Some may be surprised we approached the band to review one of our metal releases. Knowing the guys as well as we do however, we know they and Dan especially, have a love for metal and an overall eclectic taste in music. How else can you explain their individual sound?!
Below are Dan’s thoughts on the new self titled opus from the KSE guys. Check it!
I was honored to be asked to write a review for the new Killswitch record. Why would a guy in an alternative rock band of died haired midgets want to review a metal record? Ha!
There is a special place in all of Madina’s hearts for metal- it’s what we grew up listening too and what made us want to learn to play instruments and be in bands in the first place. And with Killswitch specifically, ‘The End of Heartache’ was released just as we were writing our first record, and holy shit did it kick us in the nut-cluster! We need some of “that” we thought.
Fast forward three years and we are lucky enough to be label mates with these guys and watching them play an amazing show at Brixton Acadamy in London… Still inspiring us even more…
On to ‘Killswitch Engage’… The opening track ‘Never Again’ opens the way you want all hardcore records to open- four massive china-cymbal hits and then face melting guitars, double bass drums and intricate, tightly played rhythms. Shortly after that Howard Jones begins tearing you apart with his vocals and before you know it you’re in an amazing melodic yet deathly heavy chorus like only Killswitch can pull off. The first half of the chorus is a melodic “Nothing can change what you’ve done…”, the second half a punishing, gut-wrentching furry of “You will never be forgiven”….
Another stand out track is “The Forgotten”. It begins with unison rhythmic punches by the band that remind me of my favorite and first metal album of all time, “And Justice for All…”. But it isn’t long before Killswitch does their thing and swings the groove into a driven double bass accented verse. They have a way of making the song feel so heavy and sporadic in the verses and then when the chorus arrives you feel like you’ve been slammed back into a comfortable heavy trance.
“Reckoning”….. “You are no God to me!” yells Jones. Blast-beat follows by Foley. Need I say more? Get it.
Ok, so before we go on stage we like to listen to something heavy and aggressive enough to start the adrenaline pumping before the show even starts. “I Would Do Anything” is gonna be one of those songs on our rotation from now on. Just start it for 30 seconds and I wont need to explain any further… but if you can’t at the moment let me try to explain… It’s like a freight train speeding straight at you from a distance and then when it finally arrives at a thousands miles an hour in your face you realize that the train also has a big set of iron brass-knuckles on the front of it as it slams you in your grill and then reverses over and over to do it again. Oh, and it tells you that it drinks the reddest blood and to pray for your life as well… Follow me?
I should probably stop there, I just read what I wrote and I’m not sure I’ll be asked to write anymore of these if I keep comparing the way music sounds with my own personal psychosis!
After only a few listens, this is my favorite Killswitch record to date. The sound is just massive, and working with producer Brendan O’Brien certainly played a part. A killer combination between a producer and a band that has been in it for a long time and continues to push their own boundaries and stay relevant in such an F’d up music scene.
Madina Lake release new single Let’s Get Outta Here Agust 3rd and return to the UK for the Readling Leeds Festival.
Miss the previous label mate reviews? You can find them at the links below: