i'll reccommend some modern albums from the 21st century that i like. My first review will be this which came out in 2002.
Alive or Just Breathing-Kilswitch Engage
Mike D'Antonio - Bass, Art Direction
Adam Dutkiewicz - Drums, Backing Vocals, Piano, Producer, Engineer, Additional guitars
Joel Stroetzel - Guitar
Jesse Leach - Vocals
Tom Gomes - Drums (in band at one time but did not record)
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" – 5:41
7."To the Sons of Man" – 1:57
8."Temple From the Within" – 4:04
9."The Element of One" – 4:08
10."Vide Infra"– 3:27
11."Without a Name" (Instrumental) – 1:44
12."Rise Inside" – 5:54
Bonus Disc on 2005 rerelease
1."In the Unblind" – 2:48
2."When the Balance Is Broken" – 4:35
3."Untitled and Unloved" (Instrumental) – 3:20
4."Numbered Days" (Demo) – 3:37
5."Transfiguration a.k.a. Fixation on the Darkness" (Demo) – 3:38
6."Just Barely Breathing" (Demo) – 5:13
7."Fixation on the Darkness" (with Howard Jones) – 3:37
8."AOJB Studio Out Takes" – 1:17
Why?: Lets get this straight, i f**king hate metalcore. However the exception to this is Killswitch Engage. Considered the leaders of the original 4 bands of the genre which includes Lamb of God, Shadows Fall and Chimaira who are all in my opinion a bit s**t. This is their second album and breaks away from their more generic metalcore, deathcore first album. This is also the last album with original vocalist (the white one not the black). I got this album after listening to their later stuff which i enjoyed and approached it with trepidation like most metal bands from the 21st century.
The album instantly starts of heavy (which is never a bad thing). Track by track every song is a colossal slab of molten metal. Heavy but still catchy, technichal but not pretentious. The vocals are a mix of both shouty/heavy (pantera esque) and melodic (without going emo like most metalcore s**t). A lot of people seem to have an idea of this band being emo, mainly because of the fact that the singer can sing aswell as growl.
A lot of the lyric subject centres around the idea of religion (the singer is a christian) but dont let that put you off. I am anti religious and i can see that the singer is not chucking his beliefs into your head like some other christian bands, he is mainly just using it as a subject matter to realte to the world around us. An example would be the track "Numbered Days" which is about the prophecy of the fall of Babylon, this could however be interpreted in a variety of differant ways (global warming etc) and is not just a religious brainwashing song. Much of the song lyrics also make referance to love of some sort which many infer as being emo. That is simply plain stupid, the Bee Gees,Beatles and the Eagles are not an emo band and they sing about love.
The vocal style is really good, i hate shouty, death singing (with an exception of a few vocalists) and i can easilly tolerate and enjoy this, he also sings aswell which is good because a lot of the shouty vocalists in metal only do it cos they can't sing in the first place. In my opinion he and the replacemwent singer for the band are the only good metalcore singers unlike that piece of s**t in lamb of God who can only bark.
The guitars are superb, a real Pantera and Maiden vibe without ripping them off. There are also enough pinch harmonics to put Zakk Wylde to shame. there are no solos which is a bit of a shame but then again i am not that bothered about hearing guitar solos anyway. I'm not sure why they never included any because they are capable of doing it- Holy Diver cover and when i saw them live they did.
The drums are pretty good, not overdoing it like some metal bands around at the moment, although on their first album they were slightly better but more underproduced because lack of a record label and money. The bass is also solid but like most bands its not at the forefront of the music. Bass solos and stuff are gay anyway.
The production is superb. Adam Dutkiewicz is one of the most talented producers at the moment along with Steve Wilson of Porcupine tree. The fact that he plays drums, guitar, sings and produces is even more amazing. He is currently one of the most sought after producers for the newer metalcore bands (even good production can't make them sound good). Andy Sneap is mixing and his back catologue speaks for itself (testament,megadeth,opeth etc). he is English too which is never a bad thing lol.
Although i can understand that this is not everyones cup of tea, much like any extreme music genre such as death metal and black metal i would reccomend it to anyone who is not to set in their ways about the state of modern rock and metal (which to be fair is almost completely s**t) and to anyone who is interested in catchy and heavy riffs with a blend of both heavy and melodic vocals and is not ignorant enough to think that a modern metal band that sings are emo or screamo.
Stand-out Tracks: My Last Seranade, Numbered Days, Self Revolution, Fixtation on the Darkness, Life to Lifeless