album. Sefl Revolution is also good. But over all this album is just average.
Painkiller636 - 23.07.2009 at 04:14  
It took me awhile to love this album cause I feel thier new vocalist Howard Jones is better but now I like this one just as much, the lyrics on this album are great their last couple of albums (Daylight Dies, Killswitch Engage) have lacked that.
And i disagree in saying The Element of One is the best song on this album!
Sery - 20.09.2009 at 11:52  
Just listened to the album, very good album!
Slayer666 - 07.10.2009 at 19:05  
It's an OK album, but I don't agree with such a high rating. A 8 is way more like it. Also, Numbered Days isn't nearly as good as Collin inflated it, Just Barely Breathing is better.
Builtforsin88 - 13.03.2010 at 08:51  
Great review and fixation on darkness is my fav song.
Tank86 - 12.06.2012 at 21:28  
'This band has everything to become cult.'

^ Good prediction. Just seen them at Download festival 2012 and they were sublime, and everyone was blown away by them. Forgot just how solid their material, and this album in particular is.
Ace Frawley - 03.07.2012 at 13:27  
I think this is the best Killswitch Engage album thus far.

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