Alive Or Just Breathing Review

artist: killswitch engage date: 03/03/2009 category: compact discs
killswitch engage: Alive Or Just Breathing
Released: May 21, 2002
Genre: Rock
Style: Heavy Metal
Number Of Tracks: 12
 Sound: 9.3
 Lyrics: 9.1
 Overall Impression: 9.4
 Overall rating:
 9.2 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.2 
 Users rating:
 9.2 
 Votes:
 63 
reviews (17) 21 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
Alive Or Just Breathing Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 31, 2006
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: When I first listened to alive or just breathing I didn't know what to expect. I had already owned the end of heartache CD, and, in my mind, nothing could have been better. This CD proved me wrong. This was Killswitch's second released CD, and their first CD through Roadrunner Records. The overall sound quality of the album was absolutley amazing, and the musicianship is top notch for todays average metal band. Adam D. and Joel (the guitarists) just put on show, with crushing riffs, breakdowns, and melodic harmonies that could make the pope cry. After listening to this album many times I also got the feeling that these guys didn't want to be labeled to any genre. The diversity in their sound is so extreme that I don't think its possible to define their sound as hardcore, heavy metal, grindcore, rock 'n' roll, death metal, etc. Because quite frankly their sound has roots from each of those styles, and probably many more. oh and heres some fun facts, Adam D (guitar player/back up vox) he also played drums on this album, because at the time they didnt have a drummer, and Jesse Leach had recorded his vocals in the comfort of his own bedroom. // 10

Lyrics: Jesse Leach. There's not much else to say. His transition from screaming to singing is absolutely amazing, and his voice compliments his lyrics so well, you can actually feel the emotion he put into each and every song. The lyrics alone are amazing. Like some people have said, Jesse is all about sending a positive message. In the song 'Rise Inside' the opening lines read "Rise inside, free your mind. Raise your first to signify, we stand in defiance of hatred and deception. If I stand alone I will fight for you." Killswitch Engage said it themselves on their DVD. Alive or Just Breathing is the way it is, because of Jesse Leach. // 10

