Killswitch Engage “As Daylight Dies”

By Gus Bode

Release Date: Nov. 21 Record Label: Roadrunner Records Rating: Three Stars

After more than two years regrouping from personal turmoil and interband squabbles, Killswitch Engage has returned with the pummeling and melodic “As Daylight Dies.”

Combining intricate guitar riffs, complex tempo and time signature changes and melodic choruses, “As Daylight Dies” builds upon the best of previous Killswitch Engage releases, such as 2004’s “The End of Heartache” and 2003’s “Alive or Just Breathing.”


The haunting and atmospheric title track leads off the album and adequately sets the tone for the songs to come. Part metal virtuosos and part goth screechers, Killswitch Engage often alternates between speed metal crunch and layered melodies throughout “As Daylight Dies.”

The dichotomy of songs, such as the crushing and guttural “Unbroken” and the plodding dirge of “Desperate Times,” typify the diversity of the band. Likewise, the slowly building “The Arms of Sorrow” is buttressed against the Pantera-esque “This is Absolution.” This distinct contrast adds much-needed diversity to a brand of metal that could easily become mundane and formulaic in less capable hands.

Killswitch Engage ventures into more traditional territory on the straightforward “Eye of the Storm,” “Break the Silence” and “Still Beats Your Name.” Although largely unremarkable in and of themselves, the aforementioned songs serve as touchstones on an album that often runs far a-field in its usage of disparate musical elements.

“As Daylight Dies” doesn’t reinvent the wheel, and that’s the simplistic beauty of the record. There’s no pomp, pretense or relentless genre jumping on the album, and it’s a refreshing change from metal’s latest generation. Instead, Killswitch Engage focus on loud guitars and distinctive choruses.

The speed metal tempos and slightly unintelligible howls might turn off some, but “As Daylight Dies” is a solid, if unspectacular, album. Whatever the band lacks in songwriting chops it more than makes up for with complex musical arrangements and a potent shot of melody.