Killswitch Engage

Synthetic – Clepsydra: Time Against Infinity Review

Synthetic – Clepsydra: Time Against Infinity Review

“Well, the promo claimed Clepsydra to be symphonic progressive metal, which did not fill me with hope. Thankfully, this claim was wrong. It’s not very symphonic; it just overuses keyboards a lot. It admittedly has that in common with actual symphonic bands, but at least the synths in Synthetic are more earnest in their synthetic sound rather than trying and failing to imitate an actual orchestra. Nor is this record very progressive at all; most of the songs have a basic verse-chorus structure and rely on direct hooks of a pretty tried and true style. The style in question is more along the lines of metalcore and melodic death, winding up somewhere in between Killswitch Engage, Soilwork and In Flames, just with a lot more keyboards.” Corephobia.

Viscera – Obsidian Review

Viscera – Obsidian Review

“In Hollywood, there’s a phenomenon called ‘twin films.’ Sometimes movies released around the same time have an uncannily similar plot, even though they’ve been in production around the same time and couldn’t have copied one another. A few well-known examples include Armageddon and Deep Impact, Antz and A Bug’s Life, and The Prestige and The Illusionist. Now, considering the frequency of release and inherent similarities, this isn’t really a thing in metal, but it still gave me pause when I noticed I was about to go through the second Unique Leader techy deathcore release with wav format tracks in just a handful of weeks.” Guts check.

Neaera – Neaera Review

Neaera – Neaera Review

“No matter how hard you try, you can never really escape your past. By day I’m the kvltest of the kvlt, blasting the blakkened fukkin death while wearing a shirt that depicts Jesus getting flogged by a horde of goat demons. But when I curl up at night with my plesiosaurus plush, I know at heart I’m still the same mid-aughts core kid who got his start in the metal world with Killswitch Engage and their ilk. Even today, when the promo teat runs dry, sometimes I find myself returning to where it all began: core.” Damn core kids!

Quiescency – Message for Lamb Review

Quiescency – Message for Lamb Review

“Metalcore. Deathcore. The ever nebulous ‘melodic metal.’ These are tags that discomfit discerning metalheads like myself. In those rare moments where I experience the excitement for a new release in these genres, as I did with Russia’s Quiescency, the worst case is that my anticipation overinflates. Since the band announced Message for Lamb roughly forever ago, my expectations for their debut record swiftly reached an unreasonable altitude. Alas, what goes up must come down.” Lamb stewed.

Killswitch Engage – Atonement Review

Killswitch Engage – Atonement Review

“All in all, they’ve done a pretty remarkable job of defying AMG‘s Law of Diminishing Records, and yet that very fact made me a bit apprehensive of Atonement. Wouldn’t it be just my luck to score reviewing rights to such a renowned and personally beloved[1. I’ll admit that I’ve cooled on Killswitch and metalcore in general over the years, but they were integral to my dive into the depths ov metal nonetheless, and I say thank ya.] act only for it to be their Cold Lake?” Atone for what?

Through the Noise – Dualism Review

Through the Noise – Dualism Review

“This is sure to come as a surprise, what with the kvlt as fvck album art and all, but Through the Noise are about as trve as Santa. With their accessible angst and envelope-friendly chuggatry, these Swedes crabwalk the thick, downtuned line between nü-metal and metalcore, and by all rights, Dualism should have been inflicted upon a n00b. However, there have been far too many 4.0’s awarded as ov late, and I would be remiss to turn down an opportunity to bring you bastards crashing back down to reality, so we are here.” Punishment is due.

Ketos – First Strike Review

Ketos – First Strike Review

“With that technicolor cover and macho album title, First Strike makes its presence and intentions clear from the get go. Or so you’d think, but you’d be wrong—this is a melodic thrash metal band we’re talking about here. If you never liked and never will like, uh, “melodic thrash metal,” Ketos won’t change your mind on the subject and you can feel free to scroll right down to the comments and tell everybody to listen to some vomit-inducing folk-power-black album on bandcamp. It’s your loss, since First Strike is a great example of “melodic thrash metal” passing both the taste test and sniff test—it’s a good album from a band with some serious chops.” Keto friendly.

For All I Care – Forever and a Day Review

For All I Care – Forever and a Day Review

“Has there ever been a time when metalheads ’round the ‘verse rightly celebrated non-Converge metalcore? I am not qualified to answer this question, for in my infinite wisdom, I actually dig In This Moment quite a lot—and, for the record, Maria Brink sounds incredible live. I feel no shame for this, and because of that I am sure Angry Metal Guy would love nothing more than to sacrifice me to a rabid Muppet while playing Tetragrammacide in the foreground for good measure. But I digress. Germany’s For All I Care is a metalcore sextet of the non-Converge variety, and Forever and a Day is their debut full length. And as you might suspect given my polarized taste, it is possible that I might love this stuff.” We care a lot.

Countless Goodbyes – Cycles Review

Countless Goodbyes – Cycles Review

“It’s been pretty interesting to watch metalcore’s evolution over the years. I’m talking specifically about the strain of metalcore that cropped up in the early 2000s, the good cop/bad cop style played by the Killswitch Engages and As I Lay Dyings of the world, the type that infused At the Gates riffs with choruses cribbed from the latest alt-rock band. I ate that shit up in high school and stayed for the party when the style started adopting faster and more technical playing (see: August Burns Red and Texas in July). When djent had its heyminute in the early 2010s, bands realized chugs weren’t too different from breakdowns and thus began to add some djentiness to the proceedings (see: This or the Apocalypse‘s Dead Years and Hollow).” The core cycle.

Manam – Rebirth of Consciousness Review

Manam – Rebirth of Consciousness Review

“Metalcore is an important genre. Now that all the metal elitists are lighting torches and gathering pitchforks, let me explain. Most kids these days (sadly) aren’t listening to Master of Puppets, and the gateway bands of the 80’s simply are not converting new people. I would never have discovered this site and thereby many of my now favorite bands like Wilderun, Barren Earth, Æther Realm without first stumbling onto Killswitch Engage. So, my interest was piqued when Lord Druhm visited the n00b dungeon to deliver the promo for Italian band Manam’s debut, Rebirth of Consciousness, promising a blend of melodeath and metalcore.” Gateway thugs.