Overall Impression: 01. Numbered Days - the intro basically punches you in the face and then calms down for 20 seconds, and then boom! Back to punching you in the face. The singing in this song is soo perfectly combined with the riffing, and the drums, and it just forms this huge sound. This all is a build up to a point in the song and 2:32. At this moment in the song I think it pretty much somes up the sound killswitch is going for. Its like a breakdown, with beautiful lead guitar over top of it.. 02. Self Revolution - this is one of my favorite songs on the album, as a guitar player, I was immediatly hooked with the opening riffs. And then about 50 seonds in the guitarists are doing this crushing riffs, and jesse is singing in his beautiful voice, and it combines this totally different sound. I give this song a 9/10 because if your ask me its a little short. 03. Fixation On The Darkness - that's what describes this song. To this day I still cant stop head banging when I here this song. It's such a groovy heavy song. Jesse's singing on this song is all over the place, hes screaming, then hes doing this like half screaming and half singing thing, and then just full out singing, and it's perfect, perfect I say. 04. My Last Serenade - if you consider yourself a killswitch engage fan, then you have already heard this song. If you consider yourself a fan, but you havent heard this song, then your already dead to me. It's another short song, and its basic in structure, but it seems to me that every instrument compliments one another so perfectly that you cant help but love this song. 05. Life To Lifeless - another pretty basic song, but when it hits the chorus everything seems to come together. It's like a kick of melodicness to the nuts. Beautiful chorus, but I consider this the most boring killswitch engage song, I like it, but it's not my favorite. 06. Just Barely Breathing - it opens with a soft dark intro, which seems like it belongs in a horror movie or something, but then it steps into a farely heavy riff, where the drums are bringing out the guitars very well. It coninues to get heavier, and faster, and then ka-f--kin'-boom. The chorus. Possibley the most emotional and driven chorus on the album. You can feel the honesty and pain in Jesse's voice. Overall I consider this song a piece of art. 07. To The Sons Of Man - this is possibley the most hardcore song on the album, it is fast and it is powerfull. The riff at around 1:00 is so heavy, but they add that melodic sense back in, and what you know, it turns into another Killswitch Engage ballad. Yet it's only 1:57 long. 08. Temple From Within - this song was re-released on this album. It was originaly from their self-titled debut CD. It has some of the most uplifting guitar riffs on the album. If your an emotional wreck put this song on. It's like an angry build up to the chorus which takes your on a whole new journey. It's like your in the middle of a fist fight, and then the chorus hit, you shake hands and walk away a better person. 09. The Element Of One - possibly the most melodic song on the album. Jesse basically takes control of you through voice and lyrics. "Breathe me in, I am forever". This song seems so powerful and moving, that it almost brings a tear to my eye every time I hear it (to bad I'm anti-emo and had my tear ducts removed). 10. Vide Infra - another song re-release, and it's heavy! At 2:10 it's beautiful. The drums drive this song, and make it what it is. It's another piece of art. Listen to the doubles, feel the doubles, it's badass. 11. Without A Name - a really beautifull acoustic interlude. If you ask me, his interlude defines Killswitch Engage. I don't know how, I don't know why, but it does. 12. Rise Inside - Mike D introduces us with the low tones on the bass, and then boom. Killswitch engage close out the cd with the perfect song. Such a positive message conveyed through heavy music. Only Killswitch Engage can pull this off. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 10
Alive Or Just Breathing Reviewed by: notbychoice, on july 23, 2003
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Overall Impression: I bought this album for "My last serenade" and thought the rest of the album would be similar, I knew the album had got good reviews but i wasn't expecting anything special. I put it in the stereo and pressed play and heard the first screams of "Numbered Days" and gave up, I thought it would be another Slipknot album. One week later I played it again infront of my friend to show how crap they were and left the first song running and MY GOD! IT WAS AWESOME! I thought it would be another black metal album but its just GOoD HEAVY METAL! The singers really good too! Morale of the story, dont be put off by the first few seconds of a song! BUY THIS! NOW! // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 10
Alive Or Just Breathing Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 08, 2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: There sound is amazing, Alive of Just Breathing is one of the best cds out there. KsEg is awesome the sound of there music is alot different and that is why they blew up so fast. They are setting the new standers for the hardcore and metal. // 10

Lyrics: Lyric are awsome, truly amazing this is not the depressed cry baby lyrics. This is the get off you A** and do some thing lyrics and the way there lyrics roll with each other is amazing. Jesse's voice is amazing the best screams it go's perfect with the music and album. // 10

Overall Impression: Alot of people were comparing this to shadows fall who is a good band and acully have solos KsEg is way better. There are many many awesome song my fav. is either My Last Serinade, Rise Inside, or Life to Lifeless. I did have my cd stolen and I did buy it again. Anyone who wants to listen to a solid hard amazing band buy there cd. Later. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 10
Alive Or Just Breathing Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 22, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: From the first note I was totally perplexed by the force of this albumn, the sound is perfectly tailored to the type of band they are. The musicianship is incredible, totally flawless and can be seen as an exemplory lesson is modern metal. It is so good to hear bands breaking away from the nu-metal, emo style of music and inject some heartfelt passion and force into what they create. // 10

Lyrics: Jesse Leach seems to pull every trick out of the bag here, the two songs that display his talents best are the title track and 'Element Of One.' His range is incredible, moving from metal grunt to a passionate cry without effort. The lyrics are inspiring, rather than focusing on the bad stuff, he conveys an image of hope and unity with his lyrics which again is so refereshing in the modern metal climate. // 10

Overall Impression: Killswitch Engage are blatantly ahead of their field, there is not a weak track here and production to match. This is one of the finest metal albumns of the last decade and is a sure must for any self respecting metal fan. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 10
Alive Or Just Breathing Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 14, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: When I first heard the opening track 'Numbered Days', I instantly thought it was crap, as I only bought it for 'My Last Serenade'. How wrong I was! There is not one track that is unlistenable on this album. This is an instant classic metal album. And the production by Adam D. of KSE (compared to their debut album 'Killswitch Engage') is outstanding, the strongest thing on this record, except, of course the music. // 10

