Killswitch Engage - Alive Or Just Breathing


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by Abdul Khader

Rating = 4/5

1. Numbered Days (3:35)
2. Self Revolution (3:08)
3. Fixation on the Darkness (3:37)
4. My Last Serenade (4:13)
5. Life to Lifeless (3:17)
6. Just Barely Breathing (5:42)
7. To the Sons of Man (1:58)
8. Temple from the Within (4:04)
9. Element of One (4:08)
10. Vide Infra (3:28)
11. Without a Name (1:45)
12. Rise Inside (5:56)
OK people, let's do the dissection now. First up let's see who does what on the album, the band comprises of:
Jesse Leach - Vocals [includes great clean singing, death metal growls black metal snarls; latter is used the least]
Joel Stroezel - Guitars
Mike D'Antonio - Bass
Adam Dutkiewicz - Drums, Percussion, Piano, Additional guitars and Vocals along with producing & engineering the record!
There's credit given to Tom Gomes - Percussion & Backing vocals
Now, let's get on with it...
Killswitch Engage are primarily a 'Metalcore' band, at least that's what everyone calls them. They incorporate a lot of stuff from many different genres. One can hear strains of death/thrash/power/mallcore from the songs. But what they have succeeded in doing is, by culminating all these genres; they've made a style that's their own. A sound that mixes undiluted power with great melody that enhances each song; quite a rarity these days! One thing about the band's style I liked the most was the vocal delivery. Jesse goes from Max Cavalera-ish growls to just plain, clean singing to powerful snarls, in one line!!! Damn great, and they don't spoil the songs in any way.
All the songs have great choruses which feature the clean parts only. Musically, the album is a perfect marriage between blistering riffs, pummeling rhythms, great vocals and surprise, surprise - 'positive' lyrics. No death, destruction; nothing that's generally associated with metal. RARE! The band speaks about hope, awareness, making the world a better place, respect and compassion for fellow humans. I can safely say that this is a pretty good metal offering which will appeal to any metal fan. Its been spinning in my recorder since I bought it, quite consistently. The performances of all the guys are good. The rhythm section is excellent, guitars are crisp, fast, heavy, and I think I've said enough about the vocals. All in all, a good album by a good band. Safe buy for anyone; especially, Machine Head fans! (4/5; 4.25/5 for Machine Head fans)