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on 15 December 2007
I only recently started listening to Killswitch Engage when I saw them on Rockworld TV a few weeks ago. I saw Howard Jones belting out a live version of `The End of Heartache' (from the album of the same name) and thought that it was worth a closer listen.

Bought the album and liked all the tracks on it. Very impressed - but I could also understand why they weren't more widely know or more successful.

Anyway, I did like `The End of Heartache' and also bought `As Daylight Dies', which again is a good album. However, I was aware of the earlier work (and the previous front-man Jesse Leach) as I had read reviews by fellow fans on Amazon, with titles such as: `The death of Killswitch..."

After having listened to this album, I can only say that I whole heatedly agree with that assessment.

This album is so much more emotive, angry, brutal and engaging than the latest offerings. There are some true classics tracks contained on this CD, whereas I think the only classic on `The End of Heartache' is the track with the same name.

This is without doubt a `must have' in anyone's metal collection.

The differences between `Alive or just Breathing' and `The End of Heartache' are quite stark when you listen to them back-to-back.
`The End of Heartache' is more guitar rift driven than `Alive or just Breathing', and it is done in such a way that the rifts are the main focal point of the music and the drumming/beat are inconsequential. This gives the whole album a very `tame' feeling, despite Howard Jones' brilliant vocal work.
(Side Note: I was listening to `The End of Heartache' and my girlfriend commented "... isn't that a bit commercial?" - which says it all. Normally her ears bleed if I ever play anything `un-commercial'!!).

In contrast, `Alive or just Breathing' has much more dominant drumming, the vocals are more screaming than signing, and the rifts less dominant - which gives the album a rawer, harder - brutal feel to it.
I tend to nod my head listening to `Alive or just Breathing' much more than I would to `The End of Heartache'.

I can't even count the number of times I have listened to this album since I bought it (about a week ago). I am, at the moment, listening to it repeatedly (whilst trying to fix my bloody IPod) and it just gets better and better.

If you are a fan of metal, buy this album and enjoy every minute of it.
Albums like this don't come up very often.
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on 23 October 2015
The album thast brought KSE to attention in the UK and the world. More hardcore than the later albums that become more metal. Of course the singer is now back for a 2nd time after leaving because his condition couldn,t stand smoky venues, now its none smoking so no excuses for leaving again. Buy all there albums, I got the lot dirt cheap at Zoverstocks and lots more metal besides.
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on 30 September 2017
One of my favourite albums of all time, now in my of my favourite media formats of all time.
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on 22 October 2014
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on 9 November 2015
My husband has wanted this album for ages so really pleased with this.
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on 15 November 2014
Very happy
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on 7 August 2014
Delivery was quick great album I am a big fan of killswitch engage needed that album very happy.
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on 1 December 2009
When you look back at 2002's Alive or Just Breathing it's difficult to believe just how well this seminal and genre defining album has aged. Even now the music is just so fresh and exciting, who can listen to the crushing `Self Revolution,' without judging it an absolute genre classic ? Great music, great vocals and great production, the song is absolutely huge in every way, from the battery of the kick drum patterns to the very heavy riffs then the emotional impact of the well thought out and interesting lyrics. The whole album is so clever, balancing between light and shade in a way that no other band even gets close to.
Chugging riffs, uplifting guitar harmonies, catchy choruses and heavy double kick drum filled verses have always been the Killswitch sound, but this album is heavier and harsher than the bands later work, with songs like `Just Barely Breathing,' and especially `To The Sons Of Man,' having a much more aggressive and brasher sound than you may be expecting . The music is so well written, thoughtful and just plain good that it's not hard to see why the band eventually became so successful. The production is also amazing, the guitar sound is gigantic and the kick drum beaters absolutely pound your speakers, which is especially impressive when you think that it was self produced, with current guitarist (then drummer) Adam D handling a lot of the responsibilities in the studio as well as musically.
Adam is responsible for touches of piano, the superb heavy hitting and kick pedal abusing drum performance as well as a number of guitar riffs that would hint at his future position. On top of all that you still get Adam D's excellent backing vocals which are so good they always become a real highlight of any Killswitch song.
Pete Cortese, Adam Dutkiewicz and Joel Stroezel have a distinctive playing style which mixes Fear Factory influenced staccato rhythms with quick twin guitar harmonies in a very particular fashion that is laced with both melody and agression. The album contains a lot of the finest work Killswitch have ever done, which still grace Killswitch concerts to this day such as the singles `Fixation of Darkness' and `My Last Serenade.'
Standout tracks include the brilliant fan favourite `Life To Lifeless,' the unique and ever enjoyable opener `Numbered Days' and the previously mentioned ` Just Barely Breathing,' which remains to this day one of the heaviest songs in the Killswitch catalougue.
Alive or Just Breathing is a undeniably classic album, and I can't recommend it highly enough.
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on 21 April 2015
Love this album, cant believe it took me this long to buy. Most people don't see the point in spending money on CD's anymore. most people pirate music but i really like owning the CD's.

This album is amazing and if you like KSE's new album Disarm the Decent you must get this album.
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on 27 September 2013
had been meaning to pick up for a while now and glad i did, awesome album and came in quick time and was well priced
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