Alive or Just Breathing

( 6 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason D. Taylor
Killswitch Engage's second full-length effort, Alive or Just Breathing, finds the band expanding on the crunchy metalcore sound they established themselves with on their 2000 self-titled debut. This is a pure metal album that seemingly has ignored any fashionable trend and instead relies solely on skill and expertise to sculpt some of meatiest heavy metal since the glory days of Metallica and Slayer. Injected into these chaotic hardcore/death metal hybrid songs is an undeniable sense of melody that flawlessly enhances every track, and instead of turning Killswitch Engage's permanent heavy sound weaker, this melodic accompaniment only goes to make you realize how intense...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason D. Taylor
Killswitch Engage's second full-length effort, Alive or Just Breathing, finds the band expanding on the crunchy metalcore sound they established themselves with on their 2000 self-titled debut. This is a pure metal album that seemingly has ignored any fashionable trend and instead relies solely on skill and expertise to sculpt some of meatiest heavy metal since the glory days of Metallica and Slayer. Injected into these chaotic hardcore/death metal hybrid songs is an undeniable sense of melody that flawlessly enhances every track, and instead of turning Killswitch Engage's permanent heavy sound weaker, this melodic accompaniment only goes to make you realize how intense and exhilarating the band is when they explode in an inferno of enraged brutality. Killswitch Engage refreshes your memory by including two old favorites, "Temple from the Within" and the must-hear "Vide Infra." While these have been given a new treatment, each song outdoes the original in sounding much crisper and more lethal; in this situation, the fluid production definitely has helped strengthen the old tunes. The lyrical content is exceptional, as Killswitch Engage don't travel the weary path of death, destruction, and unrepentant negativity, and instead seek to bring the listener to a new level of awareness, delivering the message to treat one another with respect, keep hope alive, and strive to make the world a more civil place to reside in. This is not the typical metal band; with lyrics such as "I believe love will overcome" from the sensational album closer "Rise Inside," it is obvious KSE has more than a blistering double bass and agonizing screams going for them. Although the group now belongs to a much more extravagant record label, their do-it-yourself attitude shines fiercely; in fact, guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz handled all production and engineering duties on top of recording all of the album's drum tracks, while bassist Mike d'Antonio took the time to give much thought on the album's packaging and art direction. This results in an album that one cannot deny reflects the group's heart and soul. This professionalism and skill is understandable, since d'Antonio once was the creative force that propelled Overcast into the spotlight as one of the best metalcore bands in the underground community, while vocalist Jesse Leach struggled in several projects, including Nothing Stays Gold, and Dutkiewicz and guitarist Joel Stroetzel made a name for themselves in the Massachusetts area in Aftershock. Alive or Just Breathing shows the group broadening their metal horizons, while still succeeding in putting almost every other metal album in the last five years to shame. With this album, Killswitch Engage has transformed from a hungry independent act into a ravenous metal beast that is ready to begin devouring all in sight, and should certainly accomplish that and much more in years to come.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/21/2002
  • Label: Roadrunner Records
  • UPC: 016861845728
  • Catalog Number: 618457
  • Sales rank: 33,888

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Killswitch Engage Primary Artist
Adam Dutkiewicz Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Drums, Background Vocals, Double Bass
Mike D'Antonio Bass
Joel Stroetzel Guitar
Tom Gomes Percussion, Drums, Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Andy Sneap Mastering
Adam Dutkiewicz Producer, Engineer
Mike D'Antonio Contributor, Art Direction
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I would literally give this the best metal-core album I've ever

    I would literally give this the best metal-core album I've ever heard. Where most screamo bands are singing about destroying everything or "crying over EVERYTHING" as another reviewer put it, the original Killswitch (not the stuff with the new singer) was about creation, standing together, and thinking for yourself. There's also some of the best metal riffage since early Metallica, and some badass drum breakdowns, and did I mention, the singing/screaming? Simply amazing. And to kozak, In Flames has had some emo sounding songs on a couple of their cds.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    to mr. kozak below me

    this cd isnt the best "metal" cd as you put it, but killswitch's other cds are pretty rad. dont even say they cant play their instruments b/c that would be a lie. the only member that you can even begin to say that about is their bassist who is in fact nothing special. they are a talented band though. On to the other bands that you criticized: underoath i cant vouch for because i dont know about them. MCR can write a h3ll of a song you cant deny that. their lead guitarist is pretty good too, he does what is neccesary for that style of music. also mcr isnt metal by the way sir knowitall. norma jean i dont know about either. SOAD, i dont evn know where to begin. they are by far (in my opinion and many many many other peoples too) one of the most original and ingenious bands to ever play metal. granted they have some nonsense songs out there i.e. chic-n-stu but while they may lack lyrical content they still rock. Mudvayne has an extremely talented drummer and bassist. their guitarist is nothing special, but once again he plays the style he is supposed to play. nothing more, nothing less. atreyu is amazing. end of story. all of your bands you like are fine too, but all im saying is don't be so closed minded. open your eyes once in a while and look at things from a different angle.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Possibly the most overrated "metal" band today.

    What is so great about these guys that don't know how to play REAL metal? The guitarist can't solo or do anything neat with it, all he does is play the same powerchords. Jesse Leach is a horrible songwriter and singer, all he does is whine about failed relationships. All this "screamo," "nu-metal" and "metalcore" c*ap polluting the metal scene needs to be mutilated, laced with painful infections, and destroyed. I'm so sick of all these talentless bands like Underoath, My Chemical Romance, Norma Jean, SOAD, Mudvayne, Atreyu, and so fourth. Stick to the metal masters like Kreator, Slayer, 80's Metallica, and In Flames.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A definite must for metal fans

    If you like hardcore, fast, blistering riffs accompanied by some of the most beautiful singing then don't pass up this album. Songs like Live to Lifeless and My Last Serenade are perfect examples of Killswitch (who, just to add, is quite possibly one of the best live bands out there).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great hardcore/metal album....

    This album is amazing, I was hooked the first time that I heard it.....from blistering hardcorish vocals to melodic singing, crunching grooves to flowing melodies............GET THIS ALBUM

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews