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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remembering Your Roots, 27 Jan 2005
This review is from: Killswitch Engage (Audio CD)
Before metalcore heroes Killswitch Engage changed the shape of modern metal with 2002's "Alive or Just Breathing", they released a self-titled debut on Ferret Records. Although it caused minor interest at the time of release, on the whole it went by fairly unnoticed - until now. Remixed and re-mastered by guitarist Adam Ductkiewicz complete with four bonus tracks from the band's original 1999 demo, Roadrunner Records have now brought this album to the attention of the many new fans the band has acquired over the last few years.
Far from just cashing in on obsessive or collector fans, this album definitely something worth owning. The CD features a different Killswitch with Ductkiewicz on drums and ex-vocalist Jesse David Leach (the same line-up as on "Alive or Just Breathing"), but the song style has not changed much. The production isn't as gut busting as the band's current sound, but in place of this you can really feel the energy of this album. Its rawness, in this instance, is a help, not a hindrance.
The first two tracks, "Temple From the Within" and "Vide Infra", will be familiar to fans of the band as they appeared on "Alive or Just Breathing". It is clear that not much was changed for these songs and it is also clear that nothing really needed to be changed. They are as good songs in their original state as they were on "Alive..."
The other seven songs on the album will be new to most listeners, and they will be pleased to hear that there are no fillers here. Any of the remaining songs could quite easily sit on "Alive or Just Breathing" and, as well as being a credit to the band's song writing abilities, it shows how consistent a band Killswitch Engage are. They definitely seem to have sticking power and will be probably be one of the few to outlive the "New Wave" fad. Highlights include the air guitar friendly "In the Unblind", the brutal "Soilborn" and the magnificent "Irreversal". And where would a decent metalcore album be without the compulsory mellowed instrumental track? "One Last Sunset" is dark, melancholy and frankly quite daring for a debut album closer. But, they took the risk, and it works wonderfully well.
The bonus demo material is interesting to listen to and a key piece in the progression of the band, but it isn't as outstanding as you may expect. Granted, it is a solid effort but some parts are sloppy. It was probably much more significant back in 1999 when nu-metal was riding high, but today it isn't really as impressive and is there more as a point of reference than of something of outstanding quality.
This re-release does Killswitch's reputation no harm; indeed it has the potential to make their fans appreciate them even more. With a DVD featuring the current line-up set for release some point this year and a new album in 2006, Killswitch Engage are definitely here to stay.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great start, 14 May 2002
This review is from: Killswitch Engage (Audio CD)
Killswitch Engage have just signed to Roadrunner Records. Some of the songs on this album have been re-recorded on the new disc 'Alive Or Just Breathing'. Now onto this recording. It is amazing. Although it's pretty rough production wise, you can hear classic Slayer among others in the music. It's a great start and if you like metal you should be clicking on the 'add to shopping basket' button right now. The riffs are fantastic and with so much crap outhere trying to pass as metal it's great to hear the real deal. Stand out tracks are 'Temple From The Within', 'Vide Infra' and 'One LAst Sun Set' and it's no coincidence that the first two also appear on the new disc. I've got to say that Killswitch will be as important to metal as Slayer, Sepultura and Panterra were.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best band on the planet.....period, 1 Mar 2005
By 
Chris Read "Chris Read" (Northampton,UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Killswitch Engage (Audio CD)
I said a few years back that Alive was the best album I had heard since Ride the Lightening .... two years on and i STILL cant get the thing out of the CD player....and i have many hundreds of Cds....
I now have both versions of this album ..... it really needed remixing as the original was hard to make out the songs ..... and now I realise just how amazing this album is ..... not a bad song on it .... and a real treat for Jesse fans....
On the downside, it makes you realise the band are becoming more and more streamlined with each release .... I prefer this cd to End of Heartache, which whilst a great album, seems to lack the twists and turns and great vocal melodies of Alive.... and I am now really missing Jesse ....
This though is truly BRUTAL, raw and I absolutely love it .... if you liked Alive ... and lets face it, who didnt ... you are gonna love this...
A true masterpiece from the best band ive ever heard
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lyrics with real purpose, 8 Dec 2007
By 
J. Clarke "Alright Sally" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Killswitch Engage (Audio CD)
I'll start by saying you will be blown away by this album.
with an intro from Temple from the Within, you'll know what youve gotten yourself into, it starts with some strong vocal talent that slowly turns into one hell of a catchy chorus that you'll have to groove too and you'd just have to pick up the lyric book to sing along.
Vide Infra is possibly one of the most lyrically powerful songs of the decade, possibly of all time, and in the form of desparate cries of anguish and some breaks of human speech, you can't help but take it all in. Irreversal, one of my personal favourites, that has the biggest transformation of a song, from delivering demonic screams and guitar riffs to echoing into the beauty that is Killswitch Engage. Somehow the image of the band has changed from global equallity through any meens to that and what it includes, the welcoming of sacrifice. the full lyric is "Outstretched Arms, To welcome the Sacrifice, of this body". So powerful is the lyric and vocal, that it is repeated in the form of Jesse's desparation.

