Must Own Albums: Killswitch Engage- Alive Or Just Breathing

Killswitch_engage_alive_or_just_breathing

I’ve mentioned before that heavy music has many genres. Some are beyond hard to explain, and some really are simple. In the early 2000’s “METALCORE” landed on the map and a huge statement was made with the release of Alive or Just Breathing. This album is viewed as a defining moment for the genre and was well praised upon its release and to this day. One of the main bright spots of this album are the lyrics. Rather than harp of the negativity of life, the lyrics were aimed to bring a positive message through the music. Musically there is a well woven web of hardcore riffs, thrash riffs, and melodic sensibilities. all these intangibles created a sonically invigorating album. Songs like opener “Numbered Days,” Fixation On The Darkness,” “My Last Serenade,” “Life To Lifeless,” “Just Barely Breathing,” and the fantastic closer “Rise Inside” are all absolute standouts. Actually the entire album start to finish is a gem.

It must be said that Jesse Leach’s vocals on this album are beyond outstanding. His ability to roar then go into such delicate melodic singing is baffling. Guitar wise Adam Dutkiewicz and Joel Stroetzel play off each other extremely well. Each of their tones are just a little bit different, but brought into the mix wonderfully. Mike D’Antonio has a crunchy yet clean bass tone the balances out the clean tones coming from the guitars. The drums on the album were played by Adam Dutkiewicz, and they provide a great back drop for the pace of the songs and the album.

Jesse Leach is one of my favorite singers that have come about in the last 10 years. He really has a unique voice that is passionate and driving. The way he conveys his words in the songs is hypnotic almost. I truly wonder what the next album would have sounded like had Jesse stayed. Thankfully, Jesse is back and their most recent album Disarm The Descent is a powerful statement of his return.

 

 

By: Brian Lacy

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