Lyrics: I read the lyrics, and they are not your typical metal lyrics. Jesse sings about positive things, rather than "I'm Gonna Kill!" that you get from other metal bands. Lines like "Are we alive, or just, breathing?" is talking about living your life to the fullest. The lyrics fit perfectly with the music, and makes the sound stronger and relative to the music. Jesse has a wide range of vocals, from melodic singing e.g. 'My last Serenade' to gutteral growling e.g. 'To The Sons Of Man'. // 10

Overall Impression: There is nothing about this album that I hate, this is the best album they have released. I would definitly buy this album again if I lost it or it was stolen. In conclusion, buy this album. Now! // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 8.7
Alive Or Just Breathing Reviewed by: dimebag7, on december 20, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Killswitch Engage is probably the best metal band around today or at least one of them. There sound is very cruncky and thick rarely than sharp like alot of other metal bands and KsE can pull it off. Killswitch probabaly knows a thing or two about '80s metal shred guitar, they've denfital been influcened by that era. // 9

Lyrics: Killswitch lyrics arent your average metal lyrics and pain, killing, and all that stuff we live love to hear on other metal albums. (slayer)Like the song "Just Barely Breathing" the chours is "Are we alive or just breathing? Don't close your eyes see the images" is talking about are you out and alive having fun with your friends having a good time or are you just breathing letting life get to you. Jones has got some really good screams, but more mellow stuff like usually the chorus have singer instead of screaming and I love both. Some songs wtih good lyrics are: Just barely breathing, numbered days, my last serenade, life to lifeless, and elment of one, theres lots more to I think the whole album itself is really great. // 8

Overall Impression: From the start of the first song (numbered days) I loved the album it really sets the move with the first scream about what the album means "My Time Aporches! Rise From The Ashes Of Remembrance!" I just wish Adam D through in some solos then it'd be complete. If someone stole this. I'd buy it again and try to find whoever stole it in the first place and steal all there christmas presents under their family tree (it's Christmas in a couple days) anyways for Christmas I am hoping to recieve KsE newist album "The End Of Heartache" I've heard a few songs on that and id defintaly pick up this and that album! // 9

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 10
Alive Or Just Breathing Reviewed by: AmorVincitOmnia, on january 10, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: They are simply Metalcore. I am a big fan of Metalcore. I'm not here to say that this band is extremely unique or innovative. I'm not here to say that they're the "heaviest band around," or that their heaviness even compares to the likes of Cannibal Corpse or Pantera. I just simply love this CD. From the basic pinch harmonics that are usually present in most metalcore and nu-metal bands, to the drum beats that just make you want to bang your head relentlessly. Ultimately their sound isn't what impresses me, but it's definitely an important piece to the puzzle which makes this band work well. // 10

Lyrics: Jesse Leach inspires me. This is where Killswitch Engage puts on a clinic. If you could find a better scream/sing combination than the stuff put out by Jesse Leach on this album, then I'd love to hear it. Most of his talent relies on his transitions from screaming to singing, which is done more smoothly than anything I've ever heard. There are plenty of vocalists that are talented (Howard Jones being one of them), but none as important to me as Jesse. This album saved my life from spiraling downhill all thanks to the inspirational lyrics Leach writes (and no, I'm not Christian or Catholic). The headbanging feel only makes it better by making you get on your feet and do something with your life, other than just sitting and crying it away. There's no way I could thank Jesse Leach properly. // 10

Overall Impression: This album isn't for close-minded metalheads who are obsessed with crappy lyrics and horrible cookie monster vocals. It especially isn't for the people who constantly rip on Metalcore. This album would only give them more fuel for their fire. If you think Jesse's singing voice is whiny, then go ahead and call me "emo." I'd be the only emo kid that doesn't cut, have a comb-over, wears tight pants or listens to Atreyu, Bullet For My Valentine or My Chemical Romance. I happen to also like plenty of metal bands (including Metallica, Pantera, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Slayer, Sepultura etc), but I tend to lean more towards bands that have lyrics that I can relate with more (like Between The Buried And Me and Tool). The End Of Heartache was also a strong album with the lyrics and vocals as the focal point, but I still prefer Jesse Leach. My favorite songs on "Alive Or Just Breathing" are all of them. There isn't one that's better than the other. They're all equally good and it makes it impossible for me to choose one. This album is incredibly addicting, and no matter what, it has to be in one of my CD cases so that I can conveniently listen to it after a bad day. Alive Or Just Breathing is definitely one of my top 5 favorite albums. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 8
Alive Or Just Breathing Reviewed by: UG Team, on july 23, 2003
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Overall Impression: This is just of the bands that knows how to mix hardcore, metal and little bit of emo in their music. Alive Or Just Breathing is their 2nd album. This album has surpassed their debut album. Their 2nd album is far more heavy, the distortions are more crunchy and the drums makes you feel like banging your head the whole day. Not only that, the emo parts make you wanna settle down after a hard days work. Killswitch Engage is one of the new talents out there. If anyone like heavy and mellow stuff in the same song, I suggest you get this album. Hey they are gonna perform in Ozzfest 2003! // 8

