Sound — 6
I guess I can start by saying the intro to this album really threw me off. You want to hit your listener with a sledgehammer to open a metal album properly, and I definitely didn't feel that here. Granted once things get rolling, it's all gravy, but then you sort of get lost again. A lot of As Daylight Dies follows past formulas from the other Killswitch albums, and there's also a whole lot that's new which goes in a pretty different direction. Something I found as a positive and negative for the whole sound is that you are completely immersed in it, it's a big big sound that just wraps you in its atmosphere, yet in that situation, clarity is all over the place and memorable moments outside of choruses are rare. I tend to feel the difference of this album and other Killswitch is similar to Lamb of God's change in sound, if you've listened recently (I.e. the clarity and orchestration of Ashes of the Wake vs. the mature yet too swept up Sacrament). I wish I could appreciate this album on levels other than background music but I honestly can't. Very few riffs and verses stand out, very few. On the upside, Howard is absolutely the highlight of this album, his choruses shine, even though they end up sort of echoing each other throughout songs. It seems like everything that's new and fresh on the album is just dry and a recycling of their success, except now it's far less exciting. It's less metal and more along hardcore/damn near emo lines. I mean, Alive or Just Breathing may very well be my favorite album of all time, and End of Heartache is great, but I don't think As Daylight Dies can hold a candle to them.
Lyrics — 8
Pretty similar and consistnet lyrics, kind of wish they would change up the themes a little more. Like I mentioned, though, Howard is the highlight of this album. Which also blows a little bit, because it overshadows the music, and any musical breaks/interlude become more like a gimmick than a piece of composition since you're just waiting for more melodies. His screams are definitely better here than Heartache, but his strength is found way more in his singing, which is powerful as shit.
Overall Impression — 6
I do enjoy listening to this album, but it's basically doomed to background music unless I have a big awakening and start really loving every bit of the album. It has it's moments, but they're almost all tied to chorus vocals. I'm not expecting an album better than Alive or Just Breathing from Killswitch, just different flavors, but I'm not really digging the new direction. Worth getting, worth listening to, if only to learn a few things about progression of a band's work, or lack thereof.