Sound — 8
Killswitch Engage has a fairly unique sound. The blend influences from Gothenburg bands like In Flames, to modern hardcore bands, to even melodic rock. All this melded together manages to give Killswitch a fairly unique sound. Songs are usually built up of verses which are mainly harcore sounding. Growled vocals are usually used during these parts, and the guitars tend to be palm-muted, and chugging away, often with lead harmonies thrown in. Choruses are melodic, and usually in half time. To most people, this will seem strange, going from brutal in your face verses, to soaring melodic chrouses, when in fact, not only does this give a nice break from the brutal harcore choruses, it works incredibly well, and all the choruses to all songs are standouts. This is where Killswitch stand apart from many other Metalcore and Hardcore bands. Unfortunately, many verses can end up sounding very similar, and quite repetitive, as they are usually made up of the already mentioned down-tuned 'chug-a-chug' riffs. Also, on this record, there are 2 guitarists, as they hired a new drummer to take over Adam's spot, where he moved to guitar, along with their guitarist which they already had from the previous 2 albums. As for production, the production is amazing, and is absolutley monsterous during the whole album.
Lyrics — 10
Lyrics are a huge stand out for the band. Instead of acting emo, and whining and complaining of their problems, or singing about the worlds flaws and problems, they offer hope for a new day, sympathy, and optimism. This is another unique thing to the band, compared to other modern metalcore bands, and is a big standout.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, this is great album, where you feel like every track is great, including the 2 instrumental acoustic breaks, "Inhale", and "And Embers Rise." Album standouts include "When Darkness Falls," "Rose Of Sharyn" and the title track "The End Of Hearatache" If you are into the new wave of american heavy metal, or like melodic metal that isn't wacked on speed, you should pick this album up as soon as possible, it really is just a great overall album.