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 10
Alive Or Just Breathing Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 14, 2003
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Killswitch Engage has taken riffs from the nineties and turned it into metal it used to be like for example, Pantera. They have taken old school metal and crafted it beautifully in their own sound. // 10

Lyrics: Fuck me! Jesse Leach can sing so well, yet have a terrifying death metal scream! Shame he left the band, but they got a worthy enough replacement in The Howard Jones. These guys also put on one amazing live show. Anyone who has seen them live will agree with. Lyrically they are very political, and have some of the best lyrics I've heard in any album this year. Another excellent album I believe sounds nothing like this one, but is one of my favourites. Hundred Reasons-'Ideas Above Our Station' is also a stunning bit of work. // 10

Overall Impression: To put it straight. Best metal album debut since Slipknot-Slipknot, Machine Head-'Burn My Eyes' and Pantera-'Vulgar Display Of Power'. Yes, it is THAT good. If you love metal, but this straight away! Put it at the top of your list! You will not regret it. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 9.3
Alive Or Just Breathing Reviewed by: ironbird PPS, on october 08, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: First of all, anyone can do signature changes. But it's really hard to do it with three other musicians at the same time. That s--t takes practice. Their use of pinch harmonics, isn't worn out and comes at the right times, for example, at the end of a measure brfore it goes into the chorus. And they are one of the only modern hardcore bands to use use the scrape slide, which is commonly associated with 80's metal. // 10

Lyrics: I f--kin hate those b--chy little emo lyrics, "oh I'm sad my girlfriend left me and I can't get my hair to spike the right way" pisses me off really. These guys are assertive and aggressive with their lyrics. "Get the fuck off your ass and do something!", is the jist of their harder song. // 8

Overall Impression: I didn't like this as much as the end of heartache, but this definitely kicks a significant ammount of ass. So props to them for that. They are gonna go far. Long live KsE! // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 6
Alive Or Just Breathing Reviewed by: dicer4, on february 27, 2006
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: alive or just breathing is by far the best album produced by killswitch engage. The way that they made heavy medal with the combination of Jesse's wonderful melodic singing voice, and Jesse's heavy scream was outstanding. At first when making this album, Jesse was nervous bedause he had not sung that deeply before so they deceid to record the vocals at Jesse's house in Rhode Island. It made sense to him because that were his grand mother had died and were he had first found an interest in music. Jesse had actually torn his back while recording the song "Life To Lifeless" and was on his back for nine days. The guitar on this album is excellant. The fact that they have to guitarest makes there music 10x better because they can dielever a much heavier sound. Usaully people don't pay much attention to drums or bass, but in this album its almost impossible not to hear the amazing duoble bass beats and the outstanding bass lines. // 6

Lyrics: The lyrics on this album are perfectly put together by lead vocalest Jesse Leach. Some of the songs really have the depression feeling to them, "The skies weep tonight, I am waiting for," "This is my last serenade, I feel you as you fall away" and the change in metal instead of sing about hatred Jesse sings about compasion and equality "No one is placed higher than another no matter race or creed or gender," "Building a revolution to heal nations." I also found it amazing that not one single swear word was said in this or any of the kilswitch albums and the use of such big words such as: damnnation, serenade, fixation, delieverance just blew my mind away. // 6

