There are two meanings behind that headline. Killswitch Engage have indeed created another good metalcore album. But here’s the thing; They do very little to stray from the formula that created all of their other albums. There is a slight change in sound, but that’s probably because Brendon O’Brien stepping in to help handle production instead of guitarist Adam D. taking the duty on by himself. Other than that slight sonic difference, it’s really your typical Killswitch record with the pop formula of intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus or any similar variation on that. Imagine, if you will, as Killswitch Engage being like an expansion pack instead of a sequel and you’ll get a rough idea of what to expect. On the Howard Jones fronted KsE spectrum, I’d almost put it above The End Of Heartache. But to do that, you kinda have to pretend for a second that they didn’t write that album five years ago.

Another difference I can point out is that there’s actually a guitar solo in the opening track “Never Again”. I was pleasantly surprised when it popped up. However, that’s the only one on the album and it being featured on the opening track gave me a false hope of there being more in store. I also don’t recall hearing any backup vocals from Adam D.

I’m normally a guy who loves some sort of progression in sound. I’ve got a touch of the ADD and I get distracted easily, so I can’t really listen to the same album being made several times over without getting bored. But that didn’t happen all that much during this album like I expected. There are melodies and hooks throughout that keep you interested. Speaking of hooks, let’s be honest with ourselves. With all intents and purposes, Killswitch Engage are making catchy pop-metal. This isn’t a bad thing. There’s nothing wrong with putting away the brutal and technical shit for a second and listening to something with soaring melodic choruses and a heartfelt message.

Killswitch Engage – Killswitch Engage gets…

3.5/5 | C+

HBIH star-rating

Reckoning

– JR

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