Killswitch Engage Albums Ranked.

Hate list features? Feel free to skip this article and others in this series. Here I’ll be doing a run down, buyer’s guide, what’s hot and what’s not, best to worst, whatever kind of way you want to call it… I’ll be ranking the albums by certain bands in order from Best (aka. My subjective favourite) to Worst/Least Good (subjectively, in my opinion)… and then pretending it is a factual list of truth and wisdom. Number 1 is obviously the best. The lowest number, well, I think you’ve seen enough of these types of articles over the years to gather where this is going…

I’ll chose one band per day.

DAY 2 – KILLSWITCH ENGAGE:

01. Disarm The Descent (2013) – When this was first announced I was a bit skeptical, I was always a big fan of Howard Jones and was sad to see him go. From day one of actually hearing it however, I was utterly convinced, and it has only grown on me since then. Individually, it has some of the absolute best songs the band have ever released.  As a whole, it flows well and makes a good journey. The production is great. Jesse’s vocals are better than the early days and the lyrics are pretty great too. Inspirational even. I know that the history books are probably already written and that ‘Heartache and ‘Just Breathing are the ones that will make all the Top 100 Lists, but in my mind this should be right up there with them. Its my favourite for sure.

Best songs: ‘In Due Time,’ ‘The Turning Point,’ ‘You Don’t Bleed For Me’ & ‘A Tribute To The Fallen.’

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02. The End Of Heartache (2004) – I may personally prefer Disarm’ more, but if you need to choose a first Killswitch album, this is probably the one you should choose. Its consistent, strong, confident, perfectly paced and it has utter classic songs on it that will never not be in the live set, will never not be on a compilation and will never not be on playlists. Definitive all time Killswitch anthems. Even the on the nose artwork is iconic. It is probably the ultimate example of the band, and one of the ultimate examples of the whole subgenre. Its one of those top 100 list classic albums that every Metal fan should own.

Best songs: ‘A Bid Farewell,’ ‘When Darkness Falls’ & ‘The End Of Heartache.’

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03. Alive Or Just Breathing (2002) – The breakthrough album and the one where a lot of people first heard of the band. When ‘My Last Serenade’ first came on music tv in the midst of the Nu Metal era it was unlike anything else on the air at the time. The band seemed so futuristic at the time. Although Jesse’s vocals have improved considerably over time, they are still pretty great here. Although the band have become more diverse and also become more polished over time, this album represents the rawer, heart on sleeve, idealistic recipe for what the band what the band would go on to perfect with the next album. (Without being too unrefined, like the one that preceded it). If you like your hardcore, you’ll probably in fact prefer this one over ‘Heartache. Most of all it has monster tunes.  

Best songs: ‘Fixation On The Darkness’ ‘Temple From The Within’ ‘Self Revolution’ and the aforementioned ‘My Last Serenade.’

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04. Atonement (2019) – Their newest album sees the band focusing on choruses. It feels a bit more streamlined, its high on melody and catchy as hell. Its also one of the most even and least frontloaded of their career. Add to that a guest vocal appearance from Testament’s Chuck Billy and ex-singer Howard Jones and you’ve got a damn strong album. I’ve heard a few reviewers not liking this one, but I don’t get that at all, with songs this good and choruses this memorable, its an absolute winner to me.

Best Songs: ‘I Can’t Be The Only One,’ ‘The Crownless King,’ ‘The Signal Fire’ & ‘Know Your Enemy.’

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05. Incarnate (2016) – Following up the masterpiece that was Disarm’ can’t have been easy, and on top of that, being just another album and not having a hook like ‘’the first album with Jesse back’’ or ‘’the first one with Howard’’ also puts it at a bit of a disadvantage in the reasons to recommend it stakes, but this album shouldn’t be overlooked. I think I like this record more than the average fan. It may not be their best album ever, may be a bit uneven, and may be their most frontloaded album to date, but it is still absolutely worth your time. It’s a really worthy sequel to Disarm’ and while it may not reach quite the same heady heights, it isn’t the disappointment some people make it out to be. Its also nice to see them trying new things, one of the songs* sounds like Megadeth at points and one of them sounds almost Djenty.

Best songs: ‘Hate Be Design,’ ‘Alone I Stand,’ ‘Until The Day*’ & ‘Strength Of The Mind**’  

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06.  As Daylight Dies (2006) – Sort of the Incarnate of the Jones-era, it follows up a classic so has to live in its shadow a bit, it has some utter bangers and a very strong lead single, but although its still good it’s a little bit more uneven and not quite as good as the previous record. If all the songs were as good as the best songs, you’d have a contender for the number one stop, but as it stands now, unfortunately its just a good Killswitch album but not an all-time great. Still totally worth owning, but maybe not one you’ll be listening to in full over and over for years and years to come. I can’t foresee them playing the whole album live in full, even if it does feature one of their biggest hits*.  If you can, try and get the version with a cover of Dio’s ‘Holy Diver’ on it.

Best songs ‘My Curse*,’ ‘The Arms Of Sorrow,’ ‘This Is Absolution’ & ‘Still Beats Your Name.’

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07. 2nd S/T (2009) – This one got a bit of a critical panning at the time due to its lighter production job and the public’s patience for metalcore wearing thin after so many years. History hasn’t really done much to change that opinion. I’ve always been a staunch defender of this album (in and of itself) but there’s no arguing that the albums above it on this list are better than this one. That being said, it does have three of my top ten ever Killswitch songs. It’s a real shame that this album tanked, as I’ve seen the band live three times since its touring cycle and they didn’t played a single song from it live at any of them. Baby with the bathwater scenario if ever there was one. I truly believe if the best 3 songs on this record were on a different album, they’d have a completely different reputation.

Best songs ‘Never Again’ ‘The Forgotten’ & ‘This Is Goodbye.’

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08. Early S/T (2000) – This album is their pre-fame debut album on a smaller label, but you can sort of look at it more as a demo, many of the tracks from it have been re-recorded over the years. Its their shortest album, its their most abrasive sounding album and its got the rawest production of their career. Its not really my thing though. Everything it does right, is done better elsewhere. The best songs have been recreated better elsewhere. The songs which haven’t been remade aren’t all that amazing. Its got the weakest drumming and vocals of any Killswitch album. Its worth a look for curiosity, but it isn’t a must-have.

Best songs: ‘Temple From The Within,’ ‘Vida Infra’ & ‘Irreversal.’

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2 Comments

    • Ha ha, not my user name, just the blog title, but I was getting too many disappointed King Crimson fans wondering what was gonig on. Also its been a decade, thought I may as well spruce the old place up a little while I was at it.

      Liked by 1 person

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