Overall Impression: This is by far the best album I have heard in my entire life. Song's such as "Fixation On The Darkness," "My Last Serenade," "Numbered Days" realy bring the bands original style of music to life. I don't have a single compliant about this entire album! Amazing work KSE! // 6

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 8.7
Alive Or Just Breathing Reviewed by: Crazygyx, on march 11, 2006
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: "Alive Or Just Breathing," the Roadrunner debut that marked them as one of the greatest of the new wave of metal, and they damn well are! I think Killswitch Engage appeals to so many people just because they take the heaviness of metal, fuse it with some old school fast riffs, add in those stop and go riffs, and top it all off with some powerful screaming, as well as some beautiful singing. Like many, I first got into this band with the song "My Last Serenade." Having already bought "The End Of Heartache" album (a great album btw), I was expecting more of the same. At the time I purchased this album, I was confused as hell as to why this singer was white, and the singer from "The End Of Heartache" was black. Haha, well, thats when I learned the whole "Jesse leaving, Howard stepping in," but I won't get into that. Anyways, the music from this album is just amazing. From loud riffs to calm melodies, this band (along with As I Lay Dying), was one of the pioneers of the singing fused with screaming. And although I think metalcore (now) is so overplayed and almost dead, I do respect Killswitch Engage very much. // 8

Lyrics: Beautiful, just beautiful. Jesses' lyrics are just amazing, although I think his use of analogies and overall views of life were more forward in their self-titled album (also a great album), this album does a great job as well, and continues to express his views on life. Seen on songs like "Rise Inside" and "Vide Infra," lyrics such as "Time has come to, make a difference, why have we forsaken love?" basically say that "Hey, we're all dirty ignorant bastards, and unless we get our act together, we'll eventually f--k ourselves over." Which I believe, is very true, and thats probably why I appreciate his lyrics so much. Lighter sides of his lyrics can be seen on "My Last Serenade" and "The Element Of One," both very beautiful, calm, yet very heavy songs. // 9

Overall Impression: I hate being categorized in just one genre of music. I love all kinds, but yes, I am mostly a fan of old thrash metal (Metallica, Testament, Megadeth, etc) but I have lately been into this "new wave" or whatever you wanna call it (bands like Lamb Of God, Unearth, Shadows Fall, etc). Basically, if you like metal, and aren't very close minded (those who worship bands that only scream and will never smile), hell, you'll probably still like this album. Get this album, it's loud, it's heavy, yet it's beautiful, like Randy Blythe said, "Beautiful music for ugly people, made by ugly people." // 9

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 8.3
Alive Or Just Breathing Reviewed by: nirvanafan11111, on october 18, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Alive Or Just Breathing is sonically (in my opinion), a metalcore masterpiece! Only a couple of solo's here or there could improve it! The chunky, chuggy riffs alongside excellent leads leave little room for criticism by a fan of the genre! If you don't listen to aggressive music this album is not for you as their is very little variety in music style! The sound is a heavy chugging (drop C tuning) style, with a lot of gain! The leads sound crisp and go along with the music and vocals well! At the time of release this album was a revelation, mixing thrashy, chunky power chord riffs with a mixture of screaming, roaring and actual singin! Nowadays this style is a well used formula, so you could say Killswitch Engage were the trendsetters in this particular genre! If there are any bad points in this album, it would have to be the lack of any solo's, not in every song, but there are are a few songs that would benefit from a lovely solo! Another point that I would like to address is the use of singing only in chorus' this works for the majority of the songs, however a bit of variation never hurt anyone. // 8

Lyrics: Jesse Leach is a marvellous singer, his voice canbe beautiful when called upon or, it can sound like evil personified and anywhere in between! A good example of this, would be in life to lifeless. Which I believe is track 5 where the first minute and a half of the song involves intense screaming and heavy riffs, the song then changes as the Jesse Leach's singing voice cuts into the fray! This is a formula used in many Killswitch songs! The lyrics as a whole are impressive, focusing on the much used in metal subject of death, however this album differs in that it focus' on a different part of death! Jesse Leach being a christian, focus' subtley on acsension to heaven (Last Serenade), seperation (Element Of One) possibly from god, evangelism (Self Revolution) and even a biblical tale (Numbered Days)! These religious songs, takes nothing away, in fact they add to the overall experience as a metal album that focus' on death, hell and evil from the other point of view is ultimatley refreshing! The lyrics match the music perfectly, as if put together by a machine. However this album never sounds overproduced. Having seen them live, it appears to have captured the raw intensity of the live show without detracting from the overall quality of the album! // 8

