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Killswitch Engage

The four bandmembers who came together and created Killswitch Engage already had strong fan followings. Mike D'Antonio (bass) was formerly the leader and principal songwriter of Overcast, the legendary underground metal group. When Overcast split in 1998, D'Antonio sought for a year to find the right combination of players to fuse hardcore and metal with melody. During the summer of 1999, D'Antonio connected with Adam Dutkiewicz, who was the drummer for Aftershock, and Joel Stroetzel, Aftershock's guitar player. Jesse Leach, vocalist for Corrin and Nothing Stays Gold, joined on, and the foursome took the name Killswitch Engage. Killswitch Engage made their debut by opening for In Flames on tour. The Ferret label heard and liked the combination of brutality, sophistication, and breathtaking originality that the group produced, and signed them. Ferret released Killswitch Engage's self-titled debut album in June 2000 and it immediately began capturing rave reviews. The group lays out its heavy riffs mixed with both singing and screaming vocals that cover a range from low-pitched death growls to the higher-pitched hyena screams. Stroetzel developed a guitar rhythm that gallops, and the others keep up as they combine elements of hardcore and metal in their melodies. They come on with an intensity that does not let up. During 2001, the band recorded "Numbered Days" for WERS' Nasty Habits live CD, a compilation with bands such as God Forbid, Haste, Unearth, and Poison the Well. Also in 2001, Killswitch Engage signed with Roadrunner Records and started recording their second full album, Alive or Just Breathing, at the Zing Studio in Westfield, Massachusetts. They expanded to a five-piece with the addition of former Aftershock drummer Tom Gomes, as Dutkiewicz moved over to guitar. The album included favorites such as "Self-Revolution," "Just Barely Breathing," and a re-recorded version of "Temple from the Within." Andy Sneap was signed on to mix and master this one in his English studio. The album aimed at even more of the growling bass tone, heavier guitar crunch, and thicker/faster double bass that permeate the music of the band, and it was greeted with high praise upon its release in May 2002 (it even shot to number 37 on Billboard's Heatseeker Chart). Tours with Soilwork and Hypocrisy finished before the band suffered a setback that June; lead singer Leach suddenly left the group, citing voice problems and personal issues. (He later went on to join metal outfit Seemless.) Breaking up was not an option, but Killswitch were still unsure of their future -- until auditioning Howard Jones that is, vocalist for local metalcore outfit Blood Has Been Shed. The band and Jones clicked immediately, and his charismatic yet menacing stage presence sealed the deal. He made his debut with the band at summer 2002's Hellfest, and the guys stayed on the road for the remainder of the year, both home and abroad, winning over skeptics along the way. Gomes exited the group following their stint on 2003's Ozzfest and he was replaced by another Blood Has Been Shed alum, drummer Justin Foley. The End of Heartache appeared in spring 2004, debuting at number 21 on the Top 200 and even earning Killswitch a Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance. Much touring followed, including acting as main support for Slayer and spots on package tours like Ozzfest and Taste of Chaos, while the band also released the DVD Set This World Ablaze in late 2005. Killswitch Engage further rocked a main stage spot at the U.K.'s Reading festival in summer 2006; all of this activity ultimately led up to the release of their fourth full-length, As Daylight Dies, that November. In 2009, Killswitch returned with a second self-titled album and found themselves jumping onto the Billboard 200. Three years later, the band announced the departure of singer Jones, who was replaced by former frontman Jesse Leach, who made his return to Killswitch on their 2013 album, Disarm the Descent. ~ Eleanor Ditzel & Corey Apar
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Stations Featuring
Killswitch Engage


    13 songs

    Metal Mosh Pit

    Metal Mosh Pit
    25 songs

    Grammy Awards 2014

    Grammy Awards 2014
    1 song

    Hard Rock

    Hard Rock
    1 song

Albums by
Killswitch Engage

Top Songs by
Killswitch Engage

  1.   Song
  2.   Holy Diver
  3.   My Curse
  4.   The Arms of Sorrow
  5.   The End of Heartache
  6.   Rose of Sharyn
  7.   My Last Serenade
  8.   In Due Time
  9.   Breathe Life
  10.   Numbered Days
  11.   Reckoning
  12.   Take This Oath
  13.   Hope Is...
  14.   Starting Over
  15.   Fixation on the Darkness
  16.   My Obsession
  17.   A Tribute to the Fallen
  18.   Take Me Away
  19.   A Bid Farewell
  20.   Never Again
  21.   Reject Yourself
  22.   When Darkness Falls
  23.   Wasted Sacrifice
  24.   For You
  25.   Temple from the Within
  26.   Declaration
  27.   Soilborn
  28.   Self Revolution
  29.   Beyond the Flames
  30.   The New Awakening
  31.   Rise Inside
  32.   This Is Absolution
  33.   Always
  34.   This Fire Burns
  35.   This Fire
  36.   Eye of the Storm
  37.   Daylight Dies
  38.   No End in Sight
  39.   The Hell in Me
  40.   Life to Lifeless
  41.   Lost
  42.   A Light In a Darkened World
  43.   Just Barely Breathing
  44.   The Element of One
  45.   Blood Stains
  46.   Time Will Not Remain
  47.   I Would Do Anything
  48.   Bonus Material
  49.   Unbroken
  50.   Break the Silence
  51.   Inhale
  52.   Be One
  53.   Vide Infra
  54.   The Turning Point
  55.   The Return
  56.   Let the Bridges Burn
  57.   Transfiguration
  58.   When the Balance Is Broken
  59.   My Life for Yours
  60.   In the Unblind
  61.   All We Have
  62.   This Is Goodbye
  63.   The Forgotten
  64.   Desperate Times
  65.   Prelude
  66.   Slave to the Machine
  67.   The Call
  68.   You Don't Bleed for Me
  69.   And Members Rise
  70.   Worlds Ablaze
  71.   Save Me
  72.   Aojb Studio Out Takes
  73.   Untitled and Unloved
  74.   World Ablaze
  75.   To the Sons of Man
  76.   Temples from the Within
  77.   [Untitled]
  78.   A Bid Farewell Live
  79.   In a Dead World
  80.   Still Beats Your Name
  81.   Without a Name
  82.   Irreversal
  83.   Rusted Embrace
  84.   And Embers Rise
  85.   One Last Sunset by Adam Dutkiewicz
  86.   Numb Sickened Eyes
  87.   Breath Life