Songs Like Soilborn show the range of KsE, Starting with a riff left over from a prelude, jumps right into the vocals and strength section, with an almost terrifying riff that sounds truly evil spouting "We Are Soilborn, We are Children". The instrumental side really shines here, with funky bass bridges, Mosh inducing drums (Love the tinny sound :D and the guitars show why Adam.D has to take up rythym and recruit another drummer, with only one guitarist, and a song with 2 guitars.. In the Unblind makes sure that Killswitch go out in truly badass style, the intro alone could turn a funeral to a huge mosh swell. Near constant double bass drums, and a couple of the SQUEALIEST pinch harmonics you'll ever hear, all accompanied by the demanding voice of Jesse. Although its not a definitive song, the real outro - One Last Sunset - is a spooky twist on the album that can really sum it all up.

And to top it all off 4 Demo's of Vide Infra, Prelude, SoilBorn and In the Unblind. VALUE FOR MONEY! This truly is Re-Mastered. It's a shame that this album and its predecessor Alive or Just Breathing have been pushed into the dark shadow of End of Heartache and As Daylight Dies.. with only one recruit for old KsE music being the Video for My Last Serenade. Without doubt one of the heaviest, and most beautiful albums of our time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Older is better, 5 Feb 2008
By 
G. BROOKS (Plymouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Killswitch Engage (Audio CD)
This is one of the KSE albums that featured Jesse before he left KSE and was replaced by Howard as the vocalist and it is immediately apparent that Jesse has more aggression and raw power in his voice for this style of music when listening to songs like Temple From The Within and Vide Infra. Personally I find the later KSE stuff somewhat frustrating to listen to as the faux operatic style of Howard begins to get on my nerves; he almost sounds to me like Kermit The Frog performing opera, badly.

If you like the heavier and more "brutal" KSE then you'd do well in investing in the albums that Jesse was vocalist on, this one included. This album is good but the real stand-out tracks from KSE's back catalogue (before Howard took over) are definitely on the album "Alive Or Just Breathing" and 2 of the 3 or 4 standout tracks on the self-titled album appear on AOJB anyway. It's just a shame that Jesse left as I feel KSE became more watered down since Howard joined.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Killswitch Rock!, 10 Feb 2005
This review is from: Killswitch Engage (Audio CD)
Listening to this album, I'm thinking if you are into bands such as Unearth and Hatebreed then you are gonna love this early offering. It's a re-release of their debut album with then vocalist Jesse Leach on screaming duty.
Most people will agree that more and more albums are compiled of good songs and 'fillers' but this album is different. From opener 'Temples from the Within' throught to 'One Last Sunset', I cant personally think of one bad riff, intro or breakdown in any of the songs. Add to that the 4 bonus tracks from the 1999 Demo and you have yourself a blistering first album. With the power of such songs like 'In the Inblind'and 'Soilborn' it's hard to determined the best song on the album.
It sounds as good now as it did then and is pure metal perfection!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Want Metal?, 1 Feb 2005
By 
This review is from: Killswitch Engage (Audio CD)
This is an amazing CD. A collaboration of raw entising sounds that give pure metal ectasy to even the mild of metal fans. Killswitch Engage have been a band that have always kept to the roots of metal, showing a collection molodic and rageful riffage that blow you away from start to finish. In this album is features their rawest of the three productions, and comes very highly recommended by myself..... infact why are you still reading this review, click buy NOW!
Yours Shadie.. Metal forever!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Metal Excellence, 1 Feb 2005
This review is from: Killswitch Engage (Audio CD)
Killswitch have always been an awesome band, even from the beggining as shown by this powerful debut! The Album is a great metal album and since i bought it i can't stop listning to it! If you have heard and liked any of the other killswitch albums or are just into your metal i would definately check this out. not one to be missed! Its also really cool to hear 4 before unreleased demos, that really do show you where it all began!!!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The beginning of the great metal path for Killswitch!, 13 May 2003
This review is from: Killswitch Engage (Audio CD)
This album is a deep description by jesse leach (who has unfortunatly left Killswitch Engage by now) of his feelings towards life. There music is violent but with a meaning. An excellent debut, even though the production is a little rusty at times. With two songs they have copied to there most recent album 'Alive or just Breathing' but with a song like "temples within" to open the album are great. Anyone who likes there Roadrunner album will definatly enjoy this, but don't expect the saem quality!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 10 Sep 2012
This review is from: Killswitch Engage (Audio CD)
Arrived quickly and is as good as new. Great value too.
A couple of tracks I already had, on their second album but if you like KsE. Well worth getting!
Great vocalist!
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