Overall Impression: Killswitch Engage have released 2 other album! 1 of these before Alive or Just Breathing and on of them after with a new vocalist. AoJB compared to the first effort is more solid, more sonically advanced and better produced. However the addition of two of the tracks from the self titled debut (Temple From Within, Vide Infra) is not entirely welcome! Vide Infra has been watered down, it seems just fit with the overall dynamic, thisfor me implies laziness, I'm sure they could of written a couple more songs rather then poaching from an older album! The End of Heartache is a different album totally to this one, a new singer and a new emphasis on melody! The most impressive songs for me on this album are: Numbered Days, Last Serenade and Life To Lifeless! All three mix melody, with thrashiness in the best way! Overall Alive or Just Breathing is an excellent metal album! If you enjoy the genre go and buy it right away and prepared to be blown away! // 9

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
Alive Or Just Breathing Reviewed by: blink_15, on october 05, 2007
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Well, first thing I realised with this album that the guitars are perfect, They hit every note right. Mostly by now bands would of had just created a mellow and acoustic/piano album, but Killswitch Engage just does what they do best, put balls into their music. One thing is different on this album is there is hardly any pinch harmonics and the guitars are still good. // 8

Lyrics: They just sing what they've usualy been singing about on end of heartache. Their lyrics seems to be like an ancient type of language e.e. oath. The msuci makes sence with the lyrics, when the music is thrashy he sings about aggresivness and when the guitars are soft and melodic the singing is melodic. Howard Jones has very impressive singing skills and even from the master album End of Heartache he still seems to impress with his singing skills. // 8

Overall Impression: This album should be the highlight of 2006, it's the best heavy album you will hear for a while. In my opinion I see this album better than their last album. The highlight songs on the album is "Daylight dies", "My Curse", "For You", "Eye of the Storm" "Reject Yourself" and seeing as I had the special edition "Holy Diver". The only thing I could say I hate about it is that sometimes he screams a little too much, but only a little too much. If it were stolen/lost I would deffinatley buy it again! // 8

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 10
Alive Or Just Breathing Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 09, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Compared to the first album the sound quality is amazing. It is one of my two favorite Killswitch albums with End of Heartache. Killswitch are my favorite band from the metal side of music. They have great guitar riffs and melodies that sometimes can be heavy as machine head. They're choruses are huge and catchy as hell. Drums vary in dificulty, usually tending to be quite easy but with a big bass to them producing a heavy sound. // 10

Lyrics: Jesse-David Leach you are god of vocals! Without him and the current singer Howard Kilswitch would be nothing! The screaming in this abum is verging on a death metal song if it weren't for the lyrics which are about the better side of life and positive views. Because of the emotion that Jesse used in his screaming instead of technique they often had to cancel gigs 'cause Jesse blew his voice. This definatly shows on the album. The choruses as I have said are huge choruses which are mainly because of Jesse singing instead of screaming. Very catchy and awesome lyrics! // 10

Overall Impression: As I said one of my favorite albums! Really made Killswitch who they are but slightly heavier that they are nowadays. The impression this album made on me really got me into metal and now I'm a complete metal head! // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 10
Alive Or Just Breathing Reviewed by: ponnightingale, on december 15, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is almost undeniably Killswitch Engage's best ever album, and in my humble opinion, the greatest album ever to grace the genre of metal - or indeed music in itself. The first Killswitch Engage song I ever heard was The End of Heartache, and I was instantly blown away by the passion, the excellent guitarwork, the pounding energy flowing through the drummer and how it worked in general. Up until this point I hadn't really embraced metal and/or screaming: now I can barely listen to anything else. I have heard most of The End of Heartache, and I'm sure all of As Daylight Dies, and upon searching through Killswitch Engage's more recent songs on Youtube, I stumbled across My Last Serenade... of course, I gave it a listen. The first thing I noticed was that it was heavier, but I loved that. The men I had grown to love - Joel Stroetzel and my hero Adam Dutkiewicz - hit you with one of the simplest, yet most intense riffs my ears had encountered, and the bass player Mike D'Antonio was noticeably clearer and louder: played loudly he nearly knocked you over. The drumming was excellent also, the double bass worked perfectly with the other instruments; and was played by Adam D, interestingly. And suddenly, it hit me: Jesse Leach bellowing the words "This revelation is the death of ignorance" at me, and I realised this is it. I highly doubt I'll ever hear better metal than this, the Jesse days of Killswitch Engage are simply amazing. // 10

Lyrics: I wrote an essay based on a quote from the song Vide Infra by this band, with the lyric: "I will stand up for who I am; never moved by condemnation. No one is placed higher than another, no matter race or creed or gender". It was about individuality, and received an A. With no disrespect to Howard Jones, I have to say that Jesse Leach is just better. Incredibly deep, intricate lyrics, with many interpretations: a lot have been skillfully written so that they could be read with religious connotations, and yet can also be heard as just a positive message which we should all adapt. Every single song is excellently written and performed by Jesse Leach on the vocal front, from the very first words "the time approaches", to the final words "to rise inside" which both start and end the album perfectly. Some of the best lyrics were from the song Vide Infra, which I have dwelled upon already, Life to Lifeless, The incredibly powerful Just Barely Breathing and some other classics such as Fixation on the Darkness and My Last Serenade. This is one of the only metal albums I have ever heard with such positive messages: the album itself asks us if we are truly alive and salient, or just merely taking in the air. Vide Infra is all about being yourself, and saving yourself from following the crowd - a message I wish every damn ned/chav would understand and heed. I could easily describe the entire album, but Jesse Leach has said it himself, and who could say it better? I also cannot forget other vocal contributors to this album, Adam D was an excellent screamer and singer even back in the glory days (I think he could do a better job than Howard himself just now, but that's just me) and Phil Labonte of All That Remains contributes on a few tracks, I believe they were To The Sons of Man and Self Revolution. Excellent delivery, I've never heard a more emphatic, passionate, powerful screamer than Jesse David Leach. // 10

Overall Impression: I have never heard a better album, this is simply incredible. Go and listen to Vide Infra, The Element of One, To the Sons of Man and My Last Serenade to get an idea of the versatile yet familiar feel of this album - there is absolutely nothing bad about this. I can guarantee if you like metal/metalcore, you will like this album. Buy it. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 10
Alive Or Just Breathing Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 03, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Everything about this album is awesome, I don't think I could ever get bored of listening to it, because I bought this CD last out the lot I only listened to "my last serenade"(my killswitch favourite)for a couple of months, but after going to the bathroom and leaving it playing I realised what I had been missing out on for ages, every track is bang on, I sometimes pick up my guitar just to add in the "squeels" like in the live shows. Joel Stroetzel has the tone of god in his hands and I could go on kissing his ass for a while but I wont, the drum patterns compliment the aggressive guitar and bass sound perfectly. I want my guitar to have the same sound as in this album // 10

Lyrics: Jesse leach. (emphasis on the full stop) sorry howard love you too big fella but seriously. I know he had his reasons for leaving and maybe the following albums may not have been so great but I can't help wondering as do every other kse fan what wouldve happened if he stayed, I am a howard jones fan too but I wish jesse had done the vocals on all their songs, if they did a re-release on all the other albums with jesse leach on vocals, I would buy them all again. // 10

Overall Impression: My life was pointless till I heard fixation on the darkness, joels guitar playing is like thunder under adams "melodic-ness" I can't listen to this song without playing over it, it took me a while to list my top 3 they're all perfect: 03.Vide Infra 02.numbered days 01.Fixation On The Darkness, That Engulfs This World! // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
More Killswitch Engage reviews rating latest review
+ Disarm The Descent 8.3 04/18/2013
+ Killswitch Engage 8.9 01/29/2010
+ Killswitch Engage (2009) 7.9 01/22/2010
+ As Daylight Dies 9.1 03/02/2009
+ The End Of Heartache 9.2 07/26/2006
+ view all
Comments
Your captcha is incorrect